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Bucking the cistern – loos become art space

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

From waterless water closet to art workshop – Barnoon public toilets now have a new lease of life.     Zoe Giles.

From waterless water closet to art workshop – Barnoon public toilets now have a new lease of life. Zoe Giles.

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IT WAS designed for the people of St Ives to spend a penny … but now two local business owners have spent a pretty penny turning this former public loo into a public art space.

Barnoon public toilet – which has stood derelict for more than eight years – has become Barnoon Workshop after Zoe and Pete Giles renovated it.

The building was leased from Cornwall Council about a year ago by Zoe and Pete and has been slowly gutted and transformed into a light and airy space that sits in a stunningly beautiful location overlooking Porthmeor beach.

But it hasn't been an easy journey.

Zoe said: "The project took longer than anticipated as we were working on a tight budget with limited time, and we had a number of setbacks.

"Unbelievably for a former toilet, we discovered that there is no water to the building, as new pipework needs to be dug to the mains supply, at a cost of several thousand pounds."

However, in the meantime there will be a small number of workshops held in the space, with limited numbers, including rag rug-making this Sunday, an introduction to sculpture on January 26, and a starter guitar day planned for February 2.

Future plans for the workshop include holding drop-in craft activities, engaging in community art projects, and hiring the space to local organisations or individuals.

Details can be found on the Barnoon Workshop Facebook page, and on Twitter.

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