UNconventional by FTC is a series exploring creators, designers and artists expressing unique, thought-provoking perspectives of socio-cultural and global significance through their craft. These creators stray away from the conventions and norms of everyday ideas and give them a new meaning through their otherworldly creativity.
The unimaginable and playfully bizarre knit sculptures of Yrúrarí Jóhannsdóttir are ones that are truly unforgettable. The Iceland-based knitwear designer never fails to leave a colourful imprint in people’s minds when it comes to her unique creations!
Known to knit whimsical masterpieces using visual elements of the human body, 27-year-old Jóhannsdóttir's creations circle back to her personal favourite and signature semblances of strange faces, tongues and faux mouths.
Yrúrarí’s interest in the craft started at a young age and the artist eventually decided to pursue it during her studies in fashion at Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. An artist turned knitwear designer, she deems herself to specialise in creating humorously grotesque fervid grins and facial contortions.
Her knitted artwork mostly manifests “hidden in plain sight” inspirations - "unruly mouths that evoke Medusa with jagged lob-sided teeth, over-emphasised hideous lips that tease with oversized knit braces and grin too eagerly, and a gnarly monstrous tongue that is often seen to be licking an eyeball or seen giving birth to smaller tongues on its surface itself."
Yrúrarí often knits to celebrate women and womanhood and creates pieces with a fun exaggerated ‘boob’ to honour the breast and undo the stigma around ‘freeing the nipple.’
Her creations vary a wide spectrum from hand-knitting unconventional figurative pieces to translating her talent onto second-hand sweaters. She up-cycles pre-loved sweaters, jumpers, sweatpants, cardigans, etc. and also dabbles in machine knitting, abstract and complex mathematically inclined textiles, working with the technique of weaving, optical art and making dimensional figures stem from knitted surfaces.
Having received a great deal of appreciation and fame from all over the globe - London, United States, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil, to name a few - her designs have been permanently placed in the Collections of Textiel Museum in The Netherlands, Museum of International Folk art in Santa Fe and The Tatter Blue Textile Library in NYC, Nordic Museum in Seattle and Textile Arts Center in Manhattan.
Jóhannsdóttir’s ability to create wildly imaginative artwork through rendered versions of commonly uncommon inspiration has gained her over 117k followers on Instagram.
Since the worldwide pandemic outburst, she has begun to mimic her love for tongues onto masks as well and the designer is currently putting out more outré masks with playfully unruly renditions of mouths and tongues to encourage wearing masks and maintaining self-expression.
Yrúrarí Jóhannsdóttir for Vogue
The ultimate point of her creations is a funny, unusual and light-hearted take on ill-mannered body language.
Shop these imaginative, one-of-a-kind pieces on the Yrúrarí website.