Eliza Bennett A Woman’s Work is Never Done
Using her own hand as a base material, Eliza Bennett considered it a canvas upon which she 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, traditionally employed to represent femininity and applying it to the expression of it’s opposite, the artist challenges 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’.
Born in the Midlands, Eliza Bennett now resides in London. She took a BTEC National Diploma in Art, specialising in textiles and went on to study a BA in Fashion Design at Middlesex University. In her own words:
“I chose a course that placed emphasis on concept and the creation of these ideas, as I was excited by the sculptural and figurative elements in fashion design. After graduating I found a natural gravitation towards costume design and prop making, stemming from my interest in creating a visual narrative. Over the last couple of years I have returned to producing my own artistic work. It continues to be my main drive and focus.
Throughout my childhood family trips pivoted around antiques fairs and centres as my parents were involved in antique restoration. I grew up surrounded by precious things that could be seen but rarely handled for fear of damaging them. I’m sure this has had some bearing on my interest in creating both tactile and transitory works.
Up until a few years ago, my skills were honed within the remit of fashioning textiles into form. Working as a costume and props maker gave me a greater understanding of creating 3 dimensionally, and the processes I learned have informed the creation of my own sculptural work. I place craft at the heart of what I do. It is not apparently a requirement in art, to make something independently and skilfully, but to me it is important that I the artist create the piece. This intimacy with the material and process is of equal importance as the concept. Mostly I find that the concept informs the materials and processes that I employ to create the work. This sometimes results in fixed sculpture, other times in photography and installation.
I have come to realise that what my work often projects is the struggle within me to comprehend a feeling. I sculpt because I am driven to commit these feelings to something tangible. Through a personally charged perception, I explore a range of issues relating to the formlessness of both individual and social reality. This evolves from a close reading of discourse and neuroses surrounding the condition of human existence. I translate the organic human body shape into elements accomplished by a distortion of what is known. By describing the world as I perceive and exist within it, the element of personal mirroring may also act as a reflective process for the viewer. To me what makes a powerful work of art, is when it moves one to acknowledge the wealth of feelings inside, whilst embracing the incoherence of lived experience.”