Sam, 20, uses graffiti art to make his mark on Sidmouth Youth Centre
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Youth Centre was the biggest canvas yet for an aspiring artist equipped with a spray-paint can.
Young Devon runs the venue and wanted to show the positive side of graffiti as an art form, so brought in self-taught Sam Giles.
His mural is the first step in a makeover for the Manstone Lane centre that will also see the creation of a community garden – initiatives driven by the youngsters who use it.
“It took four or five hours over six days,” said Sam, 20. “It was mentally tiring, but I’m so proud of how it turned out every time I walk past it.
“I’ve done art all my life. I first started to get into graffiti six or seven years ago and did some bits at the skatepark, but went off it.
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“When I got back from travelling, I wanted to aim for something. This is the first really big graffiti I’ve done. This is what I want to do.”
Sam had help starting the artwork at the youth centre from his dad Karl, a painter and decorator who first got him into graffiti.
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The Lymebourne Avenue resident volunteered his time to create the piece, which takes inspiration from Sidmouth’s coastal setting. Sam hopes to turn his art into a business. He can be found on Facebook as Sam Giles Art and Design, but his graffiti tag is ‘Warp’.
Youth work co-ordinator Ben Feasey said: “If there’s local talent, part of our job is to promote it. Graffiti doesn’t have to be just tagging someone’s wall – it can be a beautiful art form. We have a social action group that came up with three aims at the start of the year – to make the building look better, to create a community garden to grow fruit and veg, and to create a float for the carnival.
“It’s the first time Young Devon has been involved in the carnival. We’re having an Alice in Wonderland theme.”
The garden will be created with Sidmouth in Bloom and the produce will be used in cooking classes or sold to the public, with proceeds reinvested in the youth centre.
Sidmouth Town Council, which will soon own the hub, also has plans to revamp the nearby skatepark, install a multi-use games area and possibly build a graffiti wall where youngsters can express themselves.
The centre will be open for a bake sale and coffee morning in a fundraiser for the garden on April 4.