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Make Do and Mend

Make Do and Mend

Screen Print on Somerset paper
19cm x 56cm

I was very close to my Grandma, and when she died I was given her sewing box among other things. It was a real document of the 80 years of her life, with items dating back to before the First World War and others from only a few years ago. It really seemed to epitomise the 'waste not, want not' ethos of my Grandma's generation. I wanted to document these items, somehow and in doing so both create a kind of portrait of my Grandma, but also something a bit broader - these things are in most household's sewing box. I wanted to remember my Grandma as an individual, but also know that she was part of something bigger.

These are the mending skeins which were in the box. There were loads of different shapes and materials, and they were all used for mending stockings. I think they are lovely objects. To be honest, I think these were probably my Great Grandma's which were then passed on to my Grandma - I never saw her repairing stockings, although she maybe did when she was young! Still, I liked the way these represented a kind of mending culture - nowadays we just go out and buy some new tights and throw the old ones away, but that kind of disposable mentality is quite new, and not altogether helpful, so I wanted to make something that commented on this.