simone paterson






disEASE (work in progress)



Is our level of hygiene culturally determined? What do pathogens look like and where do they come from? How are diseases spread and can we protect ourselves from the threat of bacteria and viruses?


The new body of work, in three parts, entitled disEase, deconstructs the questions of hygiene, and infection via the lens of “women’s labor”, namely embroidery. The project also using creative technologies as means of production and as a way to disseminate information to the public on the spread of disease.


1. At Table

The elaborate rules of etiquette passed on from Victorian England still pervades our society.  Perhaps ones “breeding” is nowhere more evident than sitting down to dine. Are these rules and regulations “at table” necessary to prevent the spread of disease?


Machine embroideries depict the microscopic appearance of pathogens, these include, norovirus, salmonella, campylobacter, clostridium and staphylococcus. These embroideries are stitched on vintage linens which are marked by the passage of time. These reworked linens are displayed on a table as if at a dinner party (in reference to Judy Chicago).


2. Zoonosis

Of the 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans, 61% are zoonotic, meaning that the original disease pathogens were first present in animals and transmitted to humans. Examples include, lymes, avian flu, and rabies.


3. Mode of Transmission

Animations/info graphs that deliver information about the depicted viruses and its mode of transmission. Infectious diseases are transmitted from person to person by direct or indirect contact. Person-to-person contact and droplet spread is considered, as well as airborne transmission, contaminated objects, food and drinking water, animal-to-person contact and insect bites (vector-borne disease). If you understand the transmission process, you can use this knowledge to protect yourself and help prevent the spread of illnesses.