London-based artist Eliza Bennett uses her own hand as a canvas, stitching thread into the top layer of her skin to create unusual embroidered artworks, as part of a series entitled 'A Woman's Work is Never Done' to give the impression of hard work.
She explains: "By using the technique of embroidery, which is 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. 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'."
The technique is something she recalls first applying to her 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."
If you can stand it, watch the video below that shows you Bennett creating her artworks in the flesh, literally. Or visit www.elizabennett.co.uk to discover more about her stunning and unique work.