|Culture:||American (1954 - )|
|Title:||Catching the Drift; Restroom Project|
|Materials:||porcelain bathroom fixtures and wall tiles|
|Place Made:||United States; Wisconsin; Sheboygan|
|Measurements:||overall: 110 x 293 x 187 in.; 279.4 x 744.22 x 474.98 cm|
|Narrative Inscription: ||unsigned, undated|
|Accession Number: ||SC TR 6286.1|
|Credit Line:||This washroom, created by Ellen Driscoll, was made possible by funding from the Kohler Trust for Arts and Education and Kohler Company. The altered plumbing products were created by Ellen Driscoll in Arts/Industry, a long-term artist-in-residence program of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center of Sheboygan, Wisconsin|
|Museum Collection: ||Smith College Museum of Art
Catching the Drift, by Ellen Driscoll, features four works from the museum’s collection in a blue, underwater world of sea creatures and plant life etched in a series of glass panels. The tendrils and bell of a jellyfish float above an image of Camille Corot’s painting Fair Maid of Gascony, snagged in a net. Bethiah Bassett of Lee, Massachusetts, painted by Erastus Salisbury Field, peers quizzically out of the fathoms. The American ship’s figurehead Ceres breasts the waves, while Augustus St. Gaudens’ Diana of the Tower surfaces like a sleek mermaid. Each of the fixtures is painted with different details of sealife and fishing gear submerged in pools of deep blue.
The glass panels, fabricated by the Franz Mayer company of Munich, Germany, are described by Driscoll as “translucent optical windows or doors [that] conjure up a watery world beyond the architecture” and refer to the hidden system bringing water to and from the site. The artist’s designs were sandblasted into the glass layers using computer-controlled techniques, and some of the imagery was also reinforced by hand painting.
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