Mending Days: Where Holes Happen

Where Holes Happen Map: Mending Days (2017-2018)

Shortlisted for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize, V&A Museum, September 2017-January 2018 and as part of the exhibition I held 4 live event days, inviting members of the visiting public to show me holes in their clothing, to discuss the damage and offering to repair the garments. It fell into the series of Mending projects I have hosted before as a way to meet strangers through their clothes and discuss care. They brought sweaters and socks and jeans and scarves, hats and gloves and a couple blankets.

My intention with this event was to see if there was any patterning to damage on garments and if I could map that out. The event was gathering a self-selecting survey of holes. I repaired the holes visitors brought and then copied and cut them onto an intact tracksuit, socks, hat and gloves. For example if I mended someone’s elbow in blue, I would cut the same size hole in a corresponding spot on the tracksuit and fill it in with the same blue used to mend the sweater. I mended 94 garments. A pattern of heavy damage on the shoulder and both left and right elbows and back of foreams, at forefingers and thumbs, and on heels emerged.

Below are photographs from the day and original garments and their repairs.

Photographs: Michele Panzeri