• Sarah Jane

Workplace Sexism....

Although I am still interested in craft in fine art, I felt like I needed a more specific theme for my work. After talking to my tutor Sarah, we came to the conclusion that I should focus on the issues surrounding the workplace such as bullying, harassment and most specifically sexism.


Work has been a major factor in my life, and a year ago I was the victim of workplace bullying and sexism. It really had a massive effect on me, and changed how I felt about myself, and knocked my confidence. This is something that I want to tap into in the next unit, and I have started to explore this through the use of specific materials related to my own workplace and the use of text. The idea to bring these feelings and past experiences into my work really does excite me, and it will be interesting to see how much I am able to remember and how much I have blocked out due to the pain and hurt I felt at the time mentally.

Workplace sexism is still a big issue in today's society. In 2013, the Prince's Responsible Business Network found that 1 in ten women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, and that over 1/2 of tribunal cases involve sex discrimination. It's also extremely difficult for women to be taken seriously sometimes in positions of leadership. I have definitely experienced this in my previous job. I would be called bossy, abrupt and aggressive just because I would voice my concerns, or do the job that I was employed to do, whereas the male managers seemed to get away with anything, and were treated with much more respect.

In terms of my work, I think it will be interesting to combine the use of craft with the issue of workplace sexism. Crafts such as embroidery were created for women to be able to be creative and was thought to be the only creative arts that was 'suited for' women. Furthermore, it was the only type of job that women were able to get back in the 19th and 20th century's as it was considered ladylike, gentle and graceful. Furthermore, I think it's interesting reclaiming this art form as a means of protest, (see the Craftivist movement), and to be able to use it as a voice for women, challenging why it was created as a medium of art. There's also an element of intimacy in terms of these being handmade pieces with harsh facts, statements and personal statements embroidered, stitched on and so on.


Overall, I think this theme with help me to develop my work better, and to be able to create interesting outcomes and to be able to refine my own practice. I think the next steps are to continue research into this area, as well as exploring different materials in relation to my workplace and experiences. I hope to continue this into the next unit, and to be able to produce something interesting, thought-provoking, and final for the degree show.

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