Sweetness of the Work
Sweetness of the Work is part of a collection exploring the possibilities of crystalline forms in lace work. In this installation, Mississauga-based Hamlyn works with cotton thread embroidered to create a web like structure which are then exposed to a saline solution. This process encourages the formation of crystals. The evaporation rate, sun exposure, temperature, salt type and saturation of the solution were varied to create this delicate lace form floating in space. The process, as well as the nature of the resulting salt crystals on the embroidered surface creates an apt metaphor for the accumulation of stitches, labour and the hours invested in traditional women’s hand work. Sweetness of the Work is an homage to the salt tears of the seamstress, as if a gentle meditation on the loss of traditional hand skills. It also speaks to the hierarchical structures that shape our perception of “women’s work,” exposing cloth and lace work as a socio-political medium of contemporary relevance.