Is Empathy only present if you are well and well fed?

Starvation Diet. What is it?

Mmmmmm chocolate, Mmmmmm sandwich, Mmmmmm doughnuts, Mmmmmm beer. Spoilt for choice. Trying to resist. When I resist I put the money in a pot. When the pot is full I send it (the money, not the pot) to somebody who needs it to survive. The art comes about through the documentation of the process, here and in other places. There is no end to this project.

2 May 2013

WOW to the WOW women

Women of the World (WOW) is a group of refugees, asylum seekers and those who have been granted citizenship who live in Salford. 2 days ago I asked them about wages and costs in different countries and they got together and developed this great list of facts from their wide experiences. Big thankyou and what a great speedy response. If you want to know more about the WOW group look here:

1 pound is 100 shillings.
Rent monthly 9000sh
Elec 2000sh
Water 800sh
Food 10000sh
Education 20000sh
Health care 15000sh
Travel bills 2000sh by bus.
Total income for both two working parents is 70,000sh .

Same parents living in the remote village in kenya.
Rent is free as they built there own house
No elec they use lamps
Water free( united nations provided)
Education 4000sh
Healthcare 5000sh
Travel bills 1000sh they walk a lot.
No wages as they sale goods from the firm and manage to pay for the bills and most times the house is full with orphans and they manage somehow.

A typical family in india.
Two parents and two kids living in town.
I pound is 83 rupees
Rent 40,000 rs
Elec 10,000 rs
Water 8000 rs
Food 20,000 education 30,000 rs
Healthcare 15000 rs
Travel bill 6000 rs they use bikes a lot so its cheaper
Total salary from the working parents 145,000 rs

Pakistan family same of two
I pound is 153 rupees
Rent 50000
Elec 8000
Water 9000
Food 25000
Education 30000
Healthcare 20000
Travel bill 8000 use bikes a lot too
Total salary is 160,000 rupees.

27 Apr 2013

The many hours of labour which go into an embroidered top

Original Starvation Diet T Shirt
This T shirt took me about 24 hours to embroider. I sat at home on a sofa and watched TV. I had regular breaks to go to the toilet etc and the temperature of the room was comfortable. I chose to make it as an artistic statement and I don't need to sell it to survive. Nobody watches over me and if I decided to do something else for a while I could. I wouldn't be in fear of being sacked or provoking somebodies anger if I worked too slow, fell ill or made a mistake.
Primark Summer 2013
2013 fashion item from well known store
This top is a 2013 fashion item from a well know store. The store where it is sold have been found to underpay their workers,(Even by that countries standards) employ children and have people working in unfair or unsafe conditions. Clothes hand finished by the companies workers have retailed for as little as at £4.00. If It took me 24 hours to hand finish my item how do they do it and make a profit?

My new idea is to do a series of performances. During each performance I will embroider a pre printed copy of the original Starvation Diet T shirt I made. I will do this, as much as possible,  under the conditions of an exploited woman from a particular country. I will ask the people commissioning the performance to pay me the wage I would get for my time if I was that woman.  Alongside each performance will be a break down of the my own income and costs of living compared with this other woman.   The performance would end when the T shirt is finished. Each performance would be titled with the name of the country it had depicted. Unlike the person finishing garments for companies I would have the luxury of taking the completed T shirts home with me. I would look to exhibit the T shirts as a series once a number of performances have been concluded.

At the moment I'm looking for galleries, charities or other organisations who would like to commission a performance and people who know those in other countries or the UK who work in the textile finishing trade and would be happy to share info on their lives with me.

25 Apr 2013

Art Of Protest Exhibition at the Peoples History Museum, Manchester

Was very lucky to get selected to be part of the Art of Protest ran by Noise Festival. Showed a few of the products produced as a result of Starvation Diet Project. Good to see all the other work and meet the Noise team and Mark Thomas.

Spoof web pages for Starvation Diet T Shirt

The idea to create an attractive spin around a product which is in many ways distasteful. It happens every day. Can you tell which websites each of them is a parody of?

Starvation Diet T Shirt Photo Shoot

Created a Starvation Diet T Shirt. It is created using a stich called rice stich on a mass produced T shirt from Bangladesh. It shows the outline of a starving woman aged 37. The signs of starvation/malnutrition being the extended belly, ribs, reduced height and general decreased body mass. I took the T shirt on a photo shoot.