Angered artists hit out at decision to force Sidmouth exhibit to stay behind hazard tape

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 September 2018

Debbie Cole. Picture: Richard Wright

Debbie Cole. Picture: Richard Wright


Angered artists have hit out at the council after it insisted they charged admission and enclosed themselves behind ‘unartistic’ hazard tape for its latest show.

Sidmouth Society of Artists took over a corner of Connaught Gardens on Saturday (August 25) for their annual open air show but this year were told to stay behind a red safety barrier and charge visitors for the first time.

Show organiser Rebecca Lockyear said: “East Devon District Council (EDDC) insisted on putting barriers up which left everybody feeling sad, and they insisted on an entrance fee which we’ve never charged before, which is such a shame.”

She said the black and yellow tape was ‘unsightly’ and they had been forced to disguise it by putting up bunting and decided to just charge 10 pence.

Despite the restrictions, the artists were pleased with the attendance, helped by Saturday’s good weather.

In total 19 artists took part in the display, all of which worked in a variety of styles including oils, acrylics, watercolours and pyrography – burnt etching on wood.

Rebecca said: “We would rather get back to how it was, where it is just free flow, no pay, and everyone just enjoys the art and has a wonderful time.

“The visitors have been numerous and appreciative and keep ringing up their friends to tell them to come down to Connaught Gardens because there’s some really good stuff.

“So it’s really excellent feedback.

“I would love to have it again next year so hopefully we will be back.”

Debbie Coles, one of the artists, said: “It’s bizarre. We feel like we’re at the zoo. We feel like we’re monkeys in a cage.

“It doesn’t feel very welcoming. It wasn’t very artistically done.”

An EDDC spokeswoman said the annual event occurred after the council adopted street trading to allow events of this nature to be held legally.

And, although street trading did not incur payment of fees, on this occasion the event took place on land owned by EDDC, thus incurring a small charge for use of the council’s land.

She added: “There is a legal exemption for street trading events that charge an admission fee to the public, so for this event the organisers charged a small admission fee, which allowed the exemption.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 17:05

The body of a man has been found in the river at Newton Poppleford.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30

Permission is being sought to build houses on land, previously set aside for a new doctors’ surgery in Newton Poppleford.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:18

The body of a man has been reportedly seen in the river in Newton Poppleford.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

An elderly couple injured in a serious collision near Sidmouth are inviting those that came to their aid for a cup of tea to say thank you.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:28

A visitor to Sidmouth has admitted to sexually assaulting a woman in the town.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

A Sidmouth care home has launched a brand-new support and social group called ‘Wives’ Time’.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:01

A Sidmouth veteran has backed the work of a national charity as part of a campaign to help injured, sick and wounded servicemen get back into work.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

Tributes have been paid to a ‘warm’ and ‘caring’ councillor who lost his battle with cancer last month.

Read more
Mon, 16:30

A poignant production about the effect of World War One on two Sidmouth families has raised £1,500 for Sid Valley causes.

Read more
Mon, 12:00

Couples danced the day away at a Sidmouth shop, helping to keep vital air ambulances in the sky with a glitz and glamour afternoon.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 9°C

min temp: 6°C

Most read

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sidmouth Herald twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications