24 Hours at the Sweatshop is intended to provoke discussion about the everyday products that fill our lives; how they are produced, consumed and disposed of.
The artist will create a simulated sweatshop in an About Space retail site in the Hutt CBD. He will remain in the space for 24 hours with only six ten-minute tea breaks, replicating sweatshop conditions experienced by workers overseas. The artist will cut fabric from a roll, sew together the garment, print an image on it before placing the garment on a rack. The audience will then be invited to take the product, as long as they do not enter into a system of exchange. ie. they are not allowed to give the artist anything in return.
In demonstrating the process of making an everyday, common object such as a t-shirt and giving it away for free, the artist encourages viewers to look at our attitude to the objects we consume and draws our attention to the often overlooked process of production (labour) and the impact this has on others and ourselves.
Jay Hutchinson is a Wellington based artist who has a Masters of Fine Arts from Dunedin School of Fine Arts. His work explores concepts of labour, value and exchange. As well as his performance work, Hutchinson produces labour intensive hand embroideries, some of which take hundreds of hours to produce. He has exhibited his work in solo and group shows in Australia and New Zealand over the past ten years.