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A fascinating insight intothe work of a pre-eminent craftsperson,On Mendingwas 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.
Working with garments that belong to individuals as well as items in museum archives, Celia Pym has broad experience with stories of damage, from moth holes to accidents with fire. She is interested in exploring the varied evidence of damage, and how repair draws attention to the places where garments and cloth wear down and grow thin.
These personal tales document the intimate damage caused to clothing by everyday use and the parallels with the consequent wear and tear on the body. Mending work builds on what is left behind. It’s not replacing, or remaking, or cutting apart and putting back together, instead it is slow work that makes things better. It conjures an unhurried recovery or change. In textiles, the act of mending wear-and-tear, thinning cloth or accidental damage builds on what already exists, anchoring threads and yarn into the robust healthy fabric and filling in the holes or reinforcing the areas that are weak.
"Darning is small acts of care," she says, "and paying close attention."
About the Author
Celia Pym has a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies, specializing in sculpture, from Harvard University and an MA in Constructed Textiles from the Royal College of Art, London.
Her work has been exhibited most recently in Keep Being Amazing, Firstsite, Colchester, Essex (2022), Say Less, Herald Street, London, 2022 and Eternally Yours, Somerset House, London 2022. Waste Age, Design Museum, London (2021), and On Happiness: Joy + Tranquillity, Wellcome Collection, London (2021). Siblings, Trading Museum, CDG, Paris (2020), and Sewing Box for the Future, V&A Dundee (2020-21).