Sunday, 10 February 2013

Inspirations: Waste Not

Dear Readers,

It is not often that I write a post that is not about a garment I've made, but sometimes things happen that spur on a feeling of creativity, of inspiration, of  'I just want to go home and make/design/recycle something'! Today was such a day. A friend and I were going to CarriageWorks at the old Eveleigh train carriage yards to go to the Artisans Market that is held once a month there. I had gotten my Sundays mixed up and we stumbled upon an art installation that is part of the 2013 Sydney Festival instead.

Song Dong: Waste Not at the Carriage Works
Information about Artisans Market at the Carriage works, Sydney.

It is called Song Dong:  Waste Not. It is an exhibit of ten thousand normal daily household items hoarded by the artist's mother during a lifetime of poverty and hardship under the Mao regime in China. It's just normal stuff and my initial reaction was 'What's this?'  but then.. the more I looked the more I connected with this frugal woman.

I don't know if she made these items, but they had that love about them.

There were sewing items in the exhibit .. so she could have made them ..

as well as the hand knits.

There were bars soap which was precious because it was rationed out per person and used for washing everyone and everything including clothes.

Anything could come in handy one day.

Even a headless doll, shoe boxes or magazines.

I felt a fascination for these humble everyday things and realized I have so much.
I want to make full use of what I already have, and buy only what I need.

I want to figure out more creative ways of using the stash and adapting what patterns I have and trust me, I have plenty. I haven't documented the extent of my stash on this blog, but I could sew for years and not need to buy anything but notions.

Song Dong exhibit is on until March 17.

Happy  creativity everyone,



  1. You wonder yourself what you would hoard in a similar situation...J

  2. Nice. I relay like the indigo jacket. I've always wantes to have one like that.

  3. A wonderful exhibition. Curious. First Sunday of the month for the market!

  4. I love this art installation. Chinese contemporary artists have a wonderful way of using 'real-life' things to create something which gives us a glimpse into another world. A few years ago a displaced peasant's wooden house was brought here and installed in our local gallery. I loved it too!

  5. Gosh, what a fun day. Love to graze artisan shows.

    1. It was, but I didn't post half of it. Later we went to one of Sydney's great bric-a-brac independent designer streets, (King Street Newtown, and looked in (almost) all the shops for inspiration.

  6. What an interesting exhibition. I love looking at things that offer a glimpse into a person's everyday life, because it captures one person's experience at one period in time. It always amazes me how older generations, regardless of geography, seemed to value what they own more than current generations -- it seems like we live in a more "throw-away" culture.

  7. Mao has along record of both this and that to defend, but at least the Chinese learned to use what they had as well as they could. A collection that makes one think a bit. Good luck with your own stash :-)