Inspired by the wonderfully radical shapes expressed through my pets’ licking routines, an ongoing series of Bathing Scenes has materialized in charcoal and pastel on paper.
When it comes to personal hygiene, felines are the epitome of cleanliness. While grooming functions to smooth fur and remove dirt, cat baths yield so much more! They serve to protect against predators in the wild, self-medicate a wound, spread oils to water-proof the coat and seal in warmth, stimulate blood flow and circulation, cool down body temperature in heat, reduce anxiety when feeling stress, express friendship and socially bond with others.
As for Homo sapiens, we are less naturally equipped to bathe sustainably. Instead of sterilizing with saliva, we require soap and shampoo. Having no barbed tongue and forepaws, we utilize a washcloth or sponge. Our culture practices bathing in private or single-sex communal spaces, but not in public. Cats are free to bathe anywhere, anytime.
Although the visual drama originally attracted my attention to this seemingly ordinary cat activity, the symbolic gesture of sustainability and the privilege of unrestraint emerge as content in the drawings.