Going to Ikea is always a fun experience for me. I like the simplicity of the store, it tells you where to go and what directions to walk in, they never run out of products, and you can stop and have a snack halfway through. It’s a wonderful day out that always ends up in buying unnecessary objects that I have to try and find a space for in my flat. On my most recent trip, my flat mate and I needed a new shower curtain- the one we currently have has sinister ducks on it that appear to stare judgingly at your naked body when you use our bathroom. Thinking that this would be an easy enough task we wondered into the designated shower curtain section of the store to make our choice. My flatmate chose one which from where I was stood looked like a perfectly innocent plain white number that would nicely complement our bathroom fittings, how wrong I was. On further inspection, I discover that the shower curtain had a design on it that was very similar to my shower drawing. After a small mid-store rant about Ikea stealing my ideas and then accepting that they probably came up with it first, we took the little thief home with us, after all I can’t blame the curtain for what the designer made it wear.

 

Having recovered from this traumatic experience I thought that it was time to make some more work and expand my repertoire beyond showers. The natural progression was to look at the other aspects of the bathroom; taps, baths, sinks, and toilets. I decided that I would stick to the limitations that I had set myself when drawing the original shower, A1 paper and ProMarkers, as I liked how this had turned out and it would mean that the new work that I was making could form a collective bathroom environment when I was finished. I also continued using the same method of breaking down the structure into its component elements and having an individual sheet of paper for each one so that the completed image is made up of a collection of ‘puzzle pieces’.

I felt more comfortable now that I had a body of work and it enabled me to play around more with ideas. I found it interesting to have a complete bathroom and began to explore how I could make it replicate that feeling of privacy and intimacy that I had pin-pointed at the start of my research. I wanted to find a way to try and link the individual elements as one. Thinking about how this is done actual bathrooms, I decided tiles could be the way to do this. To fit in with how the rest of the drawings looked I drew tile designs that I remembered from my childhood in Malta. This did not go well. They were too intricate and forced, and trying to put them together with the other drawings just looked wrong, they seemed to resist being gathered as a whole but preferred floating in their own space, ungrounded in any form of seriousness so that they can relax in their slightly quirky style and humour. 

 

Will Coups