What do you do to protest the lack of restrooms at the beach? You bring your own toilet to the edge of the surf, drop your pants, and stage a sit-in.
OK, maybe you don’t do that, but a local artist at Adelaide’s Henley Beach in Australia did, enlisting a dozen local celebrities to join “The Coalition of the Constipated” and sit on toilets to protest the lack of beachfront restrooms.
The hysterical stunt over the weekend was pulled off by artist Andrew Baines, who photographed the men and women reading newspapers while sitting on the toilets they carried on to the beach.
“I’ve been a longtime resident of Henley and Grange and what I didn’t realize, brooding in the background [...] there has been an ongoing debate amongst residents, the local council, and the cafes about the building of a toilet on the beachfront,” Baines told the Australian Courier Mail.
“Some people want it, some people don’t. Hopefully by doing this today, we will highlight the issue and the wider community will come forward and we’ll have a solution.”
Cafe owner Kym Hewitt is among the perturbed. He said in an ITN News report that beachgoers, not dressed for the cafe, constantly ask to use his bathroom. So he obviously appreciated the artsy beach/toilet display.
All of the protesters, wearing black suits and derbies, were Charlie Chaplin lookalikes, sans mustache and cane, including radio shock-jock Bob Francis and former immigration minister Amanda Vanstone.
As you can see, the comedy/art/political statement came together quite nicely.
But it doesn’t end here. Baines plans to make a painting out of this potty protest and feature it in a January exhibition, according to the Courier Mail.
After that, perhaps the painting will be hung in the new public restroom at Henley Beach. If it ever gets one.
ITN News has more of the story: