Tear and Repair


Tear and Repair deals with the processes of repairing and healing that people undergo after experiences of trauma.

Media: High-fired porcelain, handmade felt, fabric, found hospital bed, fabricated metal stand, nylon fishing line

The textiles and porcelain used in Tear and Repair are often associated with ‘craft’ and allude to connections with gender and domesticity, offering layers of meaning to the narrative of the work. The historical associations of fabric with women and categorisation as a ‘feminine’ craft medium connect the work with female experiences of trauma, abuse and processes of healing. The repetitive processes of sewing reflect the psychological process of dealing with trauma and moving through stages of healing. Porcelain, which begins as a fragile, vulnerable material, undergoes several metamorphic firings to return glassy, translucent and strengthened.

The bed creates a sense of a private, bedroom area or ward in a hospital occupied by a survivor of abuse, and alludes to a personal sanctuary that has been entered into and boundaries that have been violated. The quilt itself is intended as comforting warmth; this function is negated by the presence of the cold, hard porcelain. The action of the needle in the making of this work offers metaphors for the healing, repair and personal reconstitution that survivors must move through.

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Jessica Merle Porcelain Cocoon