Hand Embroidery: Artist Stitches Her Flesh To Show That A Woman’s Work Is Never Done

Eliza Bennett_A womans work
ArtCareerWomanhood 4 Comments

Eliza Bennett, a 33-year-old British artist, gives new meaning to the term “hand embroidery” with her sculpture – A Woman’s Work Is Never Done. Using a needle and colored thread as her medium, and the palm of her hand as her canvas, she stitched patterns into the top layer of her own skin to create the look of an incredibly work worn hand that comes from doing conventional ‘women’s work’.

Of her provocative, epidermal sculpture, Eliza writes on her site, “By using the technique of embroidery, 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.” She says her goal was 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’.”

While her method is certainly not for the faint of heart, and tolerance for pain higher than most, her point about how hard so many women toil is as well taken as it was made.

Eliza stich work

Eliza close up

All images property of Eliza Bennett.

  • gargouille

    This hand craft–never has that been so literal–has meaning on so many levels and really does visually evoke the oldest archetypes of women’s work (sewing, stitching, weaving). I’m speechless imaging what this art entails physically. Point well taken, Eliza Bennett. Hit me in the guts.

  • I’m speechless after reading this. hats off to you.

  • Holiday O’Hara

    Such visceral, personal art.

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