Barnstaple gets new mural

Barnstaple mural

Artist Richt Reveals Mural and Workshop Series Promoting Environmental Awareness in North Devon

Local Artist Rich Thorne aka Richt, returns to his home town of Barnstaple for his latest on-street project and educational programme.

North Devon Artist Richt

The project initiated by Barnstaple Town council, pulls together iconic references from the area and surrounding natural land. Spearheaded by local councillor Ricky Knight, the mural has been in development for the past 18 months and will be the first mural in the town.

An environmental advocate, UN award recipient and local teacher for over 30 years, Ricky speaks of his pride in supporting the importance of art in the area;

“There is a historic cultural tradition here in Barnstaple, from the poet John Gay to the Queen’s Theatre, a legacy wholeheartedly supported by the community.

It is such a pleasure to have Richt, who was born and brought up here, return for Barnstaple’s first mural; an integral part of our rejuvenation and regeneration of the town centre in welcoming new visitors.”

~ Ricky Knight

While the mural engages visitors old and new, the project most notably teams up with the North Devon Biosphere and UNESCO for an SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) aligned worksop for young people.

Richt together with childhood friend and local teacher Robbie Keast, consider the fragile and spectacular natural beauty of the region coordinating visits to the mural and in person sessions with the children.

Richt working on the mural in Barnstaple

Providing over 200 worksheets across 6 primary schools, they encourage important conversations around culture and sustainable attitudes. The most engaged drawings with the SDG themes will win a special prize, with Richt and fellow creative Ricky Martin, (Art Ninja – CBBC) returning to present it.

art workshops for children in Barnstaple

As a UNESCO world heritage site North Devon has biosphere status, a category reserved for places of great natural beauty, where different industries learn from one another to develop strategies for how humans and nature can interact more sustainably.

North Devon was the first UK UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because of its unique ecosystem of nature and wildlife.

“Art in the public realm is a great way to not only brighten a location but create a statement about our community. Having a mural that showcases the values we have as a community in a UNESCO biosphere is a great conversation starter. Working with primary schools means we are having that conversation with the people who will inherit whatever we leave behind. We need more of this”

~ Andy Bell UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Coordinator

the mural that celebrates North Devon in Barnstaple

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