Exmouth artists brighten up town with unique mosaics
PUBLISHED: 14:39 26 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:18 06 March 2019
Beautiful mosaics have been appearing around town over the past couple of years. We catch up with the artists responsible for creating these amazing installations.
Exmouth mosaic artists Allan Punton and Manya McMahon have been brightening up the town with their artworks over the past couple of years. So far, two benches on the estuary footpath, the library, two supported housing properties and the waterwheel pond have received mosaic additions – and a wall outside Marks & Spencer is next on the list.
The twelve estuary bench panels were made with the aim of brightening up the footpath with art that fits in with its surroundings, and to provide educational images that highlight the richness of the Exe Estuary. Made from hand-cut porcelain tile, the artworks, which depict an avocet, an oystercatcher, a brent goose and a sandwich tern, were presented by Allan and Manya to the Exe Estuary Management Partnership. The benches are close to the Carter Lane rail crossing.
Exe Estuary officer Stephanie Clark said: “We were delighted to have been contacted by Allan and jumped at the opportunity to have a new art installation that celebrates the wonderful wildlife of our Local Nature Reserve. The Exe Estuary Management Partnership would like to thank Allan and Manya for their generosity in creating such beautiful mosaic panels, which I’m sure the local communities and visitors will enjoy on their visits to the estuary.”
The seven French and Venetian glass mosaics on permanent display in Exmouth Library use a ‘glass on glass’ technique that makes the most of the light from the window light shining through them. Béatrice Coveney, senior library supervisor, commented: “Many thanks to Allan and Manya for their generous gifts, which have brightened up our library. The mosaics have been very well received and have added a lot of colour to the library. People have made lovely comments about them – they’re a real talking point. Allan also ran a mosaic workshop during our Fun Palaces 2018 event, which encouraged local residents to try this versatile art form for themselves.”
The pair have also made a set of four mosaic place signs, one representing each season of the year, again using venetian glass. Installed at Dray Court and Morgan Court on Rolle Road, the signs have been very well received by tenants and East Devon District Council. In addition, Allan’s ‘To Our Beach’ sign by the waterwheel opposite Manor Gardens is much admired by visitors.
Allan and Manya are currently putting the final touches to a set of five mosaic plaques depicting local sea creatures, which will be installed on a wall in the Marks & Spencer car park later this year.