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I’m very excited to announce that my work currently features in a group exhibition called Don’t Feed the Monster! at Galleri F15, Moss, Norway.

needlework tools and materials for making textile wall-hanging

Don’t Feed the Monster work in progress

Don’t feed the monster! is an exhibition asking critical questions about the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. The exhibition opens up a multi-faceted examination of this topic. The textile and fashion industry is one of the world’s largest – and globally one of the most polluting. The exhibition examines the situation as it looks today. The works on display both engage and attempt to provoke change. The twelve participating designers and artists share their ideas, methods and alternative stories through visual narrative, specific design solutions, activism, innovative use of technology and resources and examination of cultural history.

Fast Fashion Facts 1

Some Fast Fashion Facts sourced from Fashion Revolution You can find even more facts in the Value Our Clothing WRAP Report

I have always been interested in making clothes last, and over the last few years I have become more and more interested in issues in fast fashion production, which has myriad problems. Mending your clothes to make them last longer is a disruptive practice that goes against the grain of the fast fashion cycle. Through my Visible Mending Programme, I provide repair inspiration and share and provide repair skills in an attempt to break this cycle. Mending should be something that becomes normal again; something I want to achieve by making mends beautifully visible.

Mending as activism and mending as a skill has many parallels for me, one aspect of which I particularly wanted to highlight in this exhibition: my need for knowledge. In order to have agency as an activist, it is important to be informed about the issues you are worried about. When repairing, it is important to understand what techniques to use for a long-lasting mend.

Gathering mending knowledge: tools, old books, darning and sewing samplers

I also want to show how repairs can be beautiful, so I created a wall-hanging made from deadstock calico and silk darning thread, showing hemmed patches and darns. By presenting these humble techniques in a more abstract setting away from clothes, it allows the viewer to engage with the repairs up close and re-evaluate their aesthetic qualities.

Untitled (a re-evaluation of the aesthetic possibilities of repair)

Untitled – 2019 (a re-evaluation of the aesthetic possibilities of repair)

In the past it was normal to repair clothes: they were expensive to purchase, and people had very few items in their wardrobes compared to today. Nowadays it has become acceptable to replace or discard worn out clothes, even if they are easy to fix. I want people to rethink their attitudes towards this wasteful habit, by presenting fast fashion industry facts.

Darning and patching detail

Visible Mending Wallhanging – detail

When people do get clothes repaired, they often want this to be as invisible as possible, so that worn-out items look “as new.” Invisible repairs require in-depth knowledge of materials and techniques, and disrupting this practice by making  the repairs stand out instead, allows for a re-appreciation of the mended garment.

Mending clothes is just one possible answer contributing towards a solution. The issues around fast fashion permeate the whole of society, as clothes are such an integral part of everybody’s life. What’s so great about Don’t Feed The Monster! is that the curators at Galleri F15 have managed to find a great selection of interesting voices and approaches: Annemor Sundbø (NO), Atacac (SE), Carole Frances Lung/Frau Fiber (US), Celia Pym(UK), Elisa van Joolen (NL), Fibershed (US) with Amanda Coen (US), HAiKw/ (NO), Pati Passero (NO), Rational Dress Society (US), Siri Johansen (NO) and Tim Mitchell(UK).

I would like to invite everybody to find inspiration and be an inspiration through the #visiblemending hashtag!

Don’t feed The Monster! Is on at Galleri F15, Moss, Norway, until 22 January 2020.

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