Sidmouth rocks! Pebble art flourishes in town

PEBBLE artist Dr Geebers certainly left his mark on Sidmouth and he has inspired others in the town to extend his unique artwork legacy. Homeless George, 33, known to many under his pseudonym, spent weeks on the town s beach creating his 3D pebble art. Af

PEBBLE artist Dr Geebers certainly left his mark on Sidmouth and he has inspired others in the town to extend his unique artwork legacy.

Homeless George, 33, known to many under his pseudonym, spent weeks on the town's beach creating his 3D pebble art.

After FolkWeek, George, who decided to walk the whole of the UK coast adding his art to shingle beaches, left the town in search of a new canvas. His lasting message on the beach, which he fashioned from pebbles was 'Sidmouth Rocks, Respect'.

But since George's departure, Polish university student Paulina Mroczynska, 28 and her friend, Roger Lowe, from Budleigh Salterton, have been adding to the artwork left behind for Sidmouth residents and tourists to enjoy.

Paulina, who previously lived in Sidmouth for three years, said: "The first time I saw it, I thought it was brilliant. I live in the suburbs and I'd never seen anything like this before and I wanted to do my own thing.

"I love Sidmouth and I thought it would be really nice to give a little bit of myself to the town.

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"When I first started I got quite a good response from people and I was seriously amazed how people reacted to it."

The pair have created their very own original designs, which has taken them nearly three weeks to complete, and they are thinking of entering the display into a 'World Beach Project' competition run by the Victoria and Albert Museum.

People from all over the world have been sending pictures of their own variations of pebble art into the competition and Paulina said she would like to "put Sidmouth on the map".

She has produced a complex and intricate display next to Dr Geebers' original design, which encompasses waves, a seahorse, a snail, a flower, a toadstool and a fish.

Paulina added: "They are two different styles and I think his work compliments mine and mine compliments his. It's a very involving project and gives you a lot of satisfaction.

"I remember when I did the first picture and I wanted to do more and more. I said to myself I will stop when I finish off the whole area and fill it up."

And Roger, 53, who is a freelance boat builder, has created an octopus and a perfectly proportioned gaff rig boat.

He said: "I wanted to keep it traditional and these types of boats are used in Beer for fishing. Sidmouth Regatta begins at the weekend and I thought it was appropriate to add the gaff rig."

Although most people have respected the artwork, Paulina and Roger say there has been the odd incident during which the display has been damaged.

But they say they are impressed with the interest and enthusiasm people have shown towards them and the creation.

Many children have helped by collecting pebbles and according to Sidmouth resident Deborah Main, people have embraced the art-form.

She said: "Along the beach, pebble patterns and pictures are appearing. People of all ages can be seen sorting pebbles into colour groups and expressing their creativity in the natural environment."

Roger added: "It's giving kids the opportunity to see the beach in a different way-and people of all age groups. A woman was passing a couple of days ago and she said to us 'I've lived here for 35 years and I've never seen this before. It's marvellous!'"

Although Paulina and Roger have no concrete plans to pursue their new-found love of creating pebble art, they hope to return to it in the future.

And they also hope it will catch on in Sidmouth, complimenting other types of 'organic art' in the town such as the floral displays in the Triangle and the wicker donkey, which is stationed at Sidmouth Bowls Club.

Roger said: "Sidmouth has got this organic artwork already but it hasn't stretched to the beach yet. I think it should as the beach is a focal point of the town.

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