Artists have a unique approach to reuse and repair, usually finding their own path to making things whole. It is an approach that works for some of us, where the step-by-step instructions may not. To explore this, we will be interviewing artists who repair/reuse items or make use of found objects in their work, developing transferable skills on the way.
The first artist featured is a musician, Greg Chambers, who (with his wife Lisa Nighswander) have been part of the Toronto indie music scene since the 1990s. (Currently, they play together as part of the band Away Forward). They have also spent many years working in theatre production and when the pandemic hit, Greg found both skills served him well and developed a side hustle of fixing amps and other musical electronics.
This video is a work in progress still- we are working on animation to unite the theme of the video, but we are grateful to Greg for giving us his time and perspective. If you need an amp or stereo repaired, you can reach him at email@example.com
This project is supported by the City of Toronto through its Waste Reduction Community Grants and by the Ontario Arts Council through its Artists in Education and School Grants.
Our stereotype of the artist, the entrepreneur, the scientist, the explorer is of a person alone, creating, competitive, secretive. We embrace a different model- while we need to spend time on our own work, we all benefit from working together, sharing our work and knowledge and funding and networks.
We have worked in the same arena as Helen Frank, aka local mender and "craftivist" @HelenMendsto, taking part in Eco Fair last Fall, and then made a video of her workshop at the Textile Museum of Canada this Spring. And when we saw that she was bringing her workshop to Yonge street Mission, we offered to make a video to share, so here it is.
We are excited to have connected with the work being done by Yonge street Mission through their storefront Double Take. We hope to work with them further, via swaps, mending kits with Building Roots and maybe programming or art initiatives. Yay!
Some images from today's online workshop, part of the sustainable Textile Teach-in series run by the Textile Museum of Canada, the fourth one we have done together. This one was Hosted as well by EcoFair Toronto 2020, during #wastereductionweek
Our hosts invited a tailor, Helen, who runs a business called Helen Mends- she began offering repair services in Toronto just a few years ago, with a mission to help divert waste by repairing and teaching repair skills, and it was really great to have her skills in the mix. We hope we can do more collaborations with her in the future!
The workshop was very well attended... the eventbrite was maxed out in a few days so the hosts set up an "overflow room" on youtube live. Hosts estimate 80+ people, and we have heard from the chat, the hosts and on social media that attendants were inspired and had fun so mission accomplished.
Here are the takeaways: If you need to get new clothes, swap, purchase second hand or invest in clothes that are single fiber well made clothes worth the investment. Don't buy more than you need. If you have more than you need, swap or find a new home where you know they are needed before you unload them where they may not be needed. If you manage your own textile waste you know it is not ending up in the landfill, where possible find a new use for old textiles- stuff your own pillow, make rags, repair them or use them as patches. Stylish and fun.
Eco Fair 2020 will be posting the video from today's workshop, and we will be posting excerpts of the useful bits on our website soon. Thanks Aelena, Annette, Leah, Marnie, Helen and all the teams for a great day.
art experiments turning waste into beauty