Image: Clothes, Momo Wang, The Third Hand Collection, Photographer, Shuwei Lui, Model, Even Ziao, 2012.
We look back at an archive issue of Selvedge from autumn 2013, Issue 54 Revive. In this issue we feature artists who create work from whatever they have to hand, from the folk inspired clothing of Momo Wang to Boucherouite rug weavers, and from multiple collaged sources in the case of the textile designs of Eduardo Paolozzi. What they all have in common is a “can do attitude,” reading about them is life-affirming and inspiring. All our back issues are currently available with a 50% discount, by entering the code STAYATHOME at checkout. This code will be active for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
Image: Boucherouite rug via Kea.
Polly explains the theme of Revive: I take it for granted that textiles are a good thing. I know sewing, knitting and weaving help me to relax and judging by the many emails I receive from readers proudly displaying their endeavours, it’s evident that making things enhances our self esteem. But sewing may also be good for your health. New York psychologist, Robert H. Reiner, Ph.D., recently conducted research which illustrated that people engaged in textile related activities experience a significant drop in heart rate, blood pressure, and perspiration rate – three key factors in the measurement of stress. Sewing involves the muscles and the mind, promoting healthier body synergy.
The study’s results appear to indicate that sewing helps people to relax while they focus on a creative activity. “The importance of a hobby or creative pursuit cannot be overemphasized,” insists Dr Reiner. “If we don’t allow our bodies to rest from the pressures of everyday life, we are placing ourselves at risk for heart disease or other illnesses.” In our article Frayed, writer Ruth Battersby Tooke illustrates how sewing has been therapeutic for those suffering from mental health issues or bereavement throughout history.
Image: British Council Collection (c) the Trustees of the Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation.
In our July (2013) issue I advised readers to begin a creative endeavour today with whatever resources they have to hand. That is exactly the approach emerging fashion designer Momo Wang, adopted. Returning to her home of Jinzhou, China, after graduating from Central St. Martins School of Art in London, Momo bought clothing from a local second-hand market and created new garments – working on her family’s dining table. Her creativity and ingenuity are impressive but she is not alone in finding motivation in the idea of giving new life to used objects. Amelia Thorpe, has discovered a host of makers for whom this is a natural way of working. Similarly the women of the towns around Boujad and Beni Mellal in Morocco used whatever was to hand to create beguiling Boucherouite rugs.
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