Bunker introduces artist in residence

Special to WC Online

CARP – The Diefenbunker Museum’s Artist in Residence will be combining yarn and concrete in 2020.

The Diefenbunker staff officially introduced their 2020 Artist in Residence Greta Grip, an artist known for her knitting.

“The Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum is thrilled to announce artist, Greta Grip, as its Artist I Residence for 2020,” Diefenbunker staff released in  statement April 30. “Grip is fascinated with code. From reading coded knitting patterns to knitting acronyms and QR codes, to hacking a knitting machine; knitting itself weaves in and out of what can be read and what is hidden. The history of espionage has knitting hidden as a facilitator of secrets.”

Her residency at the Diefenbunker will include researching, deciphering, and creating knitting as code.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming Greta underground once we reopen,” Diefenbunker visitor experience manager Courtney Gehling said. “Her incredible artwork and the theme of knitting as code make her the perfect fit for the museum.”

“The cold and sterile space at the Diefenbunker has inspired me to bring the warmth of knitting to its walls,” Grip released in a statement. “The bunker having its origins in uncertain times: to protect, to keep safe, to rebuild is similar to the act of knitting which is often nurturing, providing shelter as well as creating a sense of community but also it is often an isolating act. Both the Diefenbunker and knitting are both entrenched with codes:, hiding and creating, of which I will be expanding on during the residency.”

While the current COVID pandemic has shifted Grip’s focus to creating for an important cause, our frontlines, the Diefenbunker staff have been thinking of different ways to bring her residency to life in the future.

 “I am interested to exhibit in the Bank of Canada Vault, as it was built to safeguard Canada’s gold standard in order to rebuild the country after nuclear attack,” Grip said. “Fitting for today’s climate, we are not under nuclear attack, but we are faced with rebuilding the country.”

Bunker virtual tour

While the bunker’s blast doors are firmly closed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are other ways to tour the historic museum.

“We miss you (and the Diefenbunker) so much and we can’t wait to welcome you underground again in the future,” staff said. “You are the reason we’re able to share the Diefenbunker’s rich Canadian history through events, programs, tours and workshops. Thank you. We’re busy working behind-the-scenes on exciting plans for our future – both at the museum and online. We’d love to share ways that you can learn and explore this national historic site from your own home. Plus, we have a few exciting tidbits of news to share too. Our virtual tours bring the bunker experience right into your home from your favourite device. You even get a sneak peek into areas of the bunker that are usually off-limits to visitors, like the machine room.”

You can view the Diefenbunker from any device and even with VR goggles. If you would like to take the virtual tour, click here.

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