Since the beginning of the autumn and my third year at uni, I have worked on a project for my painting module – painting dirty and neglected sinks. The project started in my first year at uni when I had to walk around the School of Art, drawing and painting scenes of the building that inspired me. I had to fill a sketchbook with artworks, seen from a specific perspective, as a type of persona. As a result of this project, I chose to find and study the different and interesting sinks in the building.
‘Drawing as Documentation
Sketchbooks can be used in many different ways: to record information, as a personal visual diary, as a visual library of motifs or ideas, as a means of preparation for painting. Sketchbooks often reveal much about the way that an artist sees the world. This week’s project, which you will finish off next week (Week 9) in between your tutorial times, is to fill a sketchbook with drawings, studies and/or paintings of some aspect of the School of Art. Begin by exploring the inside and outside of the building. The object is to communicate, through the things you depict and the ways in which you make your images, a way of seeing the world. Working from observation is a requirement but idiosyncratic, obsessive and subjective approaches are all welcomed.’
– Simon Pierse
(Lecturer in my module at Aberystwyth University, School of Art, Art Practice A, 2015)
I do not remember exactly what I wanted to achieve at the time I was drawing the sinks, but I do remember there was something that attracted me to the sinks in the building. They were left to themselves as they were, used for different art practices like painting, printmaking, and photography, and as all other sinks, to fetch water from and wash hands. Most of them were not cleaned after every use and left dirty with paint, spoons and even cobweb.
After finishing my second year at uni, having had painting and printmaking as my main modules for a year, I decided to continue with painting for my third-year module. As I had found it interesting to paint my living room left by itself, focusing on the light, atmosphere, and mood, I decided to go back to my sink-project, not only to draw the sinks but now also to paint them.
Here are some of the sketches I made in 2015 that inspired me for my painting project this year:
I am not only painting the sinks in the School of Art anymore, I walk around with my camera collecting images of any sink that I find interesting and worthy of study. Sinks that are dirty, neglected and maybe even forgotten. My aim is to make these sinks come alive, by creating an eerie and gloomy mood.