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.

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.

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