Artists join forces to tackle vandalism in Exmouth with a new mural in Phear Park

Fish and dragonflies painted in a family park in Exmouth aim to stamp out vandalism and graffiti while saving taxpayer cash.

Volunteers have started turning a hot spot for vandals into a work of art, painting a mural on a shelter in Phear Park, in Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth.

The district council said the park shelter faces being demolished if vandals ignore the community project and continue to deface the building.

An East Devon District Council (EDDC) spokesman said: “The Phear Park shelter was previously repeatedly vandalised with nasty and victimising comments written about several children.

“Repainting cost hundreds of pounds in labour and material each time, leading the council to consider removing the shelter entirely.”

Exmouth

Volunteers are painting over the graffiti.
Photo: EDDC

park

The park shelter will become a mural.
Photo: EDDC

park

The Pear Park shelter is a hot spot for vandals.
Photo: EDDC.

EDDC said the new mural, designed by young artist Madeleine Dainton, who is local to Exmouth, features ‘pond life’, such as fish and dragonflies, in bold and bright colours.

Volunteers are invited to help paint the shelter mural every Tuesday, from 2.30pm-4.30pm.

Exmouth

The volunteers meet every Tuesday.
Photo: EDDC

The shelter repainting was kickstarted after EDDC called on the help of community artist Anna Fitzgerald.

Anna, of Sea Dog Art, has been instrumental in clamping down on graffiti daubed on the seafront ‘love boat’ shelters with her community painting project, Abode of Love.

Councillor Olly Davey, Exmouth mayor, said: “This is an exciting project that will transform a drab and repeatedly vandalised structure into a colourful and vibrant community space that is also a piece of public art.”

Councillor Steve Gazzard said: “We were really pleased with how successful the Abode of Love project has been and are all really excited to be working together to support a similar project at the Phear Park shelter.

“The shelter is one of the first things you see as you enter the park and the improvements planned by local artists and volunteers will help uplift the whole appearance.”

Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said: “Our StreetScene team work tirelessly to repair the damage caused by vandals on the shelter each time and therefore this partnership with Sea Dog Art, their volunteers and Exmouth Town Council will allow us to create a family-friendly space in Phear Park while also showcasing local artists.”

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