Making Cultural Repair 2024

Making things with our hands can be a powerful form of cultural repair.

Whether you’re a seasoned maker or just starting out, if you’re excited by the idea of exploring making as a form of cultural repair, welcome to Making Cultural Repair!

Making Cultural Repair is a 12-week group (meeting six times, once a fortnight) unfolding an emergent process that explores the making of things as a practice of cultural repair.

Cultural repair is a broad term with diverse meanings and applications, so we don’t start with a definition of cultural repair, rather, we allow unique understandings and practices to emerge that make sense to each individual.

The aim is not to define or find agreement about what cultural repair is and how making things is connected to it, but to create a place to explore a diversity of experiences, to use each other’s observations, curiosities, knowledge, and making practices to enhance our own. 

What do we mean by making?

The concept of making is fascinating and has lots of definitions, for the purpose of this group, we’re defining making as the process of bringing something three-dimensional into being.

Here, we understand making as different to art: art provokes deep thoughts in the consumer of art; made things don’t have to do this. They are often practical and the making of them can involve no creativity or a lot of creativity.

Making often follows instructions or a pre-determined way of doing. For example, knitting a pair of socks can be done by following a pattern or by creating the pattern as you go. There is some creativity in pattern design and yarn choice, but the result rarely prompts deep existential thoughts in people who see the socks. The socks are unlikely to be art (but of course could be; for example, Neruda Pablo was once so moved by a pair of his socks that he wrote an ode to them).

Logistics

Dates and times

Every two weeks on the following Sundays:

28 April, 9am-12pm
12 May, 10am-1pm
26 May, 9am-12pm
9 June, 9am-12pm
23 June, 10am-1pm
7 July, 10am-1pm

Venue

Many Arts Studio
Rear of 774 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122

Costs

The cost is $480 for the six sessions.

You provide your own making materials.

Cancellations and attendance

Cancellations with more than five business days’ notice will be refunded in full. This allows us to fill your place with someone from the waitlist.
Cancellations with less than five business days’ notice will not be refunded if we cannot fill the place.
Cancellations, once the group has started, will not be refunded.
It’s fine to miss some sessions but there are no refunds for missed sessions.

The group is limited to eight participants so please only enrol if you think you can make at least five of the six sessions.

Your hosts

Weiyu Guan is a creative arts therapist and registered nurse by trade and an artistic companion by heart. Laden with mixed cultural baggage, Weiyu is eternally grateful for finding home and adventure at last in the realm of therapeutic arts.

Weiyu is the host of Many Arts Studio, a fun-size urban creative hideout, where Weiyu hopes to welcome all parts of self and all walks of life to feast on all things making, mending and life-affirming, each in our own ways, together.

Weiyu loves poetry, clown, crochet, freeform embroidery, voicework, and ensemble music practice. This year, Weiyu is also starting on collage, woodworking and shiatsu.

Get a glimpse of Weiyu’s eclectic making journeys on YouTube and Substack.

Liz Scarfe loves knitting, sewing, and woodworking and is desperate to learn spindle spinning.

Underpinned by an animist way of being, Liz is passionate about learning and about cultural repair as a practice to bring humans back into right relationship with the rest of the world; animals, plants, fungi, vibrant matter, ancestors, dark matter…all of us!

She is a facilitator, psychotherapist, supervisor and pracademic, integrating her ongoing university studies in culture, health and medicine (medical anthropology) with her work in the world.

Check out Liz’s erratic knitting journey on Instagram and her cultural repair content on YouTube.

FAQs

Do I have to finish the project?

Nope. There is no “finishing” goal, the point is to explore through making. You might spend the whole twelve weeks experimenting with making techniques and finish nothing – fantastic!

Can I work on something I’ve already started?

Yes. The thing you’re making isn’t really the point, it’s the experience in the relationships between maker, made object, group, culture, etc. As the cliche goes, “Trust the process”. That way, and in our shared intention of this curious thing called cultural repair, we will come to know through our experience of making.

How much experience do I need to have in making things?

None. Really. You can use this group to learn a new thing from scratch if you like. It’s also fine if you have heaps of experience making all the things and you choose to do something familiar.

What kinds of making can I do?

The only limitation is that of the studio space. It will work well for making modalities that use fibres (paper, fabric, yarn) but not so well for wheel pottery, furniture woodwork, or blacksmithing :). That doesn’t mean you can’t do that kind of making, just that you will need to think about how to bring those kinds of projects to the space e.g. you could whittle cooking spoons in the studio but you can’t set up your dropsaw. If you’re not sure, get in touch through the contact form and we’ll clarify what’s possible.

Register here

I’m committed to creating safe enough learning spaces, particularly for people from diverse backgrounds and people with marginalised experiences and identities. I’m always learning how to do this better – you can read more about how I’m currently thinking about this and share your ideas here.

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