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Underground site is brightened up by art

STREET art has come to a Bognor Regis subway.


A group of young people has created its first artwork with the help of the town council.


The 18 individuals have turned a blank painted wall at the B2259 underpass by Hotham Park into a masterpiece.


Their talents – helped by street art practitioner Sarah Gillings – have seen the wall transformed by the word ‘create’ in colourful letters which are 7ft high and stretch over 39ft.


The aspiring artists – who have also called themselves Create – were involved in the spray can painting on Wednesday and yesterday.


They included the two original members, brother and sister Annabel and Edward McMullan, of Felpham. They attended on both days.


Annabel, 12, said: “We’re with other people our age and can make friends here. We can fit in with people who have the same interest as well.


“The subway was quite dark and scary before but it’s going to be bright and colourful when we have finished.”


Edward, 14, said: “It’s good to get out and work with others as a collective effort towards the same goal.


“We have all been working together to come up with ideas which symbolise each of the letters.”


The word ‘create’ details a young person’s initial years in life – childhood, realisation, experimenting, attitude, transition to adulthood and end achievement of a job or further studies.


Sarah, who led the work on the two seafront murals opposite the pier, said: “I like to create art which has a social benefit. That’s the case here with these young people, who might not have had anything to do over the half-term holiday.


“The beauty of working underground is that you are not dependent on the weather. You can give a definite time when the work will take place and not let anyone down.


“The paint fumes do build up a bit more, though. So, everyone has been having regular breaks in the fresh air.”


The project was co-ordinated by the town council’s youth worker Keely Hardy. She said: “I’m now working with 18 young people.


“This is all about allowing them to have a vision for the future, encouraging community cohesion and to empower them to have a voice and influence over their town.”


Create is meeting from 5pm – 7pm on Wednesdays at the Phoenix Centre in Westloats Lane.

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