Liza Lou is best known for her work with beads - a medium which requires long, labour-intensive periods to craft with. Her work is meticulous and exact, with no room for error. While her work is initially visually stunning and almost bijou, the artist explores inherently political themes through her exhausting process. One of her most famous pieces,Kitchen, involved covering every single inch of a domestic kitchen in beads and is a testimony to the uncelebrated and endless work of women. Ironically, despite the fame the work brought Lou, she paid a high price for it: after five years of construction, Lou was diagnosed with acute tendinitus.
Lou frequently explores spaces of confinement and oppression, most recently being inspired by her home, South Africa. The above piece was made with beads crafted by Zulu bead workers in the townships of KwaZulu Natal, and while it seems sturdy and solid, it offers neither security nor protection.
Click through on the image for a link to Lou’s website.