On the weekend of 29 June to 1st July I am attending the inaugural Mend*rs Symposium near Kendal in Cumbria. This is a weekend of events, workshops and talks centered around the notion of mending, what it means to be a mender and how we can mend and encourage others to do so too.
We are running an event called The D.I.Y. Store. Inside the D.I.Y. Store you will be able to mend and re-purpose objects, which you can either bring yourself, purchase through an exchange system where payment consists of mending materials or objects, skills or ideas or something else entirely - we are open to barters, offers and swaps!
We intend this to be a participative and collaborative exercise, conversational and open. We will be logging mended items, materials given and everything else on twitter using the hash tag #mendrssymposium (note the missing e in mendrs) and in a physical log book which I will post about after the event.
Also going to be there:
I am interested in mending on many levels, not least because I work with recycled and recyclable materials. I often mend and was taught to darn, re-knit and patch my clothes (and other textiles) a child, also to patch furniture and other possessions. I often renew rather than replace my belongings and frequently find very new things quite odd. The saying 'every piece of furniture should tell a story' is something that sticks with me, I like the biography and history that knocks, breaks and mends offer objects. I believe that mending can help you understand the world around you and the objects we own in new ways, by investigating the inner workings of broken things rather than discarding them we put some importance on that object. Indeed by hacking objects, repurposing or even mending with unexpected materials we can offer a new understanding and a new identity, possibly a new sense of thingness, rather than a new piece of land fill.