Artist Eliza Bennett has created one of the more intense feminist art projects I’ve seen. For her piece, “A woman’s work is never done,” Bennett actually embroidered crude (but strangely lovely) stitches into the skin of her own hand. While the points of entry for the thread are tiny and superficial, they occur in such high density that her hand is left swollen and irritated, most likely from the more sensitive layer of skin attempting to reject the foreign material. The work unflinchingly examines traditionally feminine labor, and the usual matronly sweetness of embroidery is suddenly stark, biological and jarring. Her statement:
Using my own hand as a base material, I considered it a canvas upon which I stitched into the top layer of skin using thread to create the appearance of an incredibly work worn hand. By using the technique of embroidery, traditionally employed to represent femininity and applying it to the expression of it’s opposite, I hope to challenge the preconceived notion that ‘women’s work’ is light and easy. Aiming to represent the effects of hard work arising from employment in low paid ancillary jobs such as cleaning, caring, and catering, all traditionally considered to be ‘women’s work’.
The final picture below is of a video projection of Bennett’s stitched hand on fabric and wall. The image becomes gauzy though the light of the projector and that jarring photograph is suddenly rendered soft and pretty.
Via Beautiful Decay