"A Stitch In Time Saves Nine"

Saves Nine – an in-process look at an upcoming exhibition
By Kerri-Lynn Reeves
A Stitch in Time Saves Nine.”
The old proverb “A stitch in time saves nine” is traditionally read as encouraging a timely, efficient, and dedicated work ethic, implying that a little expedient effort can prevent larger issues later. Warning against the dangers of procrastination, it relates to similar proverbs such as “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and “There’s no time like the present.” While no one seems to know the exact origins of the ‘stitch in time’ saying, multiple sources do agree that it first appeared in print in 1732 in Thomas Fuller’s “Gnomologia, Adagies and Proverbs, Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British.” 
Having been raised by generations of hardworking farmwomen and proficient stitchers, this saying has always been of great interest to me: the isolated importance of that one stitch and its placement in time having such an impact. The idea that the other nine stitches that will be saved because of it was an importantly frugal thought. These nine stitches will not come undone and/or that they will not have to be replaced – a two-fold saving. This is one powerful stitch with so much riding on it!
Interestingly, it also implies a sort of assumed linearity of history. That is, time is a line of running stitches and this line is precarious. The ds continuity were to be ruptured, if one stitch is to break, it would be in need of immediate mending to return to its undeviating stability. The saying’s stress on being “in time” also indicates that for something to matter it needs to happen in the right context, as in the right place and time. But what happens when these assumptions are shakenoop? What if singular stitches are looked at out of sequence and juxtaposed? Could one get a sense of the whole by looking at the components in a different configuration? Is the regularity and linearity integral to its existence?
This is what really drew me in when thinking about history itself, and specifically about the history of craft within the Manitoba context. History is presented to us as linear – one thing happening after another. OTe thing ends and another begins. In art this is represented as eras, periods, or movements. So, if post-disciplinary craft is a movement of contemporary times (having been coined and used with in the last decade), does that mean that it started when another thing ended? Or have post-disciplinary practices been happening for some time – spanning generations, movements, eras, and styles? Are things not quite as linear as they first seem?
Saves Nine, an upcoming MCC exhibition, presents seven artists, whose range in age, context, personal history, and time spent in Manitoba varies greatly. Itwever, it strives to find some common threads that weave their way throughout the show.
Saves Nine will be presented from August 2-31, 2013 at aceartinc in Winnipeg. In future blog posts leading up to the exhibition opening, I’ll be giving you a glimpse into the work of some of the artists included in the show and continuing to flesh out the Saves Nine concept.
Image credit:
The Singing Bone by Willow Rector
Mixed Media: Hand embroidered arctic fox pelt
43 x 102 x 15 cm2013
Photo Credit: Karen Asher
Kerri-Lynn Reeves is a Manitoba born and bred early-career visual artist and curator. Her curatorial interests are currently focused on identity of place and post-disciplinary craft. Her artistic interests currently focus on the relationship of the social and the material. After having lived in Manitoba for pretty much her whole life, Reeves is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate at Concordia University, exploring her home with the perspective of distance.