Say Something

Empty noticeboards in Weston and Clevedon are being given a new lease of life with vibrant poster artworks created by artists in the area, as part of an initiative organised by Culture Weston and Weston Artspace.

Following a call-out to artists to submit ideas, six final designs have been specially selected to adorn a number of North Somerset Council’s noticeboards dotted along the promenades and beyond in the seaside towns.

The eclectic mix of images from both professional and amateur artists, including former students at University College Weston, represent a range of different artforms featuring painting, illustration, photography, graphic design, collage and mixed media.

Natalie Cooke’s ‘Finding the Colour’ landscape of local landmark Brent Knoll reminds us of nature’s positivity and was painted during lockdown by Natalie, who works as a nurse. Her image is paired with a verse of poetry written by Conrad Collinge, a member of Theatre Orchard’s Chapter One writing group, as part of a collaborative poem about lockdown ‘All Closer Together Now’.

‘Rainbow Lady’ by illustrator Ana Jaks is a computer generated work inspired by the initial rush of rainbows that covered people’s windows in lockdown, whilst ‘The Smile in Smiling Somerset’ newspaper collage by Weston-based Lauren Clark explores the current social and cultural context juxtaposed with the town’s nostalgic seaside iconography.

Dylan Barker’s ‘The Only Way is Through’ striking maze illustration reflects how, like many during the coronavirus health crisis, his mental health suffered and life felt like being in a maze with no end in sight.

Environmental themes are highlighted in Julie Ackerman’s ‘The Art of Recycling’ a boat sculpture using beachcombed materials to draw attention to our finite planet and Weston artist Lorna Bryce’s ‘Leave Your Footprint and No More’ stunning illustration of a bather on the beach, inspired by her dips in the sea with the local open water swimmers, the SuperMares.

A bit more about the artists

Julie Ackerman recently finished her BA (Hons) degree at Weston College. For the end of year exhibition we worked towards creating a Cabinet Of Curiosities themed showcase, using waste materials and objects collected locally. The driving force behind using waste materials as an art medium stems from current environmental & ecological issues. Due to Covid-19 there was no end of year college exhibition, so this opportunity to adorn seafront noticeboards feels particularly special.  Julie’s very happy to collaborate with North Somerset Council, whose ambitions to be carbon neutral by 2030 set an impressive standard for others to follow.   Culture Weston’s Green Champion role also underpins this momentum.  A great example of artists and organisations pooling skills and perspectives to creative change.

Lorna Bryce moved to Weston 4 years ago and hasn’t looked back.  She has been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil, over 60 years ago.   Lorna has recently joined the Super Mare swimmers and likes nothing more than a dip in the sea.  She is also part of the Weston Artspace community. Follow bryce.lorna on instagram to see more of her vibrant paintings. 

Lauren Clark is  a Weston-based artist currently completing her master’s degree in fine art. She has lived in Weston most of her life and the town tends to be the main subject of her recent artwork. Lauren’s practice consists of a visual exploration of memory and digital technology and her aim is to explore a narrative which ties together personal experiences and the digitally mediated world. The process of making pixel art gives an element of control in this world of uncertainty. 

Natalie Cooke works as a nurse and plays as an artist! Proof that play can result in some of life’s most wonderful experiences. Check out Natalie’s other work on Instagram @nattys_gallery

Ana Jaks is originally from the Isle of Man and came to the South West to study at BA in Illustration at the University of Falmouth, followed by an MA in Visual Communications at Bath Spa.   Ana now lives in Bristol and grew to appreciate Weston’s vibrant charms when designing the branding for Theatre Orchard’s award-winning Whirligig Festival.   In 2018 Ana won the New Talent Award in the Site Specific category of the AOI World Illustrations Awards. Ana’s love for shape, colour, pattern and inclusivity shines through all her work.  Ana’s client list includes Facebook, Nike, HiPP, Bombay Sapphire, Stylist Magazine, The Washington Post … and now Weston’s iconic seafront.  See more of Ana’s work at https://anajaks.co.uk