Women and Domesticity

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

Women and Domesticity is an evolving collection of over 100 hand-embroidered dusters made by members of the public through a participatory and collaborative research process designed to elicit women’s perspectives on narratives and traditions of the home. The dusters are created through an invitation to stitch messages, sculpt and personalise iconic, traditional dusters, allowing participants to respond and add to the exhibited collection. Marr’s participatory approach elicits autoethnographic stories through the haptic perception of cloth and the rhythm of piercing and stitching, establishing the practice as a phenomenological embodiment of experience. The research is underpinned by theories of narrative, phenomenology and autoethnography and sits within the context of ‘craftivism’, empowering individuals and movements through crafting. It also has a fine art context, drawing on work by artists who have used cloth to voice experience or who have engaged with iconography of the domestic environment. Marr’s work uniquely transforms the duster into an object that triggers self-creation and expression. Collating the ways in which women engaged with the dusters, from destructive slashing to decoration and the use of 1950s stereotypes, Marr developed collective insights into women’s understanding of domesticity and brought new understanding of the valuable relationship between a personal and a collective response, while enticing reflection and change. Outcomes from the research were first exhibited in 2015, and an evolving series of works have been disseminated through over 20 exhibitions and workshops in both galleries and alongside public events, including De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (2016), Loughborough University (2017-19) and Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft (2018). The research has also been disseminated through conference papers, including ‘Drawing & Phenomenology’, Loughborough (2017) and ‘Doing Autoethnography’, Tampa, Florida (2020), a journal article and a book chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationStudio 11, The Old Printworks, Eastbourne
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2015

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