Trapped in Time

This wasn’t the story I expected to tell.

I started off with a collection of linen, cotton and wool threads for ‘reinforcing and mending‘ and for ‘darning all kinds of hosiery’ in muted shades of browns and greys that I’d discovered in the sewing box I’d inherited from my grandmother.

It was going to be the story of a much-loved grandmother who had taught me to knit and to sew, who had lived through two world wars and the years of depression in between and who had, by necessity, had to ‘make do and mend’, a practice so unfashionable in today’s throwaway society. It would be the story of a grandmother who mended people as well as things – patching up relationships, bringing people together, providing comfort – and who put the needs and wants of her family before herself.

I started off making samples exploring these qualities – the linking threads, the mini ‘comfort’ blanket – but soon realised that I wanted to tell another story – the story of the woman who painted that wonderful oil painting of my younger sister but who I never recall seeing paint, who might have lived a different kind of life in a different time.

My samples began to become layered, trapping first tiny shiny beads and then pink petals, hinting at what lies beneath the surface of those we love and think we know. My final piece is an outsize daisy chain, a long way from those eminently functional objects that I began my story with – my celebration of Vera Blackwood.

 

Felt and Nostalgia / Frayed Edges,
Patriothall Gallery @ WASPS, Edinburgh (2006)

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