Gnomes vs. Snowmen: The Battle for Mochimochiland

By Claire Mathieson

Gnomes vs. Snowmen—a battle of
epic(ly small) proportions

Gnomes vs. Snowmen: The Battle for Mochimochiland is the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time—and that’s saying something as I just visited the small dog run in Washington Square. Gnomes vs. Snowmen was created in 2007 by Brooklyn-based fiber artist Anna Hrachovec and was presented at Gallery Hanahou as part of the Pictoplasma NYC Conference, a series of art events spaced throughout the city. The exhibit features a series of forty-four knitted panels laid out along the walls of Gallery Hanahou in the Cable Building on the corner of Broadway and Houston. The panels are accompanied by captions that narrate the miniature battle between gnomes and snowmen, which begins when the gnomes declare war after a snowman steals a carrot from their garden. The battle quickly escalates, with tiny knitted gnomes beheading tiny knitted snowmen by way of their own scarves and snowmen commandeering Santa’s sleigh to launch a snowball air strike. The entire battle takes place in a gallery scarcely larger than a dorm room, a cozy space for such adorable carnage. You can find a PDF of the entire cute sequence online.

The upper-hand often switches between the two warring groups, when the gnomes realize that suspending snowmen over fire will speedily reduce their numbers and decide to invade the snowmen’s encampment. Unfortunately for the gnomes, the tall slope on which the snowmen live is ideal for gnome-crushing, as large snowballs can be easily rolled off it, mowing down all in their paths. At one point, some young gnomes decide to deface the land of the snowmen by way of… yellow graffiti, and one cheeky gnome moons the snowmen as his friends create their rude masterpiece. Finally, Santa gets annoyed with all the hubbub and decides to generate a battalion of robots to quell the fight. The gnomes and snowmen join forces against the robots, forming a truce. Finally, the two groups realize that being friends can be just as fun as being enemies and collaborate, gnomes providing snowmen with carrot noses and snowmen making ice cream for the gnomes.

The adorable carnage ensues.

Hrachovec has had her “soft sculptures” exhibited in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and has written two books featuring patterns of knitted toys, Knitting Mochimochi and Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi. While Gnomes vs. Snowmen is unfortunately now over, it’s the equivalent to at least five cups of hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, and a crackling fire when it comes to cheering you up as the city threatens its own snowy attack. Who knows, it may even inspire you to fight back against the cruelties of winter with your own knitted land.

Running from December 1st until the 6th, Gallery Hanahou will be hosting “Luv-able and Hug-able,” a show featuring the work of plush artists from around the world, in which Hrachovec’s work will be included.

Claire Mathieson is a junior at Barnard College and Features Editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Photos courtesy of Supah Cute.


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