Object Lessons


Object Lesson, ongoing - begun 2015

One Chapter from The System Is Not Fool Proof

Object Lessons

As we consume the earth’s resources to manufacture and power ‘invented-needs’ consumer products, we destroy ecosystems.  These often ignored pieces of our contemporary culture are then consigned to landfills, further continuing this devastation.

In response I enshroud discarded small appliances in old linen, a manner historically used to prepare the dead for burial.  This meditative process ‘neutralizes’ this detritus of our consumer society, much as an oyster coats an irritant with layers of nacre, creating a pearl.



       Object Lesson                                ongoing - begun 2015

  • discarded small appliances
  • used linen bed sheets

photographs / video
Sophia Burke



Remote & Obsolete


Remote & Obsolete, ongoing - begun 2017

One Chapter from Object Lessons

Remote & Obsolete

When I began this investigation, I was intrigued by the ritual, the problem solving, the physical, repetitious labour and of course the transformation. As a generalist, I would enshrouded almost any discarded small appliance.

The disproportionate supply of kitchen appliances resulted in a focus on kettles, toasters, pots and irons. Because they have distinctive forms and are part the constant minutiae of everyday life, I assumed that they would resonate universally.

I was wrong.

The powerful combination of textiles, hand sewing and domestic appliances overwhelmed some men's capacity to observe, absorb and interact. For these men this project was 'women's work' and subsequently dismissed.



As it is important that my work resonates universally at some level, I endeavor to find common ground. Remembering the hours of men showing slides and home movies, I enshrouded projectors. But they were dismissed as old technology - just as a manly skill saw was viewed as working class.

However with remote controls there was a flicker of interest and a laugh, and with stereo electronics - finally engagement for most men.

I shifted the my focus of my work to electronics because men still hold the power behind the forces that are destroying our beautiful natural world.  So for now I am a specialist, enshrouding:

  • remote controls
  • entertainment electronics
  • film & slide projectors


       Remote & Obsolete          ongoing

      -   begun 2017

  • discarded electronics
  • used linen bed sheets


Sophia Burke