Is This Supposed To Be Funny? Craftivism, Humour, and Crapestry

Thursday, 30 January 2020
16:00 – 17:00 GMT

Cardiff Metropolitan University
School of Art & Design, HeartSpace, 1st Floor
Llandaff Campus


Is This Supposed To Be Funny? Craftivism, Humour, and Crapestry.
Theo Humphries MA (RCA)

Contemporary cross-stitch cushion-cover kits might be argued to be an exemplification of domestic craft kitsch: spectacular yet vapid, vivid yet dull, romantic yet insensible. They are inherently conformist and uncritical. They exploit and reinforce culturally held stereotypes. No mention of mortality, no depiction of suffering, nothing surprising, nothing provocative. They’re ripe for hacking.

As ‘Crapestry’ I interfere with these commercial designs, bastardising them into new creations that I stitch myself. An idyllic winter church scene becomes the location of a fatal car crash. A cute polar bear cub now bloodily devours a seal pup. A sweet little puppy has fetched a hitherto hidden dildo.

These crapestries make some people laugh, some people confused, and some people quite upset. I am especially interested in how and why they make people laugh. One might ask ‘What’s funny about a dead penguin chick or cats watching human porn? This seminar is an attempt to explore possible answers to such questions through theories of humour and a retrospective of my work.

Instagram: #crapestry