There were many pieces which - for one reason or another - could not be included in the Mending=Art exhibit. So I took photos, put them together into a book, covered the book in gorgeous boro fabric, and put it out for people to...ignore. I understand - you go to a show, you want to see the art, not leaf through photos. OK. But in this post, these amazing examples get one more chance to be appreciated. Have a look:
Claire's couch, Maine "the philosophy of my couch-mending: fixing it isn’t going to make it look like it did when it was new, so why not make it into something better (or at least more interesting) than new, and make the repairs into art?” Claire
Pink Blanket (PB) was made in 2005 for my grandniece Anna by Kristine Arena, who lives in Lenox, MA. Anna and PB have spent every single night together since she was 9 weeks old. And, of course, it shows...at family visits, Aunt Diane has stitched and patched; Aunt Claire crocheted spots that had been loved away.
Senjokaku (Hall of One Thousand Tatami Mats) (Toyokuni Shrine) is on the island of Miyajima in Japan. In 1587 Hideyoshi Toyotomi, the warlord who unified Japan during this era, ordered the establishment of Senjokaku as a sutra repository where sutra-chanting would be held in honor of war casualties. It is the biggest building in Miyajima. It is called Senjokaku because its floor size is equal to the area of 857 tatami mats. The construction of the hall was discontinued when Hideyoshi passed away, and it still remains unfinished.
The 4” thick wooden floorboards are weathered by their exposure to the elements. As they age, weak spots are cut out and patched.
Walking-sticks, supporting ancient trees, are common in Japan. This one is in a park in Tokyo.
The Mended Spiderweb series came about during a six-week period in June and July in 1998 which I spent on Pörtö. In the forest and around the house where I was living, I searched for broken spiderwebs which I repaired using red sewing thread. All of the patches were made by inserting segments one at a time directly into the web. Sometimes the thread was starched, which made it stiffer and easier to work with. The short threads were held in place by the stickiness of the spider web itself; longer threads were reinforced by dipping the tips into white glue. I fixed the holes in the web until it was fully repaired, or until it could no longer bear the weight of the thread. In the process, I often caused further damage when the tweezers got tangled in the web or when my hands brushed up against it by accident.
Sweater, darned wool, 2009, belonging to Unknown Norwegian. Sweater from Annemor Sundbo's Ragpile collection, Ose, Norway
Textile artist Celia Pym’s practice of creative darning and mending is pertinent to the times we find ourselves in. She poses questions about repair and reuse, love and attention, evidence of use and life and taking time to fix clothes. Celia loves darning. She is working on a project called “The Catalogue of Holes”, where she invites people to bring her clothes with holes in. She discusses possible mending options and occasionally the conversation spreads to why the garments are important to their owners. She has traveled to the Orkneys, Paris, Japan and around the UK darning the clothes of others.