Art Speaks: Mining Mending – Social and Creative Practice

Thursday, June 22, 2023 • 12 pm CT • Virtual, on Zoom

For this Art Speaks discussion in June of 2023, Textile Center was joined by four amazing artists working in the realm of creativity and social practice, whose work was featured in the Minding Mending exhibition at Textile Center, April 25 – July 15, 2023.

Rachel Breen, Amy Meissner, Celia Pym, and Winnie van der Rijn all produce creative work in the realm of textiles that use ideas about mending to address the topic of social practice, including environmental and political justice. Each of these artists presented briefly on their work, and engaged in discussion about overlapping practices that focus on themes justice and injustice, including labor rights, climate change, sexism, racism, social change, the patriarchy, and motherhood. Learn more about the Mining Mending exhibition here:

Artist Bios:

Using the stitch of an unthreaded sewing machine as a symbol of human interdependence, Rachel Breen employs the acts of sewing and dismantling to create projects and spaces for cultivating deeper understandings of labor rights and solidarity.

Amy Meissner mends found textiles to address inextricably linked dualities that draw attention to inequalities in the world–useful and useless, beauty and ugliness, discarded and valued–as the act of repair becomes a means to fortify the abandoned and the vulnerable.

“Damage in a garment is the echo of the physicality of the body.” In exploring the clothing she mends, Celia Pym builds on what is left behind and already exists, anchoring threads and yarn into the robust and healthy, filling in or reinforcing what is weak to explore what is on the “insides” of the clothing we wear.

Asking the question, “How much trouble can I make with my needle and thread,” Winnie van der Rijn reacts to the speeding up of the world by slowing down, working with her hands in an attempt to balance the universe as she dismantles and domesticates the patriarchy, one shirt at a time.

View the recording of the Art Speaks here:

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Creative Support for Organizations grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.