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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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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Embroidery That Mummifies Print Journalism

Lauren DiCioccio - Mixed Media

Lauren DiCioccio - Mixed Media Lauren DiCioccio - Mixed Media

Lauren DiCioccio uses a simple needle and thread on cotton muslin to mummify and honor an endangered artifact– the printed newspaper. In each piece, as The New York Times’ text fades, its correlating cover portraits puncture the surface with pockets of strung together color, reminding us of a certain tactile human unraveling as we adaptively wave goodbye to the Industrial Age.

Of her craft, DiCioccio states, “The tedious handiwork and obsessive care I employ to create my work aims to remind the viewer of these simple but intimate pieces of everyday life and to provoke a pang of nostalgia for the familiar physicality of these objects.”

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Shaun Kardinal’s Altered States

Shaun Kardinal transforms found and scavenged postcards into geometric altered spaces that are hypnotic. His site is full of places, people and things that he’s created on found images and redistributed into the world. Read More >

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Mari LaCure

Mari_LaCure Mari LaCure is an artist interested in the minute. She understands the importance of every single element – and explores them with woodblock printing, etching, watercolor, pen, colored pencil, and hand-stitching. Her work uses the macro and microscopic of nature for inspiration to create an aesthetic that looks incredible on screen, and probably even better in person.

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Daniaelle Simonsen

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Artist Daniaelle Simonsen plays with a unique process; this Los Angeles local combines her love of sewing and drawing with the ephemeral material of the magazine to create unique works, delicate yet fierce, that exist as individual art pieces and as usable art. You can also catch up with Daniaelle’s latest news via her blog.

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