Hand to Mouth

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Sarah Browne, Hand to Mouth, 2014. Series of five woven black and white laser prints, framed dimensions 40cm x 30cm. Photo: Ros Kavanagh

With a particular sensitivity to the historical relationship between the production of perishable textiles and invisible digital code, the point of departure for this work is a series of iconic images of early 20th-century women from the Shetland Islands, knitting as they walk, carrying baskets of turf on their backs. These photographs are an unexpected antecedent to contemporary images of the multitasking, precarious labourer: hands knitting are now typically replaced by fingers typing or swiping touchscreens of mobile devices; surplus time is ruthlessly exploited, mentally and physically. Hand to Mouth is a series of woven laser prints that materially combines these images with online stock photographs, generating glitchy herringbone patterns.

Sarah Browne, Hand to Mouth, 2014. Series of five woven black and white laser prints, framed dimensions 40cm x 30cm. Installation view at Irish Museum of Modern Art (work in foreground by Kathy Prendergast). Photo: Ros Kavanagh

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First exhibited at a solo exhibition at CCA Derry~Londonderry, curated by Johan Lund and Aileen Burns, touring to IMA Brisbane. Exhibition views at The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now: Social Fabric, Irish Museum of Modern Art, July 2021-2022, curated by Georgie Thompson. Photos: Ros Kavanagh.