p e r s o n a l s p a c e
• I have decided to focus on the personal space found near the sink in bathrooms...
• A little background: I have a long history with toilets. The business, which I founded in 2003 and ran until I sold it in
2010, provided 'powder room' services to high-end/high profile events in NSW, Victoria and Queensland in Australia. It
continues to run successfully today and its website can be seen at ohdetoilette.com.au
• Proposal: My project is entitled ‘personal space’
• In my time running OdT I learnt a lot about toilet spaces and people's behaviour around them. I have also been forever changed
in terms of how I perceive each toilet space I enter and consequently have developed a unique perspective of this subject
matter. Given that I have allowed enough time to lapse since ceasing my involvement with the day to day running of the biz, I
have decided to devote this trimester to evaluating this experience through my assignments in DSDN 144 and CCDN 231.
• The objective of my work will be to show the viewer what I see and, more importantly, what I feel when I enter a toilet space -
be it private or public and irrespective of size.
• I have experimented with different aesthetics. The final direction I have arrived at is in focusing on the very personal
objects that surround one’s basin and how looking at them from above can render them geometrical objects with symmetry and
organisation but perhaps a less personal feel.
• For precedents and inspiration I have been looking at the work of Nan Goldin who is widely known for an enormous body of work
that consists of her personal experiences captured by means of photography and text. These have included studies of people in
their own intimate spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms. I have found that even though I really like her work the look of it
is a little too 'dirty' for me - I think the point I am trying to make revolves around comfort and considered design ...even a
touch of glamour.
• I have turned to the work of Martin Parr and in particular his image called Mrs Long’s sink which succeeds in taking a down-at-
heel space and injecting warmth and comfort in the way that perhaps the owners of many bathrooms would like to have their space
• The questions these images will pose are around the value of each object. What has led to those exact objects being there? Why
not some other version of that object? Why does the use of that object render the bathroom space more useful to its user?
• These are the questions I would constantly ask myself with Oh de Toilette and they are the ones I want to answer with my
Mrs Long’s Sink’ 1994
Martin Parr is a British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook
collector. He is known for his photographic projects that take a critical look at
aspects of modern life, in particular provincial and suburban life in England.