• Sarah Jane

BA3b - Embroidering on Jacket....

Updated: Feb 28, 2019

For the first main piece of work for this project I decided to embroider into my old work fleece from my previous job. This workplace has been the main source of my emotions towards to workplace bullying as I didn't have a positive experience while working there. I felt that the use of this work fleece allowed me to link my practice to my concepts and ideas, and would allow for further development. I hope to have this shown in the degree show through an installation relating to the workplace.


As I started out, I first used denim patches as I was going to look into the use of denim pockets as patches for feminist ideas. I had embroidered into denim pockets in the past as I was inspired by the 'reBUTTal' movement started by Badass Cross Stitch and made my own embroidered jeans, and so doing this again but taking the pocket away from the jeans and placing it onto another piece of clothing really looked interesting and changed how it looked. I made sure to make these two denim patches traditionally stylish with embroidered floral imagery and feminine symbols, and then contrasting this stereotypical patch design with harsh text, illustrating how I felt during my time working for this company. I liked how these looked, but felt that for the other patches I would make them simple by just having the text demonstrating how I was treated during my employment there. I felt that the imagery took away from the text and made them look too 'crafty' in my opinion.

For the other patches, I kept them simple using leftover materials I had from the previous unit, which was a range of pattern fabric samples and pieces of cream coloured felt. I started by looking at the brainstorms I had done in my sketchbook and choosing words I haven't used so far and wrote them out lightly on different pieces of fabric. I decided to also include statistics on workplace discrimination onto the piece as well as I felt that it would help to highlight this issue, and to add further context to the piece. For the statistics I used the same technique as the banners I made in the past, by stitching onto a piece of felt and then attaching this to another piece of patterned fabric. I then stitched this onto the sleeve. I made another one for the other sleeve and used another statistic, but this one I just stitched on a darker coloured piece of fabric with a strip of floral fabric stitched underneath the text in a collage style. I wanted to experiment with mixing fabrics and creating different styles of patches. They look really effective in different ways, and I like the link between the craftivist movement and my own movement through the use of the fabric banner technique, as well as hand stitching on patches of fabric.

The patches with singular words were stitched on with fabric samples which were slightly patterned but not so much that you couldn't read the wording stitched onto the material. I stitched these pieces onto the front of the fleece, over the pockets, to contrast with the busy, embroidered jean patches. I prefer these simple, stitched patches as they are clear, and add to the patchwork theme of the piece. However, these fabric samples could give connotations towards the domestic space as the patterns are quite domestic in style, but overall I prefer this style of patching. I think if I were to do another one of these I would use fabric which was slight patterns, but not to heavily patterned as to give these domestic connotations.


Furthermore, I want to add more stitching on the inside of the jacket, but these would be involving questions that I've asked myself as well as I how I felt, contrasting to how I was treated being illustrated on the front. This would connote how we question ourselves inside when being harassed or bullied in workplaces. I will most likely use the same patching technique as I have for the front of the jacket, but I might also experiment with stitching through the fleece material. I was considering stitching onto the back of the jacket, but i wasn't sure if the back would be seen through the way I display the piece.

In terms of the way I would like to display it, I am inspired by Nicole Wermers' turner prize piece where she draped fur jackets over chairs and placed them throughout a gallery space. This piece is one of many pieces that explore the appropriation of art and design within consumer culture. Changing this approach and adapting it for my own concepts would be really interesting and an effective way of displaying this piece. I have started to research into the use of the workplace in the gallery space, and I have noticed that there aren't many examples of the workplace being used within the gallery. I think I can change this with my piece, and I hope to research further, and document my own staff room at work to see how I could curate my space to look like a workplace, but still has the fine art edge. I think it's interesting using outside influences within the gallery as it challenges what is perceived to be appropriate for a gallery space, and what constitutes art, as well as bringing in an activist element to help raise awareness for issues and to make a statement through the use of art.

Furthermore, I need to consider the type of chair and table I want to use in terms of display, and whether or not I want to add pieces onto the desk, or if I just want chairs. I think more research is needed, as well as more concept drawings. Do I want to use large fabric chairs? Or do I want to use clear, acrylic chairs so you can see the embroidery inside? These are the questions I need to research and explore further to develop these ideas and come to a final solution that both displays my work effectively and enhances my concepts and ideas effectively.

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