Visible mending is something that really caught my attention while I was in England. While I was in Ray-Stitch I picked up a card advertising some classes taught by Celia Pym. Oh how I wished I could have taken one!
Then a couple of days later at Julie Arkell’s class at West Dean, Julie started talking about Celia’s work. I pulled out my Ipad, and we all started oohing and aahing as we looked at her website. Here are a few pictures taken from there.
Here is her artist’s statement, taken from here: Celia Pym is an artist working with knitting and embroidery. She teaches art in London secondary schools part-time and works for ReachOutRCA at the Royal College of Art.
I started knitting in 2001 as a warm up activity. To get me settled in my studio I would knit to ready my fingers and get thinking. I soon discovered that I would knit for whole afternoons. The warm up became my main project. The wool I had decided to knit with, at that time was red since the most exciting wool in the shop was red coloured. Since there was a red line on the subway system where I was living I would knit the red knitting riding the red line. After the red knitting, the next idea was to measure a journey around Japan. I was sponsored by the Gardner fellowship and made a journey to collect yarns from all over Japan, to knit everyday and to climb mountains. And in my everyday knitting I measured out the journey I was making. I work with process and ways of recording activities. Now I darn and am looking for holes in people’s clothes and the stories that accompany them; repairing these holes and returning the mended garments. It is a way to briefly make contact with strangers. I am interested in the spaces the body occupies, the tenderness of touch and the ways in which we go about day to day life.
I just love her work. I think it’s incredibly beautiful. It’s just this feeling I get thinking about this old, discarded, useless item being lovingly brought back to life through the time and attention of the stitching.
Tom of Holland has begun The Visible Mending Programme. He says “By writing this blog, running darning workshops and taking repair work commissions I provide mending inspiration, skills and services to people and hopefully persuade them that shop-bought clothes deserve care and attention too, just like a precious hand-knit.” Check out his blog, he has some beautiful work.
Here are some other great posts about visible mending: Visible Mending, Sashiko, and Wabi Sabi