The colour of love… Exmouth creatives make their mark on seafront shelters ready for 2021 art project

Artists and creatives are putting the finishing touches to injecting some love and colour into Exmouth seafront ahead of a bigger project in 2021.

After a call was made for creative folk to get in touch to turn tired beach seats into a fresh space for creativity, the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, in Honiton, has hand-picked 60 artists and organisations keen to make their mark.

On Wednesday (August 5) those selected added their names and creative speciality to colourful squares, painted by volunteers onto the back walls of the seafront love boats over the last few weeks.

The colourful commission is a prequel to public art project planned for 2021, where town and district leaders will join up with Exmouth artists, young people, schools and community groups.

The 60 creatives of artists, performers, musicians, writers and designers, were selected by a panel made up of Exmouth community artist Anna Fitzgerald, designer Gary Cook, Exmouth councillor Joe Whibley, Ruth Gooding, Thelma Hulbert Gallery curator, and Harriet Bates, from Infusion art café.


Putting the finishing touches to part of the love boat wall.
Photo: Jean Holden.


The message is clear…the project is to be continued….

Anna Fitzgerald said: “Exmouth has many brilliant artists and creatives and it is great to have this opportunity to work together building and strengthening our creative networks.”

Ruth Gooding said: “We have had so much interest in this project. This year we are really excited to present a snapshot of the creative community in Exmouth and look forward to seeing how the project develops next year working with local communities and celebrating Exmouth.”

Joe Whibley, Easy Devon District Council lead member for culture, and a ward member for Exmouth town, where the project is taking place, said: “Exmouth is a dynamic area with a creative spirit. It is great that the community has embraced this project and I look forward to seeing how it evolves alongside lots of exciting developments happening on the seafront.”


Volunteers of all ages have been helping paint the walls of the seafront love boats, ahead of a bigger project planned for 2021.
Photos: Thelma Hulbert Gallery.

Love boat

The love boats – or Abode of Love project – is a 342-foot flood defence, made up of nine individual sea-facing shelters that open out onto the beach.

In 2019 EDDC teamed up with Thelma Hulbert Gallery to commission an idea to breathe new life into the area for 2020, in a bid to compliment the new Exmouth seafront developments.

The project was scrapped because of the coronavirus and a fresh idea formed to transform the walls of the shelters, using the talents of local creatives, artists and designers.


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Creativity needed to show some love for Exmouth as beach seat shelter gets facelift


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