My most recent body of work traverses the boundaries between fine art and making. Evolving from a background in textiles, my work makes strong reference to the ideas and concerns that informed some of the feminist artwork in the 1960s, particularly Judy Chicago’s ‘Dinner Party.’
I am very interested in using the associative materials and processes connected with embroidery and traditional female crafts to create my work. Heavily influenced by The Subversive Stitch, a book which outlines the history of women through the development of embroidery from the middle ages up until the late 19th Century, I hope to question ‘the value-laden devision between ‘home’ and ‘work,’ ‘art’ and ‘craft’.’ (The Subversive Stitch)
For me, the major point of interest in this book was the account of a lace embroider to the 1843 Children’s employment commission, detailing a ten to fourteen hour day. This account is the key concept behind most of my work. Although I don’t endure a fourteen hour day, it is very important that my working day begins at eight in morning and finishes, no earlier than six in the evening. For me, the product of working a ten hour day is an embroidered canvas. Collectively these canvas form a working calendar, and a chart of daily productivity.
Unlike embroidery itself, my work concentrates less on the final outcome, and more on the repetitive and laborious process of stitching. Through the representation of a lace embroider’s working day and it’s physical challenges, I hope to raise political concerns about the working conditions of sweatshops, where most of our cloths are made and embellished.