“Ideas of repair and healing, focusing on the duty of care we have to our community, to ourselves, to the planet and to our possessions”
Early in 2020, Claire Catterall, senior curator at London’s Somerset House, began exploring the potential of an exhibition about mending. Inspired by the proliferation of social media hashtags #visiblemending and #mendingmatters, and pop-up repair cafes, she observed a new generation of thrifty fashionistas wanting to preserve clothing using traditional methods and contemporary creativity.
“There was growing interest in the craft of repair,” recalls Catterall. “Artists such as Celia Pym and Bridget Harvey spearheaded an artistic approach to the process, and mending felt relevant to all the conversations about sustainability.”
An evolution of that early vision, “Eternally Yours: An Exhibition about Care, Repair and Healing”, opened at Somerset House, London last week.
Showcasing diverse examples of creative reuse, from historical samples of the Japanese art of Kintsugi and Boro, which embrace upcycling and repurposing, to works from contemporary artists who put repair at the heart of their practice, Eternally Yours explores the unexpectedly hopeful and healing stories that repair reveals. In light of the recent global pandemic, the exhibition seeks to unpack how ‘repair’ can guide both our individual and collective healing.