'Around the World in 80 Washing Lines'

“A social art project pegging us together, around the world, irrespective of who, what or where we are”

Menier Gallery, London
Menier Gallery, London

Photo credit: www.CreativeCommercialPhotography.co.uk

Menier Gallery, London
Menier Gallery, London

Photo credit: www.CreativeCommercialPhotography.co.uk

The Curve, Slough
The Curve, Slough

Menier Gallery, London
Menier Gallery, London

Photo credit: www.CreativeCommercialPhotography.co.uk


UPDATE: After obtaining Arts Council funding, project #80WashingLines toured Reading, Slough and London in the latter half of 2017, with warm-up gigs in Dirty Laundry and Washbox launderettes. The social art exhibition had incredible press coverage including the BBC news and radio.

The laundry installation was ‘autism friendly’ and multi-sensory, so visitors could see, touch and smell the exhibition items, as well as listen out for the sounds of laundry taking place. The National Autism Society supported the exhibition.

The social messaging of connectedness and similarities between humans across the world remains as poignant as ever, and this remained the core ethos throughout.

BACKGROUND: Inspired by the book title ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ by Jules Verner, I created an art installation of 80 washing line photos from 80 different countries. This project is an extension of the thought process behind the painting “Look! They Also Dry Their Clothes!” at my Kathmandu Calling!exhibition, and explores culture and diversity, as well as the universally accepted notion of hanging our clothes out to dry.


The project has multiple dimensions involved, and I had rich conversations with people from all round the world to capture glimpses of the stories behind each washing line. Each story was written up and accompanied with the laundry photo sent in by the 80 participants.


The special art project is reminiscent of the prayer flags strung along the mountains of the Himalayas. And this is where the original inspiration came from - the flags remind me of washing lines and how this simple task of laundry connects and unites us, all round the globe.

Painting of abstract artist's contemporary work based on international art in Nepal

Painting: "Look! They Also Dry Their Clothes"

A photo of monks praying in unison in Lumbini, Nepal, the home and birthplace of Praying monks in Lumbini, Nepal - the birthplace of the Gautama Buddha

It all started with the prayer flags in Nepal...

Artist Mahlia Amatina brings Art to Launderettes
Local Community Workshop
Participants having a go at some art
The launderette art installation
Art project 'Around the World in 80 Washing Lines' - bringing art to launderettes
Art installation in launderette
The BBC filming at the Washbox
An item of laundry in Dot's Laundry
Official Launderette Leaflet
Official Launderette Poster
Leaflet information for customers
Sharon from Dot's Laundry with flyer

‘"It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, who you are, or what you do – we all have laundry to do!"

Art doesn’t stand in isolation, so to signify this concept of unity, I collected 80 photos of laundry from 80 different people in 80 countries.

With funding from Reading's Cultural & Educational Partnership for its Year of Culture Celebrations, community workshops were held with Reading's residents of different cultural groups to inform the washing line art. Six photos were selected, printed out onto laundry, and then hung up in launderettes around Reading (Dot's Laundry, The Washbox, Suprema Drycleaners) as part of the town's 'Art in Unusual Places' theme!

Come follow its progress on my social media channels (#80WashingLines) and watch the project unfold as we all come together in the name of art and laundry. Beautiful.

Mahlia Amatina Talks to the BBC About  

                 'Around the World in 80 Washing Lines'

Launderette Report
Exhibtion Report