In Sink Full of Dishes, artist Emma Copley paints in bright, cheerful colors, a garden, and behind it, a pleasant landscape of golden hills and tall grasses, as seen through a kitchen sink’s window. The view is from the artist’s summer home, and is the view the artist would have seen when standing washing up after a meal. The sink area, painted in blues and blacks, is full of dirty dishes, haphazardly stacked and waiting to be washed. The dirty kitchen taunts us with its routine drudgery, while we long for the freedom and pleasure of the bright garden.
It is tempting to read the presence of the dirty dishes as a conscious act of defiance by the artist against the cultural imposition of norms of feminine tidiness, but the tyranny of domestic chores over those who work from home: not only is the artist’s kitchen being presented to us in a state of disorderliness, but the artist has prioritized the painting of this picture over washing up.
In SAT NAV, the artist again shows us a part of the world as seen through a window, this time through the windshield of a vehicle. In the foreground is the dashboard of a motor vehicle, the steering wheel on the right-hand side in the British fashion. Through the window we see what might be an old windmill. The view through the window is awkwardly constrained by the vehicle. One wants to sit up and look over the dash, but one cannot.