We've been invited to talk about the project at the Inaugural MEND*RS workshop at the end of June. The opportunity to spend a few days musing on mending is fantastic, but to top it off the venue is the Lake District barn where artist Kurt Schwitters did his last bout of inspired scavenger alchemy. Here's some context from the workshop organisers:
Context: The Potential of Mending
It has been suggested that we inhabit a ‘throwaway society’, in which material objects are consigned to the dump with increasing rapidity and apparently little thought as to alternative or further use. While the environmental implications of a culture of disposability are now well documented – growing resource scarcity and energy consumption as well as pressures on waste management – there are also important socio-cultural implications, such as the growing alienation of individuals from the material worlds they inhabit, and the disappearance of lay knowledges as well as whole livelihoods as manual craft skills die out.
Mending offers a means to address these challenges. Mending allows personal material possessions to be recovered, offering them a unique second life. Mended objects bear visible traces of their histories, embody stories of past and present owners, and are imbued with deep emotional value. Mending is an activity which fosters personal knowledge, values, skills and self efficacy – and thus can be a source of profound satisfaction. Finally, mending provides individuals with the means to foster deeper and longer lasting relationships with the artefacts of their everyday lives.