Eliza Bennett Embroiders Her Own Hand In Courageous Statement About Women Laborers

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For the artist Eliza Bennett, her flesh is her medium; in embroidering her palm with thick threads, she hopes to explore the ways in which we view gender roles. Her hand, swollen and bruised by her own careful work, is titled “A Woman’s Work Is Never Done,” and her gruesomely precise handiwork serves to remind the viewer of the strife of women laborers, many of whom are paid far less than their male counterparts.

Embroidery, like most traditionally female crafts, is often belittled and considered frivolous, but Bennett’s representation of women’s work is urgently and painfully profound. By literally—and unflinchingly— penetrating her own epidermis, the artist subtly subverts the notion that the efforts of women are superficial or shallow.

Building upon these themes of gender constructs, Bennett’s project blurs the lines between the private realm, coded female, and the public realm, coded male. In many ways, her skin serves as the bridge between the internal self and the external world; in embroidering it, she makes a public spectacle of her own personal narrative. As if reading her own palm, she traces its lines in various soft colors, creating intricate patterns and granting certain patches of flesh both psychological and aesthetic importance.

Bennett’s pointed social critique of ideas of femininity is made stronger by the intimate nature of the work. Feminist scholar Betty Friedan once explained that in the battle for gender equality, the personal lives of women must be made political, that internal struggles must be made visible. “A Woman’s Work Is Never Done” is a poignantly simple execution of this idea; here, Bennett weaves a painful visual story onto her hand, stretching it outwards for public consideration. (via Hi FructoseDesign Boom, and anti-utopias)

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Adrian Esparza Transforms Mexican Serape Blankets Into Intricate Geometric Thread Installations

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Adrian Esparza

Texas-based artist Adrian Esparza uses nails and the thread from Mexican sarape blankets to weave colorful geometric patterns. Growing up in El Paso, Esparza encountered these blankets on a daily basis. Using his background as a painter, Esparza observed that the blankets contained painterly qualities that he sought to deconstruct. The result is an unraveling of a Mexican cultural symbol into a new form, a multi-dimensional landscape of color and shape. Esparza’s deconstruction and transformation of this cultural symbol reflects the displacement of identity that many Mexican-Americans experience as a result of migration. The wall pieces Esparza constructs from the serapes, though completely transformed, recall macrame and other handcrafts from the artist’s culture. Through his work, Esparza reinvents the ordinary and asks the viewer to embrace the potential for creative transformation that can be found in the familiar and the mundane.

Esparza’s work – titled “Wake and Wonder” –  will be on view at Pérez Art Museum Miami as part of the exhibition, “Americana: Formalizing Craft,” until May 2015.(via design boom)

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Artist Creates Dolls Based On Children’s Drawings

oh' my neko - design

oh' my neko - designoh' my neko - design

Pablo Picasso once said, “every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” The owners of Oh’ My Neko take this quote to heart, honoring children as artistic masterminds behind some pretty unique dolls . . . and this goes for everyone, not just a select few, as this would negate the purpose: each young vision is valuable and translatable. For only 35€ each, your child’s hipster princess, lunatic lady monster, or clowny bug can spring to plushy life. Check out the gallery after the jump to see some more pretty adorable examples.

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Embroidered Status Updates And Google Maps Show Social Media As A Work Of Art

Colleen Merrill - Fiber Arts

Colleen Merrill - Fiber Arts   Colleen Merrill - Fiber Arts

Colleen Toutant Merrill works in fiber– from stitching to embroidery; and interestingly enough, it makes sense that she would use such a traditional folk medium to examine contemporary subject matter such as social media, Google, and Google Maps. These Internet resources are, essentially, a modern day electronic quilt of sorts, piecing together not only our societal curiosities or interests, but also our performative identities in a community.

On this note, Merrill explains, “Quilting bees and embroidery traditionally served as social outlets and communication. Quilts and embroidery both have encoded symbolism and explicit messages as do digital communications.”

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Figurative Paintings Of Girls Empowered By Their Own Crafty Muses

Sean Mahan - Painting

Sean Mahan - Painting

Sean Mahan - Painting

Sean Mahan’s refreshing acrylic paintings on wood depict girls as creative spirits deeply empowered by and engaged with their own crafty muses. Unlike the classical order, where female figures were often shown as objects that inspire– here, the buzz of breathing maker is most present within the the young lady subjects themselves. Each portrait shows a confident furrowed brow or contemplative daze completely focused inward on a project at hand, unaware of the artist’s gaze. Their identities appear to be emerging from within, not dependent on an external eye.

Mahan’s collection “Invisible Threads” is up at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City this month.

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Craftily Revised Found Photographs And Paintings


Julie Cockburn - Mixed Media
Julie Cockburn - Mixed Media Julie Cockburn - Mixed Media

London-based artist Julie Cockburn revises old throw-away photographs and paintings with embroidery thread, shears, and other sundry items to create new contemporary curiosities. Each delicately considered piece contemplates craft culture in relation to the industrial age or mass production, and the identities that roam invisibly from one transmission to the next.

Of her work, Flowers Gallery suggests, “Julie introduces ideas to found objects that generate dialogue about modernity and art history, gender and identity, nature and urbanity and the relationship between process and idea.”

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Erin M Riley’s Naughty Handwoven Tapestries

Philadelphia based artist Erin M Riley creates incredible handwoven tapestries with hand dyed wool on nylon warp.  Her work touches on issues of death, self exploitation through gender and the internet, addiction, and loneliness.

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Olek Covers The World… In Crochet

You wouldn’t think that crocheting could be made exciting but Olek has managed to push it to the extreme, crocheting anything that comes in her path.

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