Falling into the category of “Looscapes” or bathroom photography, these splendid floral creations are to be found in the gentleman’s toilet of a garden centre (where else!) in Ireland’s County Carlow.
“Loo”, an informal British term for a toilet is apparently derived from the cry of ‘gardyloo’, from the French “regardez l’eau” or “watch out for the water”, shouted by medieval servants as they emptied chamber pots out of upstairs windows into the street. A good explanation, but historically inaccurate, since by the time the term ‘loo’ was recorded, the expression ‘gardyloo’ was long obsolete.
Loos are great place for ideas and philosophy. The late, great English comedian Les Dawson related how “In awe, I watched the waxing moon ride across the zenith of the heavens like a golden chariot towards the ebony void of infinite space wherein the tethered belts of Jupiter and Mars hang, for ever festooned in their orbital majesty. And as I looked at all this I thought… I must put a roof on this toilet.”
But back to floral urinals. Gardening and flowers are considered by many to offer positive effects on mental and physical health – fresh air and the opportunity to commune with nature – one way or the other. So it’s no surprise that artists have used flowers as inspiration in all kinds of areas, from paintings to ceramics and a creative aid to relaxation in the gentleman’s room.
So an opportune occasion to mention that photographic mantra, “learning to see”. Whilst most people look, they don’t always “see” and consequently miss potential images that can be seen in the most unlikely places.
You can read more about the subject in my tutorial here, where I promise you there are creative and quite normal images by other photographers to peruse…
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others”… Jonathan Swift, 18th century Irish writer.