Be a Thinker
I was aware of issues of lack of sanitation globally, but it wasn’t until my daughter came home from school saying her birthday was on World Toilet Day, that I knew such an event existed. We got on the internet and started searching for more information. I was unaware of the peripheral issues, such as the vulnerability of women trying to find privacy, running the risk of abduction or sexual harassment or the fact that in built up areas where there are no surfaces left to defecate on, people resort to using plastic bags. What really inspired me was the ingenuity of people trying to resolve these issues. Toilets being made that don’t require water, bags that can be used that self –compost, community initiatives to create a cleaner better environment. I wanted to be involved.
As an artist, I felt it was a good idea to stick to what I know best. I contacted UNwater with the idea of creating a series of paintings that would help raise awareness of World Toilet Day. With the World Health Organisation report they gave me I have created my first of the series using the themes from the UNwater campaign, Be a Thinker. Using yellow, the colour of thought as the background, a cascade of printed words in gradually increasing font size, filter down the canvas, criss-crossed with phrases from the WHO sanitation report, while water made out of papier-mâché toilet paper, flows down, sparkling with ground glass.
The second in the series Be a Sharer, I will be creating live during open studios week. I hope my small effort will inspire you to get involved to the best of your own ability and together we can get World Toilet Day on everyone’s agenda.