Material Memory

Nothing holds memories better than fabric. Passed down through generations for commemoration or passed on for safe care in dangerous times, it is mobile, mendable and holds memories within its threads.

Material Memory was a display of textile items, from football shirts to wedding dresses, loaned by members of the public, alongside the stories they tell. Made precious by the care taken to keep them safe, the value placed on them by those who have prolonged their life and the deep connections they have created, sometimes across centuries and continents.

Challenging the throw away culture of our time, this exhibition demonstrates the deeply human desire to hold the simplest things dear. The final 50 plus items loaned by 37 participants presented a beautiful selection of memories and associations with these precious items, some of which were recorded into a series of audio pieces and all of which included a short written narrative.

Click here to listen to the audio files

This project was co-commissioned with British Textile Biennial.