Homeless pebble artist creates Sidmouth display

A HOMELESS man, who is creating 3D pebble art as he walks the whole of the UK coast, has crafted an eye-grabbing display on Sidmouth beach.

A HOMELESS man, who is creating 3D pebble art as he walks the whole of the UK coast, has crafted an eye-grabbing display on Sidmouth beach.

The 33-year-old artist, George, who goes under his 'artistic name' Dr Geebers, has created a giant flower, butterfly and sun on the eastern end of Sidmouth beach.

Since the end of May, George has walked the coast from Brighton to Sidmouth- a trip of more than 150 miles- and so far has added his art to 12 pebble beaches, including Lyme Regis and Seaton.

He said: "I thought I would just walk the South coast but since being in Sidmouth I've decided to walk the whole of the UK coast-I believe I can do it.

"Wherever I go I like to do something bigger than the last time or something different. "Nobody knows when I'm coming and I like to bring art to people who wouldn't usually see it."

The display on Sidmouth beach, inspired by Connaught Gardens, took more than five days to complete and George has been guarding it from 6am until 10pm every day.

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"This beach is a lot different to others," he said.

"There are a lot of reds, yellows, whites and a few purples. A few here aren't even pebbles but more like marbles. They make it even more vibrant."

George's bright outlook on life is a hit with passers-by and he chats to Sidmouth residents and holiday-makers as they admire his art.

Originally from Ballymena in Northern Ireland, George, who believes he is the only 3D pebble artist in the UK, hopes to stay in Sidmouth for FolkWeek.

He added: "If I do get to stay I want to make something for the festival-maybe Morris dancers. I will have to see if it can be done with pebbles in a side view shot."

George, who has only a sleeping bag for shelter, relies on donations from members of the public and does not claim any benefits.

He said: "I make around �20 or �30 a day, but then I'm walking quite a lot of the time so I have to stretch it out."

The talented artist, who has been homeless "on-and-off" for the last 13 years, started doing the unique artwork in Brighton last August with another homeless man called Steve.

The pair took a break during the winter and when George returned to Brighton after travelling the South East, he started up the pebble art again.

He added: "I sold the Big Issue for a long time but I'd much rather be here doing this.

"My major idea is to help out other homeless people. I'm an ex-heroin addict and I know what its like, it's very difficult. I would like to get as many homeless charities linked up to what I do-I've already got one linked up."

George, who is attracting quite a following on social networking site MySpace under his pseudonym, Dr Geebers, has been in seven other newspapers, one documentary and won one award, since his travels began.