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Visual Artis Dee Harte worked with Open Circle Arts in 2016, running an exciting summer outreach programme. The Sewcialising Project investigated our relationship with our clothes. It opened discussions about the clothes we choose to wear, where they come from and where they end up. The series of workshops ran through the month of July exploring the (re) making of clothing through re-designing, repairing, and mending. Several techniques were explored. The first was Boro, the Japanese art of mending textiles, which celebrates the visible repair of clothing. Followed by the embroidery technique of Sashiko, teaching how to repair denim clothing. These were followed by traditional wool darning techniques investigating the care involved in mending. In the final workshops the women brought along an old cotton shirt in need of some TLC and learned how to repurpose the shirt for the construction of a new item of clothing. They also explored the basic techniques and patterns for dying garments using the traditional art of Shibori.
By re-claiming material from worn and discarded garments, the very fibres are charged with meaning, they are saturated with the traces of everyday life; through wear and tear. Can discarded garments reflect our history, becoming actual material memories of times past, love lost or found, disappointments endured, or victories won? These garments could then be read as a guide to our past, reconstructed and brought back to life. Central to this discussion is the value we place on these everyday items. Each workshop was designed to explore the ways in which we can extend the life of these garments to keep them in active service.
The sewcialising project was kindly supported by