The 'Loo as Art' Project

The 'Loo as Art' Project

I've always believed in the power of art to convey powerful messages and raise awareness about important issues. In November 2014, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the 'Loo as Art' project, organized by Engineers Without Borders, which aimed to shed light on worldwide sanitation problems and make a statement about the importance of toilets in our lives. This project not only allowed me to express myself creatively but also educate the public about a critical global issue.

The 'Loo as Art' project brought together 25 artists, including myself, to transform ordinary toilets into pieces of art. These toilets would be displayed in a public art exhibition at Customs House forecourt, right across from Circular Quay in Sydney. The timing couldn't have been more fitting as the exhibition was set to run in the days leading up to World Toilet Day, which is observed every year on November 19th and is recognized by the United Nations.

World Toilet Day might sound unusual, but it serves a crucial purpose. This international day of action seeks to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge. In many parts of the world, access to proper sanitation is still a luxury, and the lack of it has dire consequences for public health and well-being. The 'Loo as Art' project aimed to use art as a medium to engage the public and bring this issue to the forefront.

When I first heard about the project, I was intrigued by the concept of turning toilets into works of art. It seemed like an unconventional and thought-provoking way to address a serious issue. I decided to participate and contribute my artistic talents to the cause.

The process of transforming a toilet into a piece of art was both challenging and rewarding. I spent hours brainstorming ideas, sketching designs, and carefully selecting the colours and materials that would bring my vision to life. The toilet itself became my canvas, and I was determined to create something that would not only catch the eye but also convey a powerful message about the importance of sanitation.

Detailed view of the painting of blue fish on a toilet

As the exhibition date approached, I couldn't help but feel a mix of excitement and nervousness. I had poured my heart and soul into my painted loo, and I hoped that it would resonate with the people who visited the exhibition. When the day finally arrived, and the toilets were put on display, I was overwhelmed by the positive response from the public.

Visitors to the Customs House forecourt were drawn to our artful toilets like magnets. Some laughed, some were puzzled, but most importantly, people started talking about sanitation and the global sanitation crisis. Our toilets had succeeded in breaking the taboo and initiating conversations that needed to be had.

The 'Loo as Art' project not only allowed me to express my creativity but also opened my eyes to the power of art as a catalyst for change. It reminded me that art has the potential to transcend boundaries and reach people on a deeply emotional level. Through this project, I realized that as artists, we have a responsibility to use our talents to address critical issues facing our world.Painted toilet on display at Circular Quay Sydney

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