“In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all…that in the middle of winter, I finally found that within me there lies an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger—something better, pushing right back.”
A series of photographic works titled ‘A Woman’s Work is Never Done’ 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, which is traditionally employed to represent femininity and applying it to the expression of its opposite, I hope to challenge the pre-conceived 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 technique, I recall first applying to my hand under a table during a home economics class in school. I was totally amazed to find that I could pass a needle under the top layers of skin without any pain, only a mild discomfort. As with many childhood whims it passed and I hadn’t thought any more about it until quite recently when I decided to apply the process to my hand to make it appear calloused and work worn like that of a manual labourer. Some viewers consider the piece to be a feminist protest, for me it’s about human value. After all, there are many men employed in caring, catering, cleaning etc… all jobs traditionally considered to be ‘women’s work’. Such work is invisible in the larger society, with ‘A woman’s work’ I aim to represent it. (artist statement)
C’est trés difficile, to unlearn manners of thinking about people that have—like paths trod and beaten by the generations—acquired so common, comfortable, and habitual an attraction, that one’s mind is “naturally” compelled, like feet intimately familiar with the terrain, to take the route already hewed for it. The mind has its indelible (?) conservatisms.
Swimming against the current, however—likely to fatigue and overwhelm and perhaps destroy—is the task of thinking difficultly. Plying the mind to the unhewed, rarely chosen unknown is the frightful task of genius.