Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Unfinished business: Craft and revivification

Unfinished business: Craft and revivification

Mae Finlayson and Karen Hall

Mae Finlayson, All my love, Anon. (stretched doily) (detail), 2013, yarn, pins and embroidery hoop, dimensions variable
Photo: Mae Finlayson

Abstract Reactivating incomplete and discarded domestic craft projects is an exploration of how such objects can mediate between presence and absence. Contemporary creative work that gathers and reclaims the unfinished projects acknowledges, extends and plays with their rich materiality as well as the dormant stories embedded within them. Using unfinished objects can be a way of speaking to loss and absence, and an assertion of the presence of other voices in the act of repurposing. A material dialogue, created through the trace of the hand and the repetitive labour of crafting, emphasises the potential within these discarded objects. The tension between the implied presence of the first maker and the displacement of the past through revivification is the entry point to nostalgia, a label that implies both being out of place as well as out of time. While nostalgia is often seen as an innately conservative practice, functioning as a reductive stand-in for the richness of the past, we take up Svetlana Boym’s (2001) argument that the impossible longing of reflective nostalgia can be productive, humorous and utopian. This essay explores the interplay of past and present in the process of finding, remaking and repurposing. Read full paper

Full paper published in craft+design enquiry: issue 6 Issue 6 2014, Craft.Material.Memory
craft, unfinished, trace, materials, nostalgia  

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