Alfred Bolster & Kevin Wilson

Fiber artists and leaders in the local LGBTQ2+ community

We are from BC (one originally UK) and work in textiles and fibres, often recycled or reused. Our issues of interest are LGBT+ community-building, environmental and especially food projects. We both id as gay male. We have displayed a piece in the eCouture show in Powell River.

Alfred and Kevin

Download the flag/info pdf here.

Beyond the Rainbow

Many people have no idea that the rainbow flag is not the only one used by LGBTQ+ community members. If you can think of an identity or an orientation (and even if you can’t), it probably has its own flag. Colors, arrangements, and extra symbols are many and various.

This blanket symbolises the warmth and comfort of finding your own community: people who are like you in ways that may be unusual or rare, and hard to find or see, in everyday life. It contains 28 different flags (with two variations of one flag), but there are many more out there that we didn’t have room for or did not find. If we missed your flag, sorry!

We intended this piece to be a collaboration with contributors from many places. However, just after we put out the call, COVID-19 hit in full force and nearly everyone had other fish to fry than sending us knitting. We did get one contribution, the Leather flag at the bottom of the central strip, from Tricia McDonald of B.C.

The centre section involves multiple gradients including a normal rainbow colour progression, pastel rainbow, neutral gradients and a mix of variegated yarns. There’s also an accidental prairie landscape in there, which was a surprise to us!The knitting was done on a vintage hand-powered knitting machine, a Singer Chunky SK151 which was given to Kevin by Vanessa Bjerreskov last year. 90% of the yarn used is pre-loved, and came from thrift stores, hand-me-downs and so on.
This piece is for sale for $400. If sold, $300 will be donated to Rainbow Railroad, a charity which helps LGBTQ+ people worldwide escape from persecution and violence, often by their own government. Not everywhere is like Canada.