Ubiquitous Yarn-Bomber Olek Arrested in London

12/14/2011 2:45 PM |

Olek, doing what she does best.

  • Olek, doing what she does best.

Olek, the Polish-born, New York City-based poster-artist of the yarn-bombing movement—knitter of psychedelic sweaters for the Wall Street Bull, Astor Place Cube, and countless bikes, shopping carts, performers, and an entire apartment—has run into some serious legal troubles in London following an altercation in October whose details remain murky.

On December 11th Olek sent a Facebook message to her friends, which was posted on blog The Art Machine. It read:

I wish you a great Holiday season this year. I will be spending it in the Crown Court in London fighting for my freedom. here are the details: http://www.olekappeal.com/. I wish I could explain more… but my lawyer gave me an advice not to say too much at this point. I tried everything… public solicitors, US embassy, friends of friends and this is the best solution. To fight it, i need your help. Buck after buck will rescue me from this misery. Pls, consider supporting me…. I do need help from every single person who ever seen my work… to be able to produce even more.

thank you and I do appreciate your help


ps. do not post it anywhere

It was accompanied by a link to Olek’s Appeal, where the artist has posted an open letter that reveals little more about her predicament and asks for donations to help fund her legal battle. The site, which offers artworks in exchange for funds contributed to her legal fund, includes a statement approved by her attorney, London-based lawyer Paul Morris.

Olek recently arrived in London in order to fulfill a variety of professional engagements; the first of which was to donate a piece of art work to a charitable organization. On October 6th after donating a piece of her art to the charity at a show in London, Olek was involved in an incident with a drunk and aggressive male who behaved reprehensibly.

The incident happened extremely quickly and not knowing anyone in London or able to access her cell phone for numbers she was swept up into the legal system and treated very poorly. This has resulted in very serious charges being leveled against her which she strenuously denies. She has not even had the chance to state her case before a Court and she must await a statutory timetable before she can present her case properly.

She has now been fortunate enough to be referred on to an appropriate lawyer to defend her against these entirely false allegations, but effective legal representation in cases like this comes at a cost. Today, she needs your help to assist her to get through this terrible and unfair ordeal. At the moment she is facing serious charges with a risk of custody if she is not represented properly and able to expose the untruths and falsehoods in the allegations made against her.

The artist also writes that, not being a British citizen, it was very difficult for her to get adequate legal representation. In the meantime, she was forced to obey a curfew for over month, wearing an electronic bracelet to ensure that she was indoors every night from 8pm to 6am. She makes a point of noting that this plea for donations is not a scam, as it was apparently deemed by many of her initial recipients.

Olek concludes:

Once it is over, I can tell stories about how I’ve learned a head stand after being in the cell for 5 days, about people I met behind prison walls… or why I want to come back there to teach how to crochet and give them hope for a better tomorrow.

Read the whole thing here.

(InTheAir, BoweryBoogie)