Domestic Lives ran as a second strand with the 900 Eyes Exhibition at Manly Regional Art Gallery and Museum in November 2008. It explored the history of women’s domestic work in boxed and freestanding assemblages.
‘Works referring to the period 1850’s to the current day display an army of tiny dolls performing the menial tasks of cleaning, cooking and caring for a more privileged class, aided by tools that comment on the era. Others in the series refer to later decades where the relationship has contracted to solitary woman versus implement/machine. The cheerful, unmediated demeanour of these larger dolls comments ironically on their subjugation. Some are willing participants, who embrace their role as Queen of the House with a fixed smile. Their implements chart the changing nature of domestic oppression, ending in a series of entrapped figures, gazing brightly out of locked washing machines, vacuum cleaners, glass bottles and other suffocating environments.’
Remaking Domestic Lives – Elizabeth Butel Domestic Lives Catalogue