Woman’s Work, 2020
Stitched cotton fabric pieces
2400mm x 700mm

Gail Theis

Wimbledon College of Arts

I am exploring the many layers that give a person their identity. Where and how we are brought up, our families and friends, and where we travel to or come from in the world all influence our development into the individuals we become.We are both nature and nurture—formed by our present and our past. How much do we control? We are often told that we resemble a relative, that we have similar characteristics, or that we have inherited some talent or skill. This has led me to focus on what we really choose for ourselves and how important inheritance is in who we become.At first, we are moulded by our families and their myriad influences, but as we grow and make our own choices in navigating the world, we gradually choose our own unique paths. We all come from a blend of families; even for those from the same culture, each family experience is different.Woman’s Work is about nature and nurture. Pieced fabric represents the layers of what is often thought of as women’s work in a metaphor for nurture: blanketing new life and keeping it safe. The DNA symbolizes the birth and development of new life, the next generation, the next member of a family, and hope for the future.