Accessibility Tools

Case Study

AAA. Accessible Art for All – Artworks in the most unusual of locations

After a long period of pandemic-related restrictions, we brought back cultural activities with our Liberty UK Festival in Leicester in the summer of 2021.

Partnering up with four European organisations, we aimed to explore the themes of Freedom and Democracy as part of the Creative Europe-funded project AAA. Accessible Art for All.

In reaction to the pandemic, the project presented art in unusual and unexpected places, encouraging audiences to engage with artworks outside of traditional cultural venues.

The project was led by Explora, the Children’s Museum in Rome, in partnership with outdoor arts festival Altonale in Germany, the children’s museum Muzeiko in Bulgaria and the Regional Museum of Skåne in Sweden. The initiative aimed to bring toilet-based art exhibitions to five European cities with important messages on how we can live in a fairer and more inclusive society.

However, why bring art to toilets?

Toilets are a universal place, used on a daily basis. In Europe, you can find a toilet in almost every home and public place – and yet we often take them for granted. Toilets are often not an accessible place for everyone, from children to people with disabilities, bringing limitations and difficulties in accessing them. With this project, the partner organisations wanted to raise awareness of the barriers that not only make toilets inaccessible but also divide us in society.

In Leicester, five national and international artists were commissioned to create visual art installations focusing on diversity, migration and inequality. The artists used toilets as a place for dialogue between cultures, displaying their work in different venues around the city centre. Audiences could stumble across the artworks when using the toilet in Highcross Shopping Centre, LCB Depot, New Walk Museum, The Exchange Bar and the now-closed Manhattan 34 Bar.

The artworks included:

Hand in Hand by Oliwia Bober:

In her work, Polish illustrator Oliwia Bober draws influence from Polish folklore, reflecting on her position as an immigrant in post-Brexit Britain. For “Hand in Hand”, she created vinyl panels for the toilet mirrors at Highcross Shopping Centre, with the holding hands symbolising solidarity and unity.

Cubicle Your Fears by Richard DeDomenici:

Inspired by his successful work “Shed your Fears” at Tate Gallery, YouTube Space and the British Museum, artist Richard DeDomenici used excerpts of the fears, hopes and dreams shared by strangers for his cubicle installation at LCB Depot, inviting audiences to add their thoughts.

Hands of Freedom by Vishal Joshi:

Displayed in the toilet area of New Walk Museum, Vishal Joshi’s depiction of hand gestures across cultures symbolising peace, freedom and liberty is an exploration of identity and the factors that make us who we are – those that we choose and those that we don’t.

Public Convenience by The Rebel Bear:

The work of anonymous street artist The Rebel Bear explores politics, love and human emotion. With a focus on cultural commentary, the graffiti bathroom wall for AAA was created for the Manhattan 34 Bar, inviting customers to add their thoughts.

Engaged: Behind Closed Doors by Yara El-Sherbini:

In collaboration with the Khazi Collective, artist Yara El-Sherbini created her AAA artwork, replacing the wording on toilet locks in The Exchange Bar and LCB Depot with new texts to spark conversations about identity, freedom and joy.

In the summer of 2022, a new AAA. Accessible Art for All artwork was added to the collection.

Caring Hands by Cristina Damiani:

With Caring Hands, Italian illustrator Cristina Damiani added a dash of colour to the Childrens Hospital at Leicester Royal Infirmary. The artwork aimed to celebrate the work of the public health sector and show the importance of simple but tangible actions.

The toilet installations in Leicester were created only temporarily as part of the Liberty UK Festival activities in July 2021 (and the addition in July 2022). A few of these artworks however are still visible in 2024, showing the importance of the themes raised.

Delivered in all five European countries with a different focus of the theme, the AAA. Accessible Art for All project succeeded in the artistic transformation of toilets in community spaces while raising awareness of inclusivity and environmental sustainability.


Logos of Accessible Art for All, Liberty UK Festival, Explora, Altonale, Muzeiko Foundation, Regionmuseet Skane, Arts Council England and Co-Funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Artwork of two hands intertwined with each other, one white, one brown, on a bathroom mirror.

Hand in Hand by Oliwia Bober. Image: Natasha James

Birds-eye view of a toilet cubicle, with its white walls full of text written in black.

Cubicle Your Fears by Richard DeDomenici. Image: Natasha James

Two large-scale hands painted onto the walls of the toilet area of New Walk Museum.

Hands of Freedom by Vishal Joshi. Image: Crosscut Media

A mirror on a wall saying

Public Convenience by The Rebel Bear. Image: Crosscut Media

A toilet door lock on a dark grey door, with text

Engaged: Behind Closed Doors by Yara El-Sherbini. Image: Crosscut Media

A white toilet area, with its walls filled with colourful motives of hands, flowers, etc.

Caring Hands by Cristina Damiani