The Art Of Mending
Last year I began sewing some of my own clothing and mending and patching and learning about slow fashion. I came across the term 'visual mending' which led me down a path where I discovered Sashiko stitching and Boro garments. The idea of something being made stronger and more beautiful by highlighting the mending process really struck me. Japanese Boro garments honor a person's history by acting as a map of sorts. Items are mended and handed down from generation to generation exemplifying the beauty of practicality and the value of spending time caring for something over spending money to replace that thing. Pieces of Boro cloth sell for thousands of dollars and are considered very beautiful and valuable. It occurred to me that if this same idea of visible mending was applied to people the world would be a much better place. I wrote about this idea in my residency application last summer and tucked the idea away hoping that if I was accepted I would be able to translate the look of the Boro fabric into my work. So I went to VSC with 9 boards, a limited pallet of encaustic paints and got right to work on these pieces. I layered the Indio, blues and neutral white until the piece looked balanced and then I used my pin tool to stitch my work. Once the stitching was complete I used pigment sticks to fill in the stitches and wiped the excess away with paper towel and linseed oil. A few of the pieces have image transfers from photographs of fabric, two are traditional Sashiko stitch patterns and the rest are just free form patchworks. I really liked working with the limited pallet and went on to abstract this idea a bit and to play with it using other grounds (more on that later in the week). I'm not sure where this series will go from here but I feel like I have a solid start to a larger body of work created around the idea of mending.