Clothes. They protect you, express your personality, and generally connote your place in a broad social structure. Kate Garman, one of our Co-Op Project members, used clothing to engage ideas about home and community in the Co-Op’s latest exhibition, Thoughts of Home: Each Other’s Stories.
This post is the first in our series that will spot-light each Co-Op artist. In talking separately with each of them I began to see how their work was connected, not just thematically, but in terms of what motivated them to explore certain topics. So I asked each artist, “where does your motivation for this most recent work originate?”
“I had been playing with the idea of a sort of community mending service since attending the Open Engagement conference this past May, so the Mending project was one of my bigger projects that I was thinking about for the Co-op project, but it needed some work. When the second show came around to this idea of the Co-op as a group, I was interested in thinking of the five of us as a small community. How could we support one another? What could we learn from this exchange? And what would be the experience of this project? So the Mending Project ended up being this very personal relationship with someone else’s clothing, just looking through and touching each other’s clothes was very intimate. Most commonly the wear and tear of clothing is due to our love of the piece, and to touch and repair these prized possessions was a sharing of trust between all of us.” -Kate Garman
Her statement of intent follows:
“The practice of mending, normally done in one’s own home, is traditionally a solitary activity, in which one mends their own clothing. In this practice however, myself and fellow Co-op members have mended each other’s clothes. Through this exchange we have gotten close to the skin, repairing each other’s own wear and tear. This simple act of mending what is broken, has brought us closer.” -Kate Garman