Exmouth seafront
Credit Thelma Hulbert Gallery

Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) is leading a call out to the Exmouth community to join a new project to rejuvenate a section of the Exmouth seafront, known as the Abode of Love.

The community including local artists and creatives is being asked to share how they see Exmouth and want to shape its creative journey.

A panel including local artist Anna Fitzgerald, designer Gary Cook, Councillor Joe Whibley, THG and local business owners will select 50 participants from the respondents who will be invited to ‘make their mark’ on the Abode of Love.

The Abode of Love is a flood defence in Exmouth, East Devon. It is 342 feet long, with 9 bays, intercepted by a flight of stairs leading up to the main road. It is a popular area with local residents and tourists who all use the bays in various different ways from picnics and music practice, to sheltering from the sun.

In 2019, East Devon District Council invited THG to develop an ambitious arts commission for the area complementing the new waterfront developments in 2020. It was part of a wider initiative celebrating Exmouth, placing culture and creativity at its heart.

Due to Covid-19, the project could no longer go ahead, however THG and artist Anna Fitzgerald are pledging their commitment to develop a creative response to Exmouth.

Anna Fitzgerald will now create ‘To be continued…’a site-specific commission at the Abode of Love. The community of Exmouth including artists and designers will collectively transform the walls of the Abode of Love.

This commission will pave the way towards a dynamic, participatory public art project planned for 2021 when partners and groups will come together to help shape and inform a new commission. They will include Exmouth Town Council, East Devon District Council, Exmouth Artists and young people from Exmouth schools and communities groups.

Councillor Joe Whibley, the district council’s Lead Member for Culture and a ward member for Exmouth Town where the project is taking place, said:

After a difficult few months, it’s great to see this project happening now. Cultural regeneration can play an important part in Exmouth’s recovery.

Ruth THG Curator explained,

We want to acknowledge the melting pot of creative voices in the area. The commission is an invitation to the creative community as we collectively reimagine a future together. We want to celebrate the incredible creativity in Exmouth by reaching out to and engaging with local residents for this project.  The Abode will become a creative frame, celebrating diversity and engaging the communities of Exmouth.

Anna Fitzgerald commented,

Exmouth has many brilliant artists and creatives and it is great to have this opportunity to work together building and strengthening our creative networks.

To get involved in the Abode of love project, please email info@thelmahulbert.com for a survey, to be completed by 26th July. Successful applicants will notified by 3rd August.