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Is Damien Hirst art trail coming to Ilfracombe?

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 February 2015

Is Verity pointing towards an explosion of art in Ilfracombe? Picture: Andrew Petty.

Is Verity pointing towards an explosion of art in Ilfracombe? Picture: Andrew Petty.

Andrew Petty

Artist Damien Hirst, who created Ilfracombe’s famous Verity statue, could be behind a new art trail for the town.

A sculpture trail backed by Damien Hirst could be established in Ilfracombe to draw more visitors to the town.

It is early days, but Mr Hirst has already shown interest in using his name to promote a trail of sculpture plinths around the town featuring work by up-and-coming artists.

Councillor Mike Edmunds, North Devon Council’s executive member for strategic planning in Ilfracombe, said: “Unlike Verity, which is permanent, this would be more around the tourist season.

“At the moment we have had an email to say Damien Hirst is very interested in doing it, but he is up to his eyes in work.”

Mr Edmunds said the idea would be for the council to install various sculpture plinths, using Mr Hirst to help attract the artists and their work for a season-long display.

Ilfracombe is gaining a name as an ‘arts town’ and already has a new Ilfracombe Art Trail festival to look forward to on the weekend of May 9-10.

Organiser Sue Hutchins said the town was enjoying an ‘art renaissance’: “We have eight-plus galleries and of course there’s Verity,” she said.

“I think that has certainly attracted artists to the town and there seems to be a real buzz around.”

Mr Edmunds added: “We have to look at other ways to attract people to the town and the arts seems to be one of the better ways of doing that.”

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