Wash Day Blues

Wash Day Blues


I began drawing about Wash Day Blues in the 1980s when I did a summer job in a laundrette. Part of a series of reportage drawings about domestic work, service and invisibility.

Marka Scrubs

This drawing is of a cleaner called Marka. She is an imagined character developed from my observation of daily life, experiences, and research. Marka is a stout, sturdy, older woman. She scrubs away stains.

Nightshift Cleaning

This drawing is of another Marka, a stolid older woman, perhaps of the Windrush generation. She is dazed and exhausted, cleaning harshly-lit offices by night. She vacuums back and forth, raising the carpet nap, to remove dirt. 

Marka Washes Up

This is a further drawing of a Marka. In contrast to cleaning to remove marks these are drawn with a brush. These drawings are predominantly in Prussian Blue. I use this to reference the misrepresented blue staining of Zyklon B lethal gas.


A woman mopping the floor – wiping away the marks. This also describes the drawing method. Drawn sparsely in Prussian Blue ink and white chalk.