In the old days before the consumerist itch took hold of the planet, householders were frugal and figured out ways of using offcuts.
Mary Burgess is a weaver and during the lockdown she approached her basket of thrums.
Thrums are the short ends of yarn cut off a loom and are usually discarded.
Most of the thrums in her basket were from England where the virus was running rampant.
“I began to think metaphorically that I could weave with yarns from where the virus began in Europe,” she said.
Her plan was to weave 15 centimetres a day and to use the thrums as tags on a long-woven runner to signify pandemic deaths. The project ended up taking two years.
“Most people find the documentation of deaths difficult to deal with,” she told Southbank News, “but it was my way of dealing with the isolation.”
“I was living by myself, and this made me feel part of a community.”
Her work is part of an exhibition by the Naarm Textile Collective in the vitrines at Assembly Point.
Stitching Change, Naarm Textile Collective, Assembly Point, Sturt Street, until October 1. •