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New community artwork set to be unveiled in Exeter

Published: 13 December 2023

The Pelican Project working at Positive Lights Projects

New pieces of artwork shaped by communities in Exeter are set to help brighten up the city centre in the New Year, the City Council has revealed.

Two exciting installations will bring colour and interest to the heart of the city thanks to funding from Arts Council England.

Exeter’s Windows Art initiative, which was launched earlier in the summer, has seen 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 have been busy working with local community groups in the city involving members of the public from diverse backgrounds.

Naomi Hart’s ‘SeaBed’ project has seen 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 has worked with scientists from ExeterMarine 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 has seen 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 have been captured and developed using Positive Lights’ brand new accessible darkroom which has been designed to be operated by people with diverse physical and mental abilities with a focus on engagement and inclusion. 

The portraits are to be displayed in the window of Positive Light Projects as well as an alternative venue, which has yet to be confirmed.

Cllr Laura Wright, Lead Councillor for Culture & City Centre Strategy, said: “It’s so wonderful to see these projects coming to fruition and I can’t wait to see the final pieces when they go on display to the public.

“We’ve seen the initial ideas being hatched on paper and grow into inclusive pieces of community art that have involved and engaged with such a diverse group of local people.”

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