New community artwork goes on display in Exeter
Published: 5 February 2024
New pieces of artwork shaped by local communities have gone on display in Exeter, helping brighten up the city centre.
The two installations have gone up in the windows of the former Debenhams building in Princesshay bringing colour and interest to the heart of the city.
The colourful initiative has come about thanks to funding from Arts Council England and has been six months in the making.
Launched last summer, the Windows Art initiative, saw the arts and events team at Exeter City Council working closely with Liveable Exeter and Exeter Culture.
Following an open invitation, two artists were commissioned to create two new pieces of artwork.
The artists worked with local community groups in the city involving members of the public from diverse backgrounds.
Naomi Hart’s ‘SeaBed’ project saw the artist working with children and adults, especially the refugee communities who are often most affected by climate change, to develop a vibrant hanging quilt illustrating creatures from the deep, sewn and embroidered by people in and around Exeter.
Naomi worked with scientists from Exeter Marine at the University of Exeter and the Convex Seascape Survey to investigate the variety of 'unseen' marine species that live in the mud under the sea - the 'seabed' - and understand how these benthic species bury carbon in the mud.
The other project saw not-for-profit organisation Positive Light Projects working with The Pelican Project – a group of young people with learning disabilities from across Devon - to create a series of photographic portraits to celebrate the diversity and personality of the group.
The images were captured and developed using Positive Lights’ brand new accessible darkroom which was designed to be operated by people with diverse physical and mental abilities with a focus on engagement and inclusion.
Cllr Laura Wright, Lead Councillor for Culture & City Centre Strategy, said: “It’s fantastic to see these wonderful pieces of art finally going on display and being enjoyed by the people of Exeter and visitors to the city.
“It’s been wonderful to see the artists engaging with such diverse groups of local people and the original ideas growing into such stunning pieces of art.”