Caring for Repairing Exhibition Opening, The Repair Declaration Chat & “Turning the Collar” Premiere

Celebrating fixing and mending our opening night, exhibits 10-months (Feb-Nov ’22) of work on Repair Acts, Ireland.

Situated in the minimalist surrounds of St James Hall our exhibition, ‘Caring For Repairing’ is located one of  Kilbeggan’s most architecturally significant contemporary buildings, with offshoots taking place in other community and vacant spaces.

Our day-time programme kicks off with series of responses from invited guests to our ‘Repair Declaration’. This declaration is a set of statements and intentions, collected across year. It expresses peoples wishes in Westmeath for how we might collectively enable possibilities for repair in our localities. With illustrator Mark Flood, further augmenting the conversation, traces of which will become part of the unfolding exhibition.

Following this debate a more formal welcome to our programme by our project leads and funders, will open to the premiere of our documentary ‘Turning the Collar’ – our “love story” to professional repair practices from across Westmeath.

Set against a back drop that meanders across Westmeath’s fields and lakes, the documentary spotlights the expertise, skills and crafts that line behind specialists forms of repair. Sentiments shared reflect on the joys and issues facing such professions with the narrative weaving together, perspectives on the values we place on fixing, mending and restoring ‘things’.

Further exhibits include a number of new art works which have been created for the programme, including a series of repair-based portraits, a tapestry created using discarded material from hot-air balloons as well as highlights from our archival work, including an dynamic map of changes in local repair economies and multimedia installation that draws on the stories we have collected online and the creation of the “Peoples Archive of Everyday Repair”.

Closing the programme the intrepid electronic musician and long time collaborator of Repair Acts, TokTek, who having sampled sounds from ‘Turning the Collar’ will collaborate with a number of locals to create our final swan-song for the evening. The night will draw to a close with a DJ set from our special guest.


St James Hall, Kilbeggan

16.00-17.30 // The Repair Declaration Chat. Across 10-months in 2022, Repair Acts collected statements about what people in Westmeath would put into a “Repair Declaration“. These statements explore how we can foster stronger and richer local, repair based cultures. Invited guests give their response and reflections on what has been generated, with the chat captured by illustrator Mark Flood.

18.00-21.30 // Caring for Repairing, Exhibition Opening and Welcome. Exhibition opening, displays works generated by Repair Acts, lead artist Teresa Dillon with exhibition design in collaboration with architect Ana Filipovich and Men Shed, Mullingar. Archival research and text collated by Dillon, Alma Clavin, Robin Ferguson and Maya Vizel-Schwartz illustrates changes in professional repair practices across the last eight decades. With installation based documentary, video, textile and images based works weaving past, present and future local and global narratives of repair, together with stories gathered from the People’s Archive of Everyday Repair.

19.30-20.30 // Premiere of ‘Turning the Collar – On the nature of things, their care and maintenance’. Documentary exploring professional repair practices in Westmeath. Spotlighting 16 individuals and companies, reflections on the nature of contemporary material-based repair, it’s demands, traditions, conditions, joys and struggles are captured against the back drop of the county’s lakes and landscapes.

20.30 //Musician Tom Verbruggen aka TokTek is known for live sampling techniques. Working with everyday objects, broken electronics and local musicians, TokTek will create a unique sonic affair that is not to be missed.

21.30: Exhibition Closes, St. James’s Hall and Community Hub. No booking required.

22.00-00.00 // McNamara’s Lounge: Live Music and Open Mic Session.

Image credits: Turing the Collar, Stories from the heart of the Irish Midlands (2022)