Southern Water has now completed a three year project in Brighton. This work entailed a major overhaul of the city's antiquated Victorian pipes and cost £15.5 milion.
The Southern Water team, which set up an award winning liaison group to consult with key groups in the city, will be leaving Brighton. But before going they have left a lasting reminder of the hard work, sweat and tears of the last three and half years.
Southern Water has funded Unique Brighton businesses to commission an anti-graffiti mural with a water theme to leave as a thank you for their patience and understanding while the work was carried out.
Pearl Bates is the artist who won the commission. She was selected by a panel of judges including traders and recognised artists. Her style was thought to be a clean break from traditional street art and therefore very much in keeping with Brighton's reputation as a leader in the arts world rather than a follower.
Pearl received a cheque for £1000 from Southern Water at an unveiling event on 12 August in Bond St.
“The character of the mermaid sums up my feelings about the city really – beautiful, quirky, cheeky, sexy and fun. I was thrilled to win the competition but also a little daunted about doing something of this size on a wall which is all new territory for me," said Pearl.
“I normally work quite privately in my studio so it was an amazing experience to actually be out on the street while we were painting the mermaid. I hope people will enjoy it.”
The project dovetails with Brighton's anti-graffiti strategy, which aims to reduce unsightly tagging by painting it out or cleaning it up.
City Centre Manager, Soozie Campbell, said, “This is a great moment for Brighton's business community as this piece of work represents many things. On the one hand it is part of the city's strategy for stamping out unsightly tagging. It is also a great opportunity to mark the end of a successful project to replace antiquated Victorian pipes that would have lead to on-going water shortages every summer. And it is a beautiful piece of art that is so quintessentially Brighton.”
Those at the ceremony included the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council Mary Mears, Southern Water’s director of communications Geoff Loader, city centre manager Soozie Campbell, and Martin Middleton from Artscape, an organisation that works with young offenders.
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