artist and researcher
Throughout the history of the bookbinding industry, women have played a clearly defined role in the bindery. ‘Unfeminine’ tasks, such as glueing, forwarding and finishing, were considered shameful for women to undertake, and forbidden in many establishments. Instead, women sewed sections and headbands, reflecting the gender stereotypes that governed their domestic lives. This work was made during my time as a bookbinder’s apprentice and reflects my frustrations at the gender bias still evident in binderies today.
Women’s Work is a collection of books made using techniques and tools available to women in the Victorian bindery – a needle, thread and bone folder. Additional materials including embroidery rings and corset bones suggest restriction and domesticity.