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Leslie Sampson: Work Work Work
Work Work Work 1988
After graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1983, Sampson worked in Halifax as an artist and carpenter, then emigrated to California. Her framed, cross-stitched samplers appeared in numerous exhibitions in the 1980s, generally in the context of feminist and peace activism.
Beginning with a tea towel that depicts traditional woodworking tools, Sampson brings together spheres of production that are still associated with gender stereotypes. The tea towel, produced and sold by the craft workshop at the Fortress of Louisbourg, Cape Breton, forms a support for cross-stitched embroidery that reads Work Work Work. Shaped by the artist, the frame carries the stamped massage Unless artists are paid a living wage our culture will forever be the product of part-time carpenters and waitresses.
Appealing as a hand-worked object and challenging as a proposition about value, Sampsonís sampler combines references to craft and art, waged and domestic labour, affirming them all as work.
From Work Work Work, by I. Jenkner