The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant
Bound by Sue Doggett

'Clothing and our choice of dress is a reflection of our personality, how we want others to see us, sometimes used as a reaction against something (often our parents) and a powerful symbol of wealth or poverty. I have used the basic form of a pattern piece which is applied to fabric and cut, in order to construct a garment. Sewing is a visual symbol for the joining together of the past and present.'

"But who can really remember pain? It's impossible your don't remember it, you only fear it returning. These thoughts are like stitches - you sew together a memory with them and the flesh heals over into a scar. The scar is the memory."

'Our family history forms part of our personality and gives us a sense of who we are and where we have come from. Sometimes knowledge of our past, ancestors and the events that shaped their lives, gives us a positive sense of self, but sometimes we can feel burdened, perhaps overwhelmed.'

"I felt that everything had happened already, that we living ones were just shadows
of the real events, weak outlines cast down the decades

'However, without this knowledge, we are bereft and without a true sense of self and may become the
mere reflection of how others see us.'

The book is constructed using the tongue-in-slot method, rounded and backed with hand¬dyed and sewn leather joints. The boards are covered in brown, dyed natural goatskin with additional sewing which references either leather shoes or battered suitcases. The applied panels are constructed of dyed vellum with additional onlays of leather and vellum. These machine sewn and hand embroidered panels have additional imagery made by transfer and ink drawing and refer to events from the past, as recounted by Sandor Kovacs, and to events that surround Vivien in the 1970's.

The end leaves are machine sewn, brown Ingres paper which refer to the interior of Benson Court and in particular to the hand-sewn waistcoats of Vivien's mother. The edges are painted with watercolour and transfer images of dress pattern pieces and markings. The book is housed in a fold-out box which is covered in black buckram and lined with emerald green fabric which was once a garment (never worn). The buckle is taken from an old leather jacket.