Sketchbook / DORA DUBA
"My grandma has been a powerful role model for me – all I know about the trade I’ve learned from her. She’s taught me ways to re-use things that already exist, like those clothes she sent me in a parcel by post, made from others that were no longer used, or like cooking rice fritters from leftover rice.
Grandma Dora was born 78 years ago in La Plata, Argentina. She was born in the countryside, close to the river, and lived all of her life in the same place. Maybe that speaks a lot about the way she is.
One summer day when I was about eight years old, I saw her putting stitches in her torn shopping bag. She looked at me and said: “One sould always keep an upholstery needle handy, to mend from a shoe to a purse”; and that advice has remained with me till today. For her, fixing things meant giving them a fresh use, extending their useful life, thinking in a sustainable way.
When I call on her for mate together, I watch her cut pieces of fabric, fray them at the edges to make a napkin, or manage to make a pot out of a discarded bottle. She gave me the tools to relate to the world with modesty, respect and love. Those gestures have built me as I am.
That’s why, every time I think about making clothes, first I think of the range of clothes that exist already.
I wanted us to build this together, partly as a way of to say thank you but also as a tribute to and admiration for her. We began to get together at her place. On every meeting we would produce used clothes from a hold-all and we would deconstruct them collage-fashion as it were, and we would give them a new use.
Every piece we made together says a lot of her home style: patterned dishcloths, white courtains, checked tablecloths, her house dresses and her home life. This collection feels like homemade apple pie just out of Grandma Dora’s oven."
Juliana Garcia Bello - September 2017, La Plata, Buenos Aires Argentina.