Empty shops in Worthing are being given a new lease of life thanks to a creative collaboration designed to brighten up the town centre post-lockdown.
The shop front installations in Ann Street, Montague Street and South Street have been funded from the Cultural Recovery Fund and European Development Fund to promote positivity through art by brightening up our highstreet.
Visitors will also be encouraged to scan the QR Code at each location to find out more details about the artists involved.
It forms part of the Council’s wider preparations for welcoming visitors to the town this summer, with the exhibition on South Street including promotion for the Time for Worthing, Summer in Worthing campaign.
Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “This project shows the true spirit of partnership working – working with business and third sector groups to showcase local talent to brighten up our town centre as lockdown restrictions are lifted.
“I’m also pleased it gives us another chance to promote our Summer in Worthing campaign – welcoming back locals and promoting Worthing for day trips and staycations and a way of bringing colour and creativity to our town centre as major redevelopment works take place.”
The exhibition on South Street features recent work showcasing the diverse creative talents of local residents.
Mark O’Halleron – Photographer currently completing MA at Falmouth whose latest project traces the route of Worthing’s Teville Stream.
Rachel Worsley – 2021 graduate in BA(Hons) Fine Art at Northbrook Metropolitan College uses PPE masks to create cyanotypes and sculptural forms.
Steve Carroll – Colourful artwork of famous Worthing scenes and landmarks such as Worthing Pier, Dome Cinema and Worthing Museum.
Jenny Latham – Uplifting illustrations promoting empowerment for young women.
Ann Street features art by 9 artists and groups who all have upcoming exhibitions at Colonnade House, Worthing’s creative hub. Artists include;
Peon Boyle, Amanda Beck, John Bond, Durrington High School, hello DODO, Owen Davey, Marina Leddy, Michelle Dawson and Ed Watts.
The artwork on Montague Street is by London based illustrator Tess Smith-Roberts for End Youth Homeless. End Youth Homelessness is a national movement of the UK’s leading youth homelessness. Existing to give youth homelessness a national voice, as well as to raise funds and awareness on a national scale.
Spokesperson for EYH, Faye Edmondson says; “The windows are designed to show the optimism and hope that exists within the young people we support. We want to challenge the traditional narrative around homelessness, which is usually one of hopelessness. Instead, we know that young people have boundless potential, we just need to make sure they are able to access the support they need, when they need it. The young people we work with have hope and they have potential. We hope that when people view these windows, they see that spirit represented and reflected.”
Rowan Bastable, National Campaign Manager, Ground Up Media says; We were very fortunate to receive our full Cultural Recovery Fund grant from Arts Council England in round 2 earlier in the year. As part of our application we proposed to repurpose empty retail units throughout Sussex to support local charities and to support the work of local artists in the area.
Our aim is to promote positivity through art by brightening up our high-streets and engaging local communities across Sussex.
We have secured locations throughout Brighton and Worthing and are also looking to expand into Hastings and Bexhill.