On Mending: Stories of damage and repair by Celia Pym
On Mendingis a collection of ten stories of damaged garments – plus a rug and two backpacks – Celia mended in the last fifteen years. The stories record who the item belonged to, how it was damaged, how it was mended and where it is now. The book was inspired by Pym’s experience of hearing intimate stories from people’s lives, of loss and love, as a result of mending the holes in their clothes. Not a ‘how-to’ book, this is rather an in-depth look into the damage that we do, as manifested by our outer layers, our clothes.
Celia Pym is an artist living and working in London. She has been exploring damage and repair in textiles since 2007. Working with garments that belong to individuals as well as items in museum archives, she has extensive experience with the spectrum and stories of damage, from small moth holes to larger accidents with fire. Her interests concern the evidence of damage, and how repair draws attention to the places where garments and cloth wear down and grow thin. In clothing, this is often to do with use and how the body moves. She explores the difficulties of mending other people’s clothes, the materials used for mending, and making damage visible. Pym’s tools are scissors, yarn and a sharp needle. “Darning is small acts of care and paying attention. The damage, in a way, does the work for me” she explains. “I respond to it. The mending is slow work to hold the damage in place.”
Paperback, 96 pages Quickthorn Publishing, 2022 Printed in the UK by Cambrian Printers
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