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Drawing reproductive work over Video Projection

'I stand here washing up'

These drawings were produced by drawing directly over videos of myself washing up originally recorded on a nannycam and projected onto a wall in the studio. Drawing in the dark by the light of the projector I found myself following the light and movement of my hands and arms, tracing over each frame of the video. Spending days to capture work that is performed in minutes pays attention to and honours the devaluation of the essential reproductive work I perform in caring for my family.

I stand here washing up1.jpg

'I stand here washing up - in graphite' (2023)
Graphite on paper

By drawing using a projector to trace the actions of washing up the lines I draw begin to obliterate the projected image. My actions in drawing cover over the definition of the hands and arms as I can see them on the paper. I have no choice but to try to seek out the differentiation in shapes of colour, following lines of light and try to define them with the graphite stick.

Some of the hands look more like washing up gloves than hands and this is due to the difficulty created in the graphite obscuring the image as I draw.

After a while my arm begins to ache. I can only work for an half hour at a time before I need a break and I am reminded of the ache I felt after carrying a toddle on my hip for too long as I cradled them in my arms.

As I think about it this is a way of trying to grasp time, to control time, to slow things down and feel like time isn’t running away with me the way it has done since I became a mother. And yet there is the feeling that time is dragging as I slow down the movement frame by frame, as I give myself time to recover between each 5 minute intervals between drawing. I am feeling drained by the slowness and relentless of drawing. Drawing drags in slow accumulation.


In making drawing a monotonous task akin to housework drawing washing up reveals my body as a negative space - evoking an absence - as I become obliterated in my role as mother.

'I stand here washing up - in pastel blues/greens' (2023)
chalk pastel on paper

I created this work by using pastel over a video projected image of washing up slowed down from 5 minutes to 7 hours. I decide to work from dark to light starting with a black through to navy blue, teal, cobalt blue and then lime green and light blue. I stop every couple of minutes and take a photograph documenting the process. I pause the video when I document.

I got to 20 minutes through the video and found that I could no longer find the edges of the projected image on the white paper. The lines as I drew them (as I tried to define my movements and capture the actions of washing up) obliterated the image. I traced the edges of my hands and arms moving across the sink and traced the edges of the static objects around – the sink, the cups, pots and pans and dishes etc. Slowly the hands became impossible to define – blurred by the application of the pastel medium.  My lines become more gestural as I try to capture differences in colour behind the pastel on the paper. Drawing as painting with colour begins to obliterate the work of each frame as it was documented and I begin with the surface of how colours and lines work together. Using colour increases the obliteration of the gestural traces as they have documented the edges of my own hands moving across the sink in the action of washing up. Colour instead begins to abstract the image concentrating of the forms and surface in the items washed and the shape of the sink.

I stand here washing up_pastel_blues and greens.jpg
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