Community artist Anna Fitzgerald has thanked Exmouth youngsters for their help creating the colourful watersports centre seafront hoardings.
Anna, of Gussiford Lane, was earlier this year tasked by developer Grenadier Estates to work with five Exmouth schools to a brief of producing striking images to decorate hoardings around the Queen’s Drive Sideshore site.
The finished hoardings were unveiled this autumn after Anna took away the youngsters’ drawings and spent the summer turning the children’s ideas into larger-than-life paintings.
She said: “I absolutely loved doing the work. I love collaborating with people, but collaborating with children, it’s probably the best ever – particularly the ones that didn’t want to do any art. The boy who painted a slug. He made me laugh so much.
“I redrew the line drawings really big and painted them. They are on special marine board that will withstand the weather down on the seafront.”
She added: “Some of the original pictures will be going into the building once it’s completed.”
Anna, of Seadog Art, worked with five different schools in the town, including Exmouth Community College, and St Joseph’s and Littleham primary schools.
The developer chose to work with Anna because she mirrored Grenadier’s beliefs over the environment.
When it was announced Anna was appointed, Aiden Johnson-Hugill, director at Grenadier said: “We have always wanted the community to be part of the project and to highlight the importance of sustainability, supporting local wildlife and environment, and local talent.
“We were thrilled that Anna Fitzgerald agreed to help us with such a large project as we feel her ethos towards the environment is aligned with ours and this is a project that’s close to our heart.”
The children’s designs were inspired by nature and birds local to the area.
Grenadier said the artwork highlighted the importance of protecting local wildlife and the coastline.
When the seafront hoarding was in place, Anna said: “I’m delighted to be part of such a great project.
“When Grenadier first approached me to work with them on this fantastic art installation, I jumped at the chance because not only could I showcase my work as a local artist, but we had a shared love of nature and the beautiful landscape in which I have lived and worked for many years.
“I couldn’t have completed such a big project without the help of the talented local school children who inspired the paintings, and who I hope are inspired to visit the centre once it opens and continue painting.
“Please do come down, and I hope you enjoy the art we’ve produced.”