An image of Sweating the women

Women's Domestic Needlework Group, Sydney

(Australia  – )

Marie McMahon

(Australia 1953 – )

Frances Phoenix

(Australia 1950 – 2017)

Sweating the women, from The D'Oyley Show

Location
Not on display
Further information

This poster is filled with imagery emphasising the impact of the industrial revolution on the textile industry and, subsequently, the lives of women. Two photographs are reproduced. One shows a group of women working in a 1930s 'sweatshop' and another shows an isolated 'outworker' hunched over her sewing machine in her Melbourne home, surrounded by garments to be stitched. The cogs and wheels of manufacturing engulf them, symbolising the loss of control women have sustained in the production and use of textiles, due to industrialisation and mechanisation.

The aim of the Women's Domestic Needlework Group was to highlight the devaluation of the complex skills and knowledge handed down through generations of women, only to be replaced by mass-produced goods made by unskilled labourers.

Year
1979
Media
Print
Medium
colour screenprint on thin white wove paper
Dimensions
72.8 x 48.0 cm image; 79.1 x 51.3 cm sheet
Credit
Purchased 1981
Accession number
175.1981.4
Copyright
© Marie McMahon and Frances (Budden) Phoenix with the Women's Domestic Needlework Group