Last week, artnet News reported that crochet artist Olek (whose real name is Agata Oleksiak) was undertaking one of her most logistically challenging projects yet—installing crochet wrappings around bomb-shaped sculptures at Cancun’s Underwater Museum, located in the Caribbean Sea. The artist donned scuba gear and documented her process via her well-followed Instagram account, hoping the project would raise awareness about the urgency of saving our oceans.
Unfortunately, museum personnel and Mexican authorities were less excited about the intervention. Museum director Jaime Gonzalez expressed dissatisfaction that Olek never attempted to gain permission for her installation, and told Fox News, “Believe it or not, there is a lot of marine life growing, encrusted in the sculpture, and we gather that this has killed it,” she said. The museum is part of an environmentally protected area, and Gonzalez stated that prosecutors are preparing to lodge charges against the artist.
Olek responded by emphasizing the positive intentions behind her work, and insisted that her riotously colorful crochet covers were intended to raise awareness about the state of the environment. “If they want to sue me, I don’t know. I can pay them back with crocheting more underwater sculptures,” she said, “I don’t know why would they sue me but maybe they’re a little bit upset that I did it there.”
“But my intentions were positive and that’s the most important thing about my work,” the artist added. “I really want to create a positive message.”