Photo of the project's supporters at the Phear Park shelter

Volunteers have begun transforming a community shelter in Exmouth, that was frequently targeted by vandals, into an art attraction.

The new mural, designed by young local artist Madeleine Dainton, depicts pond life, from fish to dragonflies, in bold and bright colours. Volunteers of all skill level are encouraged to join in with the painting, taking place every Tuesday from 2.30pm-4.30pm.

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.

EDDC’s Exmouth District Area Officer, Peter Crofts, approached Sea Dog Art to design and paint a mural to deter further vandalism. One of Sea Dog Art’s other community projects, Abode of Love, has replaced graffiti on Exmouth’s beach shelters with maximalist style underwater murals over the past year.

Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC’s Portfolio Holder for Coast, Country and Environment, said:

"We are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting, community project. 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 whilst also showcasing local artists."

Councillor Olly Davey, Chairman and Mayor of Exmouth Town Council, 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, Former Chairman and Mayor of Exmouth Town Council, added:

“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.”

Click on the following links to find out more about the project’s supporters: East Devon District Council, Exmouth Town Council, Sea Dog Art, Madeleine Dainton and Anna FitzGerald.