Giant genitalia exhibited in former Bristol toilets

The Edwardian Cloakroom is a former toilet block that has been turned into a creative space

A former public toilet in Bristol is to be occupied by giant black velvet genitalia in the name of art.

People are invited to have their photo taken with the two sculptures at the Edwardian Cloakroom, which has been turned into a creative space.

These pictures will then be displayed on the surrounding walls.

Artist Claudio Ahlers said he hopes to tour the country with the exhibition – Portraits of Private Perception – which starts on Monday and lasts six days.

Mr Ahlers, together with Tilly May, Virginie Noel and Ellie Gray, will photograph visitors interacting with the 2.2m (7ft) tall sculptures – one in the former ladies’ toilet and one in the men’s.

‘Reflect intimate emotions’

“The exhibition will grow with each contribution from each sitter,” said Montpelier-based Mr Ahlers.

“While being photographed with the sculptures participants will be free to pose, sit and engage with the each sculpture in whatever way they like.

“The resulting photographs should reflect intimate emotions, playful interactions, personal perceptions and most importantly the depth of feelings towards the opposite sex and as well as feelings about one’s own gender.

“It is hoped that the honesty, beauty and intensity of the final photographs will reveal genuine insights into how we as women and as men view ourselves, our sexuality, our bodies as well as the opposite sex and more specifically the ones we fall in love with.

“Whatever is uncovered by each photograph will hopefully go beyond ideas and clichés as embodied by, for example, swear words, derogatory language or sexualised comedy and will instead be explored in the spirit of joy, affection and celebration.”

Each participant, who must be aged over 18, will receive a digital file of their selected photograph for personal use.

Visitors can also choose not to be photographed.

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