Riona Reid Link Patchwork and Consumerism

IMAGE: Patchwork quilt made using fabric that no longer had a use.
IMAGE: Proposed embroidery of logos on patchwork quilt - using every scrap of material contrasting our throw away culture.

My archive item from the GSA archives is an embroidered sampler which dates back to 1669. Samplers of this time would feature an array of different stitching techniques and skills one has learned, often displayed as a wall hanging by wealthy women or used as a ‘stitching CV’ for working class women looking to display their skills in hope of a job. This here demonstrates the contrast between beauty and necessity, both vital parts of being human. Mairi McKenzie discusses class, social status and progress in her lecture “Perfumatic: The Role of Chanel No.5 in the Construction of migrant Biographies” which relates to the differences of what embroidery meant to different classes. The resourcefulness of patchwork – my studio technique – and using every scrap of fabric for the necessity of heat contrasts consumerism and our throw away culture of often unnecessary things (necessity vs beauty). Hannah Arendt touches on this in “The Human Condition” when Arendt discuses a ‘waste economy’ in the section of “A Consumer’s Society”.

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