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Lou Reed project a real purler

TRANSFORMER: US singer Lou Reed requested an ‘unofficial’ sweater depicting his Transformer album cover, sparking the creativity of artist Mary Adams.
TRANSFORMER: US singer Lou Reed requested an ‘unofficial’ sweater depicting his Transformer album cover, sparking the creativity of artist Mary Adams. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

LOU REED decided not to sue the young lady who wore an "unofficial" sweater depicting the cover of his iconic album, Transformer, to a press conference during his first tour of Australia in 1974.

Instead he ordered 20 of them.

The sweaters were famously worn by his entire band and crew when they emerged for the encore of their last show in Sydney.

Then when the New York singer songwriter died last year, the original was found in his belongings and is now on display in New York.

And guess what - it was knitted by local visual artist Mary Adams.

Fast forward to The Channon markets, this Sunday, where the artist, joined by local photographer Katrina Mathieson, hopes to build on the unique knitwear's legacy.

Locals are invited to be photographed wearing Ms Adams' extensive collection of Lou Reed-inspired sweaters in a pop-up studio at the markets.

She has about 40 different sweaters depicting every Lou Reed album in its own right, along with some of the more famous songs, including the knitted lyrics of I'll Be Your Mirror, Teach the Gifted Children, and Street Hassle.

The sweaters were knitted to mark the 40th anniversary of that memorable first tour, so are all new.

The death of Reed last year galvanised Ms Adams into action, and when she contacted Reed's surviving partner Laurie Anderson and his company, Sister Ray Enterprises in New York, they were completely supportive.

The photographs will contribute to an exhibition planned for the Serpentine Gallery in Lismore next month, featuring sweaters, photographs, projections and video footage from the tour.

And on opening night, it will also feature a selection of Lou Reed songs - arranged for guitar and cello - performed by local musicians Lisa Cameron and Greg Richardson.

"We've been keeping it under wraps for awhile for the 40th anniversary, and we're so proud we can finally show it," Ms Adams said.

"It's a way of saying thank you to him and I hope it will be fun for all; that's what he would have liked."

Topics:  knitting




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