Well this is unusual. Artist Eliza Bennett wanted to dispel the idea that a woman’s work is light and easy. Using a traditionally feminine technique – hand stitching, she turned her own hand into the something that looked worn and tired. The effect was supposed to emulate the look of skin of a woman in a ancillary job – a cleaner, a caterer or a carer, all considered to be ‘women’s work’.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve absentmindedly sewn threw my skin at school when the opportunity presented itself. Just like me Eliza recalled “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.”