The new mural from artist Rich Thorne - Credit: Rob Tibbles

PICTURES: Artist Richt reveals incredible new mural for Barnstaple

Joseph Bulmer

Artist Rich Thorne, aka Richt, has returned to his hometown of Barnstaple for his latest on-street project and educational program.

The project initiated by Barnstaple Town council, pulls together iconic references from the area and surrounding land into one stunning mural.

Spearheaded by local councillor Ricky Knight, the mural has been in development for the past 18 months and will be the first mural in the town.

The new mural from artist Rich Thorne - Credit: Rob Tibbles
The new mural from artist Rich Thorne - Credit: Rob Tibbles

An environmental advocate, UN award recipient and local teacher for over 30 years, Ricky speaks of his pride in supporting the importance of art in the area.

While the mural engages visitors old and new, the project most notably teams up with the North Devon Biosphere and UNESCO for an SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) aligned workshop for young people.

Richt together with childhood friend and local teacher Robbie Keast, consider the fragile and spectacular natural beauty of the region coordinating visits to the mural and in person sessions with the children.

Artist Rich Thorne, aka Richt, returns to Barnstaple - Credit: Tom Ham
Artist Rich Thorne, aka Richt, returns to Barnstaple - Credit: Tom Ham

Providing over 200 worksheets across six primary schools, they encourage important conversations around culture and sustainable attitudes.

The most engaged drawings with the SDG themes will win a special prize, with Richt and fellow creative Ricky Martin, (Art Ninja - CBBC) returning to present it.

As a UNESCO world heritage site North Devon has biosphere status, a category reserved for places of great natural beauty, where different industries learn from one another to develop strategies for how humans and nature can interact more sustainably.

North Devon was the first UK UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because of its unique ecosystem of nature and wildlife.

The new mural from artist Rich Thorne - Credit: Rob Tibbles
The new mural from artist Rich Thorne - Credit: Rob Tibbles

UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Coordinator Andy Bell said: “Art in the public realm is a great way to not only brighten a location but create a statement about our community.

“Having a mural that showcases the values we have as a community in a UNESCO biosphere is a great conversation starter.

“Working with primary schools means we are having that conversation with the people who will inherit whatever we leave behind. We need more of this.”

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