“Each participants received a handkerchief (representing the body), an embroidery hoop, needle and thread. Participants stretched the handkerchief over the hoop and tightly secured it in place creating a firm surface. Everyone then ‘ruptured’ their handkerchief with scissors to create an incision. The handkerchief’s were then repaired using needle and thread, medically repairing the cut, repairing the hurt, repairing the body and mind.
Both the material and thread were white, symbolising innocence and purity and the act of ‘rupturing’ is symbolic of taking that away or destroying it. The repair, the thread piecing it back together, and the needle also plays a part in this in that the repair can also be painful, as the needle pierces the fabric making way for the thread. This is vital in the repairing process. This medical stitch is white as it is something that often goes unseen or unnoticed. You may not even notice there was a rupture to begin with, but if you look close enough it’s there, but very carefully stitched back together. What we are left with, a scar, is physically felt, but may not be visible. The scar is a reminder of the rupture, but also a reminder of the repair and the repair is what sits at the forefront. It is technically simple, but I believe very powerful as a symbolic performance”.
Workshop Description by Bridget Nugent
Mediation, Adjustment, Bettering, Repair, Rebuilding, Correcting, Rectifying, Refreshing, Alteration, Enhancing, Relieving, Remedying, Renewing, Reviving, Curing, Fixing
“On the Mend” “It’s Never Too Late to Mend” “Mend One’s Fences” “Mend One’s Ways”
“Stitching is a way to mend, tailor and piece together fragments of experience”
“Stitching can be done from an armchair, wheelchair, hospital bed, or work desk enabling people to regain structure, control, feelings of self worth in society and identity. Of course the portability of stitching means you can do it any time. It’s perfect for managing stress, anxiety, panic, phobias, addictions or pain. Stitching takes your mind off troubling thoughts. The addictiveness of stitching can replace more destructive addictions, and also encourages people to start looking forward to tomorrow. Negative thoughts are replaced by positive ones, projects are planned, there is anticipation and excitement – emotions that often get lost in the mire of stress, chronic pain and depression. Contact with the outside world is encouraged, so other possibilities open up, making them ideal keys for motivating people”. (Therapeutic Stitching, http://www.stitchlinks.com)