The project came directly out of my research in early 2008 for the Michael Swaine ‘Door to Door Darning’ project, and was an eclectic mixture of textile artists engaged in use of the actual darn, and other visual artists whose concentrated on community engagement projects, attempting to make things better for members of the public. A key element of the project was the Making Zone within the exhibition, where two of the exhibiting artists, Kai-Oi Joyce Yung and Celia Pym staged mini-residencies and also worked with local schools. We had activities every week while the show was on, often working with local groups of artists in Bury St Edmunds. For me the making was just as important as the mending.
This exhibition has subsequently informed my curatorial approach for forthcoming touring exhibition ‘What Do I Need to Do to Make It Ok?’
Update: there used to be a good description of this show on the Smiths Row gallery archive but sadly the gallery closed in mid 2018 and the website has gone too.
Image: Installation view at Smiths Row (then called Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery), showing Michael Swaine’s ‘Mending Case’ (2008), with works by Stephen Dixon, Alison Welsh, Celia Pym and Daniel Edelstyn in background. Photo by Douglas Atfield.
Image: Installation view at Smiths Row, showing Making Zone at right, and works by Stephen Dixon & Alison Welsh, Celia Pym, Daniel Edelstyn, Hilary Jack, Michael Swaine, Jennifer Hollingdale, and Freddie Robins & Celia Pym in background. Photo by Douglas Atfield.
Image: ‘Wiggie’ by Kai-Oi Joyce Yung, 2009. Photo courtesy of artist.
Image: Kai-Oi Joyce Yung during school workshop on her project, The Sock Exchange. Image used with permission.
Image: Celia Pym and a visitor during her mending performance. Photo by Douglas Atfield.