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Working with artist Jonent Middleton chris+keir became offical mascots of the project and documented the process in their short documentary, ‘Jonnet and the Pandas’.
In April 2010 Unitypanda sees its official launch at the Coventry Artspace shop and at venues nationwide. It is hoped that scores of knitters pooling their time and effort will create a hundred Unitypandas or more. All the knitted pandas will go on tour in an art exhibition in autumn/winter 2010-2011.
As the saying goes, many hands make light work. Every panda stitch is helpful and everyone can knit as much or as little as they like. As the needles start clicking hind legs and paws will start taking shape and a good time will be had by all. It’s anyone’s guess how many pandas will appear when a lot of people each make a tiny effort, and that’s part of the fun.
Knitters will follow an original pattern from 1946 which commemorates the arrival of the giant panda “Miss Unity Panda” to London Zoo. The lovable 10” knitted creature is made up of 24 parts, some being larger and more complex than others. Pandaknitters choose which part of the panda they have the time and skills to knit. Panda parts range from an ‘ear’, a quick and easy knit, to an ‘upper half fore leg’ which suits the more experienced knitter.
Would be participants don’t even need to knit to join in the panda fun. Help is required to cut rags for stuffing, sew the pandas up and embroider eyes and noses. People are more than welcome to simply share their memories of knitting around the pandaknitting table. Perhaps someone even remembers Miss Unity Panda arriving at London Zoo 66 years ago! In keeping with the 1940’s theme, music from the wartime era will enliven the proceedings. Parents are welcome and a selection of panda books and toys are available for children.