Photos by Frank Leppard
Brilliant art works have started appearing on Margate buildings in a bid to raise awareness of ocean conservation and the issues caused by plastic in and around our coastline
Seventeen local and international artists are painting as part of the Rise Up Residency project which officially starts today (September 25) and runs to October 2, although some works have already been completed.
The project is spearheaded by Rise Up Clean Up and Margate-based, internationally-acclaimed artist Louis Masai. It will culminate in a series of free workshops for residents on October 1-2, with the aim to inspire the Margate community to reduce plastic use and respect the ocean.
In the last two years, more than 3000kg of rubbish has been collected from Margate main sands, the majority of which is single use plastic and packaging.
Isle businesses have embraced the art-led-activism and have joined forces with residents as well as the artists to offer workshops and events during the first weekend of October to help everyone do their bit to reduce waste.
Each installation has dedicated partners, ranging from climate NGOs such as Sea Shepherd, to sustainable brands, including NatraCare, a company producing eco-friendly product alternatives for periods, as well as a variety of local businesses and National Cultural Centre, People Dem Collective.
Environmental and litter picking group Rise Up Clean Up Margate was founded by resident Amy Cook. She said: “We have embarked on a mission to clean up Margate’s beaches and protect our stunning local coastline, ocean and our native wildlife. However, just cleaning up what people leave behind isn’t enough. We need genuine systemic change that looks to eliminate the problem at the source.
“My hope is that the Rise Up Residency, leads to changes in policy and actions that can help to usher in an era where Margate becomes single-use plastic free.
“Beyond that, I hope other seaside towns will follow suit and together we can help to bring about real change and preserve our gorgeous coastline for generations to come.”
Works that can already be seen include that of lead artist Louis Masai on the Kent Tec building in Northdown Road and works by Lily Mixe at Drapers Mill, Hera -aka Jasmin Siddiqui’ – in Vicarage Place and Neequaye Dreph Dsane at Danesmead Terrace. Work has also started on a mural in Crescent Road, opposite Nayland Rock, by artist Smug in partnership with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue organisation.
Find information and the mural map at http://riseupresidency.co.uk/
Find details for the workshops at https://www.riseupcleanup.co.uk/residency