Spend a penny on art

THIS toilet block may just be Bayswater’s next tourist attraction.

Well, that’s what the Friends of Claughton Reserve community group hopes will come of a $64,000 art project.

The group has convinced Bayswater council to dump a plan to demolish the reserve’s “run-down” toilet block and replace it with an automatic, self-cleaning loo at the cost of $130,000.

Instead, they’ll aim to be “innovative and artistic” by creating something similar to what can be found in New Zealand.

“Someone said to us, ‘you should Google New Zealand public toilets’, and we discovered these attractive toilets that had become part of the tourist circuit,” group president Kevin Mack says.

“We thought we could do something similar with ours so we approached the council and it put the money forward.”

Perth creatives, who are part of Artsource’s network of WA visual artists, have a month to work on detailed designs.

• The creative crew behind a $64,000 makeover of Claughton Reserve toilets. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• The creative crew behind a $64,000 makeover of Claughton Reserve toilets. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

Mr Mack hopes the end product will “not just be a mural”.

“I would hope that they don’t just use it as a canvas, that they push the boundaries of what a toilet can be.”

Some group members are against self-cleaning loos because they “didn’t like going inside them” and concerns they aren’t very environmentally friendly.

One artist is a stonemason who’s thinking about using geometric motifs to make the drab, khaki building less crappy.

Mayor Barry McKenna says more projects like these may be rolled out across the city.

“As we renew older areas within our city, thinking outside of the box of what public facilities are, what they look like and how they function will be a priority in building a world class liveable city,” Cr McKenna says.

Any structural changes will be subject to council approval. The design team will include an architect.

Claughton Reserve is on the northern bank of the Swan River and is just east of the Tonkin Freeway.

by EMMIE DOWLING

917 Ellanova 10x2

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