BAYSWATER’S Claughton Reserve has one of the most architecturally stunning dunnies in the world, with artist Duncan Moon adding the final touches to the toilet block this week.
It’s been just over a year since the local council committed $64,000 to the loo makeover, and the artist says it should be commended for taking a risk and doing something arty, rather than just slapping a new coat of paint on the 1960s dunny.
Kevin Mack from the Friends of Claughton Reserve says “we’ve got to enormously thank the council. It’s extraordinary. It’s almost like it’s a toilet second and an artwork first”.
Mr Moon says he wanted to make a sculpture that reflected the setting. “The riverine location is referenced firstly in the dome, which is a reference to the western swamp tortoise which is Australia’s most endangered reptile. Then on the corner are the egrets…the building is held up by the wingbeats of four birds.”
He explains there’s a lot of maths and carefully-chosen aesthetic design in the building: the golden ratio (the visually pleasing ratio of 1:1.618 observed throughout nature and art) is featured in many of the sizes throughout the building, the egret wings expand outwards enlarging according to the rule of the “square root of two” (with the bigger squares sides matching the diagonal length of the smaller one), and the dome is made up of 19 irregular hexagons, each one made up of seven pentagons with alternating patterns.
Inside, a shell-shaped entry with a psychedelic paint job and stained glass windows, has a pink colour scheme on one side and blue on the other.
He says the psychedelic interior is a nod to the era when the block was built.
Bayswater mayor Dan Bull says the original brick structure “didn’t really add anything to its location” but the new one could be a tourist attraction.
“Around the world there are hundreds of imaginatively-styled toilet blocks and we decided to make the one at Claughton Reserve more of a drawcard for the public. The Friends of Claughton Reserve group were a driving force behind this idea from the very beginning.
“We’re putting the reserve on the toilet tourism map with this art work.
“Public art is very important in the city: works of art add to our sense of place and community and can help turn mundane buildings into something just a little more magical.”
The new sculpture cum toilet block, entitled “The Nearest of the Faraway Places”, is now open for viewing—and pee-pees and poos.
by DAVID BELL