Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Charity shops always have a little pile of much washed fine linen and embroidery. They make me think of the hours of labour women have spent on these pieces of needlework. I feel a sense of loss, that women's labour, and the aesthetics that have grown out of that labour, are given so little value.

There is another feeling these little pieces of embroidery stir. We did not have fine linen in my family. There was a lack of patience, a willingness to mend and make do. My great-grandmother had worked in the Paisley Cotton mills in the 1880s. I like to imagine we were a highland family who suffered in the Highland Clearances. But the truth is that the link, if there was one, and my relationship to material is to industrial processes and not the handmade. Industrial experience had a profound effect on our values, and this must have played a part in the reasons why I never became the artist I was trained to be. I did not come from a family in which women had maintained the tradition of hand-making."

Lynda Morris, Minimal Womanhood, in Nikos Papastergiadis (ed), Annotations I: Mixed belongings and unspecified destinations, Institute of International Visual Arts, 1996, p. 64


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