Monday, October 21, 2013

Another fiber-bombed bridge

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of seeing a wonderful fiber art installation on a bridge in Pittsburgh, organized to coincide with the showing of Fiberart International.  Here's my blog post with lots of photos, but to refresh your memory, people knitted or crocheted afghans to fit perfectly in the spaces between the railings, and even covered the railings and the superstructure with knit-to-fit.  They worked on the project for more than a year, planning and executing meticulously, and the bridge looked fabulous.

By contrast, yesterday afternoon when we arrived at the Big Four pedestrian bridge in Louisville, a favorite walking spot, we found that a local radio station had commandeered the bridge for a breast cancer awareness event.  They solicited donations of more than 5000 bras, and strung them together to drape the length of the bridge.

This struck me as a bad idea all around.

For one thing, much as I deplore breast cancer (or any other awful disease), I'm not sure what  "awareness" means or is supposed to accomplish.  Surely there are few adults who don't know that breast cancer is bad.  Some of them may donate to breast cancer charities, and that's probably the ulterior motive of the "awareness" activities, but if so, why not be honest and bill them as breast cancer fundraising?

For another, this was a pretty sloppy event.  In fairness, the organizers were allowed only a couple of hours to put the bras on the bridge, so it was a very casual affair.  Lots of extra bras were lying in unappetizing heaps on the pavement.

And let us contemplate that while bras may be flattering and sexy on an actual woman, and colorful and appealing hanging on store racks, they are really ugly when stretched to their full length.

As usual, a lot of families with young children were walking on the bridge, and I wonder how the parents explained this spectacle.  As we approached the start of the bra garlands, we overheard an 11-year-old boy say to his mom, "I'm sorry, but this is just weird."

I couldn't agree more.


  1. I'm with you--what a poorly thought-out, and worse executed idea. Looks more like a frat house prank than any sort of respectful solicitation for $$$. It's fugly!

  2. I'm with you too. You put this so well and I think Linda nailed it with the 'frat-house prank' reference. There is a fine line between awareness and exploitation and we're seeing more and more of it every day. Thanks and take care, Byrd