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2' x 3'.
Hand embroidered panels with hand dyed and printed silk.
Samurai Armour marries the elegance of the aristocratic Japanese warrior with the polite sensibilities of the upper-class English gentlewoman, epitomized by her needlework. My “marriage” emphasizes the age-old disparities between culture and gender. This piece was inspired by the Samurai’s use of fans in battle to ward off sword blows, which conjured up to me the enduring image of a gentlewoman swooning and reviving herself with her fan. My decorative armour lends the actions of war a genteel aspect very much at odds with the battlefield. The embroidered panels on the armour symbolize the near ‘incarceration’ of women in the home and the needlework they were expected to produce, either willingly or under duress, often at great personal cost.