When I'm not a lawyer, I'm a 'yarn bomber'.
My name's Eloise, but my yarn-bombing name is Newtown Treble Maker. Treble is a particular stitch in crochet. Yeah, Newtown Treble Maker.
I was taught to crochet by the nuns at school. We used to make crochet blankets for the poor and needy every Lent. None of us ever knew who the poor and needy were.
One day I was just walking through the local park, saw this pole and it had this little bit of crochet on it, and it just stopped me in my tracks. It just really tickled my sense of humour. This is subtle and a whole nother way of, sort of, affecting people, and I thought I could do that. I could have a go at that.
Then I came home, got out all my crocheting stuff. Then, I just started making something like this. You put it around the pole like that, and then you stitch it and then you leave it there for the magic to happen. You want to really have that element of surprise. It's sort of about taking the ordinary and make it in into the extraordinary.
During Covid, there were some violent protests happening against the lockdowns, and those protests were happening just up the road from us here. I remember feeling really angry about those protests, because I thought everybody's making all these sacrifices to protect everybody in the community, and yet here were these people having these violent protests.
I sort of thought, I don't know what to do with that feeling of being angry, but what I wanted to do was to reach out to the people in my little community here, who were making these sacrifices. My friend Donna and I made a whole lot of these little crocheted hearts, and then we went around the neighbourhood and we left these on the front fence and the post boxes of all of our neighbours.
People absolutely loved them, and some of them are still there now, like a year and a half later. But other people said they thought they were so precious they took them inside their house. Or if they had kids, the kids wanted to be able to wear them. People did different things with them, which is sort of what yarn-bombing is all about as well. You put something out there, but then it morphs into something else. You don't necessarily control what happens to it afterwards.
When the marriage equality debate was going on, people seemed to be using the debate for their own political ends. There was all this noise and distraction about matters that had nothing to do with marriage equality. I wanted to make a contribution to the marriage equality debate.
I was just absolutely amazed. Love Wheels, this tiny little crochet contribution, it's taken on a life of its own.
I remember reading something that the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull had said about his marriage, and I remember being really moved by what he said. I thought it would be great if somehow I could capture what Malcolm had said about his marriage to Lucy on the bike.
I just really adorned the bike with all things rainbow and love, and 'Yes' messaging. Then I just had this absolutely crazy idea, 'Why don't we tie it up outside Malcolm Turnbull's house?' I chained the bike up really quickly. I'm going, 'I cannot believe I've actually done this.' I thought that's probably going to be the last time I see the bike.
The night that the bill went through Parliament, Malcolm posted on Facebook, 'About two months ago, a woman chained this amazing work of art to a street sign outside our house, a crocheted YES bike! We brought it inside to keep it safe. But we don't know who made it! Please let us know. Perhaps its home should be our National Museum or Gallery to commemorate this extraordinary day.'
And through sort of social media, we got in touch with each other. They both told me how much they loved the bike.
I'm so proud of the fact that it lives down there at the Museum now, and I'm loving that it has this life that keeps going and that has brought so much joy to people in ways that I just wasn't expecting it to.
I found that there's a whole world of people out there, that are using craft for political ends, and you know how powerful it can be.
My approach to changing the world would be through random acts of crochet kindness. The joy comes from the act of giving something to other people. Being able to give somebody a handcrafted gift is a way of really giving a part of yourself to that other person.