Shower Curtain

At home with art

This project enabled me to work in new ways. Rather than producing a one-off which I could change and alter during it’s making, I had to design, through collaboration with the manufacturer, a prototype for an object for mass production.

Making a shower curtain for the home raised questions as to the function of the art object and who it is for. This work reached a very different audience, which I had to consider in the development of my ideas. In the end the work I produced was essentially a shower curtain and acted as a protective layer. The figure motifs sealed inside curtain made reference my interest in figures in pairs – in play, conflict and solitude.

The project offered me a choice between making a functional or art object. I considered many ideas for small unusual items. Eventually I decided to make something useful, functional, which also referenced an aspect of my work at the moment.
The relationship between figures is a recurring motif in my work. In the shower curtain the figures existed in their own worlds as private moments – both protected and revealed.

Forms and ideas in my previous work, such as generic figures in pairs were used in the shower curtain. The relationship between the figures varies, some are positive, some are negative, most of them are quite ambiguous. In the shower curtain there are many playful elements. The work can be read on many different levels.
Taking a shower can be a private time. I wanted the figures in the shower curtain to reflect the relationships between people. Children could see the figures as innocently playing, whilst adults would perhaps see the relationships between the figures as a metaphor for human relationships.

Extensive research was needed to find the relevant materials and the manufacturer for the shower curtain. My primary interest was in working with a plastic based foam. Therefore it was more important to find a company that had a knowledge of the materials and techniques and which would be willing to experiment and consider new tooling procedures. The company we found had not made a shower curtain before, but was very willing and interested to work on this project to design a new product.

Permindar Kaur ‘At Home With Art’ Exhibition catalogue, Hayward National touring exhibition, London, England, 1999