Crochet Artist Olek Needs Your Help!

Posted on: December 14th, 2011 at 6:41 am by

As we speak, world renowned crochet artist (and friend of Boogie) Agata Olek is in some serious shit across the pond.  But not because of her unique craft of public yarn-bombing. A recent trip to London resulted in jail time, and she must quickly raise the necessary funds for legal fees. Details of said encounter that led to custody remain somewhat convoluted, but here’s what we know so far.

This image has been archived or removed.

According to a communique from the artist herself, Olek traveled to London for a charity exhibition on October 6, and later became involved in “an incident with a drunk and aggressive male who behaved reprehensibly.” This ambiguous “incident” resulted in serious charges which could impact her career and output for the foreseeable future. Herewith is an excerpt from Olek’s appeal for monetary assistance:

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.”

Can you help?

I am at the moment forced to remain in the UK.  My new lawyer was able to assist me to finally change my bail conditions and travel to Poland for two shows. We were also able to get rid of a curfew…. Oh yeah! For over a month I had to stay home between 8pm – 6am each night and wear a plastic tracking bracelet around my ankle. This was of itself beyond comprehension to me. It was clearly in place simply because I am not a British citizen and did not have access to proper representation.

This is all the more worrying if I can’t continue to finance my current lawyers, as without the support that I am now pleading for, there is the risk of an even bigger injustice.

I am still making art, getting ready for a show in Tony’s Gallery in London … but I had to cancel so many events as I am not able to travel…. I do hope it will change soon. The worst is, I cannot do what I love the most: street art. So, if you really like my art, pls help me to get back on my feet and cover this world in crocheted camo pattern.

I tried to apply for emergency grants but I was told I do not qualify. I cannot even use pages like kickstarter to find funds to help me fight this unfortunate incident. That’s why I do really need you!

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.

Let’s all help a neighborhood sister out, and get her back to crocheting New York City!  Fans who wish to do so can donate funds in exchange for Olek art by heading here.

Recent Stories

East Broadway Bodega Held up at Gunpoint

Two men held up a Lower East Side bodega at gunpoint this past Friday, police said. The suspects – described as African American males – entered the He Xie Grocery at 154 East Broadway at approximately 6:47pm, drawing firearms and demanding cash. They made off with $1,500, and fled on a moped. Surveillance video from the […]

Mayor de Blasio Visits Chinatown, Eats at Wo Hop in Publicity Stunt

Mayor de Blasio visited Chinatown yesterday to push the message that “New York City is open for business (and delicious).” His publicity stunt included an entourage of six commissioners from various administration posts (Human rights, International Affairs, Consumer Affairs, Immigration, Media, Small business). The tour began with greetings at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, then […]

State Suspends Las’ Lap for Coronavirus-Related Violations

Another week, another few dozen city bars cited for coronavirus-related violations. Governor Cuomo yesterday announced that the recently anointed multi-agency task force suspended liquor licenses of 38 establishments around the Five Boroughs. One of which is here on the Lower East Side. The two-year-old Las Lap’ at 74 Orchard Street. In recent weeks, the bar, […]

Outside-In: SoHo’s Plywood Art Goes from Street to Gallery in New Bowery Union Exhibit

When the Bowery Union began its Street Art Project on May 10, the local art collective was reacting to artists’ need to share their work, buoyed by the public desire to engage on a physical level. The group envisioned a visceral experience that museums and galleries couldn’t provide amidst the shutdown, when only virtual tours […]

Man Stabbed in the Back Outside Bowery Flophouse

A man was stabbed in the back outside a Bowery flophouse on Friday, police said. Late Friday afternoon, there was reportedly an altercation between three men near the entrance of The Andrews House at 197 Bowery. One of the two suspects, described by cops as African American males, stabbed the victim in the back, before […]