Artists Statement


Statement of work..


My upbringing in Manchester in the shadow of great mills informed my interest in child labour, culminating in a series of images mostly in charcoal or pencil. I later painted and drew more images containing the children of the mills from the industrial revolution in the north of England.


These children lived and worked in conditions unknown to us in our modern, comfortable western lifestyle. This initially sparked my emotion due to my childhood proximity, in location living along side a working cotton mill.


I am now motivated to expand and develop on my previous work. The injustices of child labor are still prevalent in many countries of the world; the location has merely shifted over time.


The concept of my work will focus on the sweatshops of the Far East and the Indian Subcontinent. The textile trade has not changed its methods, using children for cheep labor. This has been brutally highlighted recently with the news of yet another factory disaster in Bangladesh.


I will compare and contrast the working conditions from the 1900s England to modern day child labor now mostly located in the Far East and the Indian Subcontinent.



My own background is in textiles, having left school at 15 to work as a trainee dressmaker. Although a milder experience, I empathize with these children; the long hours, the sore eyes, the aching limbs. I am angered that their suffering is all in the name of high street fashion and cheap clothing for the western world


I want to say so much conceptually and formally than the drawing module allowed. I feel working with the methods above will allow me the freedom to explore and interact with the subject matter in a more relevant and emotional way.


Philomena Smith.


Working boy 8 years old

Working boy 8 years old

This image is part of my manual photoshop series. Made by rubbing through charcoal to create an image.

Photoshop image of working boy

Photoshop image of working boy

Image that has been photoshopped.



Child of the Mines

Child of the Mines

Once again the image  ready to be photoshopped.



This is the result.


Children of the Mills

Children of the Mills

Another image from this module.


child of the Mills

child of the Mills

Finally this image is ready to photoshop



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