Cotton Slave Eve



'Cotton Slave Eve' is part of a pair of framed textile works. 'Cotton Slave Eve' is made of a new tablecloth and represents modern enslavement in India and Bangladesh that supplies cheap clothing for the western market. The background has text reproduced from the newspaper cuttings, which refers to the poor conditions of sweat shop working, and names British high street shops that sell clothing at low prices, keeping the factory workers in poverty and slavery. Eve is holding her baby that she has to support through factory work, and the red cotton thread symbolises both her blood and an item of red clothing she is producing. 'Cotton Slave Adam' and 'Cotton Slave Eve' explore Britain's involvement in transatlantic slavery through the use of cotton as a metaphor for today's global trade in 'sweat-shop' merchandise and garments. Kettle maintains that there is a thread connecting enslaved people on the plantations, through the establishment of manufacturing and the industrial revolution, to the contemporary economy of the UK. The major difference today is that manufacturing is now carried out in other parts of the world. The western appetite for cheap clothing is fuelled by prosperity and the exploitation of cheap labour elsewhere. 'Cotton Slave Adam' shows the historical reference to the plantation worker, as producer of cotton. 'Cotton Slave Eve' shows the contemporary worker, manufacturing garments for the western market.