Fountain/Urinal is a artist/research collaboration commissioned by UCL Culture as part of their move to the Queen Elizabeth Park culminating in a one off exhibition in October 2019 around the site of the new UCL East campus.
Dr. Tse-Hui Teh (Lecturer in Urban Design and Planning) and Dr. Lena Ciric (Senior Lecturer in Microbiology) are working with artist Amanda Lwin on a project that seeks to change people’s feelings about urine. As a society we’ve forgotten that urine is an incredible, free source of nitrogen – pee is regarded as a waste product and flushed down the drain, along with litres of drinking-quality water. Rather than consuming fossil fuels (in the production of ammonia) to fertilise our fields, while wasting both water and urine, the project proposes ways to celebrate urine as a useful, natural product linking our bodies to fertility, water infrastructure and the landscape.
About the installation
Artemis of the Lea
A multi-breasted riverine goddess festooned with brightly coloured, curvaceous vessels, this sculptural installation combines hard-edged lines with voluptuous forms, and recalls the muscular yet feminine strength of ancient fertility deities. The installation’s pendulous jugs have been designed to function as both watering cans and portable urinals.
Throughout summer 2019, allotmenteers in East London experimented with urine to boost their veg. When topped up with water, urine is an excellent nitrogen-rich fertiliser – seven times more potent than manure. At the exhibition’s end, these vessels will be distributed for ongoing use as they continue to nourish their crops with home-made fertiliser.
Water networks are often thought of as the infrastructure of supply and sewerage, yet solutions can operate from the scale of the individual to that of the landscape. This project resurrects connections with the environment, celebrates water infrastructure and elevates human bodily waste as a natural and precious resource.
Watch a video about Trellis:
About the artist
Amanda Lwin (b. 1982, London) is a British-Burmese artist based in East London, whose practice charts the interfaces between landscapes, cities, buildings and people. Her work attempts to reveal how invisible or intangible systems, infrastructure and ways of thinking underlie our everyday lives, and is informed by an array of psychogeographic, anthropological and mythological sources. Main website: Places & Things
Commissioned as part of Trellis, a UCL Culture and UCL East programme funded by the EPSRC.