• Sarah Jane

Hand-Crafted Cushions...

Another idea I had was to look into making some hand crafted objects, and from there to move into soft sculpture of some sort. I also still had an interest in the idea of using statistics of rape and/or sexism & misogyny within society. I had previously created a cross stitched piece in the previous unit where I started to look into this, but I never really liked how it came out, and always wanted to find a way to develop it further.


So that's where this idea came into play. I thought that the idea of something soft and innocent contrasting with something harsh such as statistics and true facts would be really interesting and something that I could develop further. For an experiment I took some of the fat quarters that I bought for my quilting idea, and started to embroider a statistic of rape onto it. The statistic that I used was;

'1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted)' From:

I tried to use a statistic from an official source, rather than a made up image used to gain views and attention. This statistic was taken from the website for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), which is one of America's largest anti-sexual violence organisation. Since 1994 they have helped over 2.7 million people who have been abused sexually and to help bring offenders to justice.

One of the main reasons I'm looking into American statistics rather than British statistics is because of the current issues surrounding their Supreme Court judge nominee Brett kavanaugh and the allegations made against him on sexual assault. It was interesting seeing how female survivors were talked down upon, made to feel like idiots, liars and heartless. I do think that this is still a big issue in this country, however I do feel that women are at least taken seriously in the UK in comparison to how they are treated in America, and it's something that has always fascinated me as someone from the outside looking in.


After embroidering the quote, I then started to attach the back of the cushion by using an over stitch, and then once securely attached, left a gap and inserted the soft filling and finished stitching the back fabric on. I was really impressed with how well it came out, and it got me thinking about possibly doing a series of these, but on a larger scale. I do want to photograph them in specific areas such as shop spaces, and domestic environments, just to really showcase them outside of the studio, and to see how they would interact with other objects and spaces.

Additionally, while creating this small maquette, I got the idea of possibly starting to create objects out of fabric and soft filling. An example would be to create a hammer, typically used by men, out of patterned fabric and polyester filling. There is something about the contrast between feminine and masculinity that is interesting, and in terms of female identity, I think it would really showcase how we as females are now trying to reclaim ourselves and want to break out of the stereotypical box of women/female and to be able to identify as who ever we want.

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