Sneak peak behind the scenes ahead of snail trail

Fifty unique giant snails are being painted ready to hit the streets of Brighton and Hove in September.

Artists are decorating the snails in a top secret location ahead of the Snailspace arts trail, which will raise funds for Martlets Hospice.

Artist Martha Mitchell painting her snail

Artist Martha Mitchell painting her snail

And it promises to be a colourful affair, with each snail featuring its own vibrant design.

Snailspace follows in the footsteps of the successful Snowdogs by the Sea trail in 2016, which raised hundreds of thousands for the Hove hospice, and drew in crowds of visitors eager to complete the trail.

Snails are being sponsored by local celebrities such as author Peter James and DJ Noman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) as well as businesses, schools and other organisations.

There will also be 58 mini snails decorated by children from schools and nurseries in the city.

A seagull makes an appearance

A seagull makes an appearance

Artist Martha Mitchell, known for her iconic Brighton and Hove-style designs printed on anything from mugs to aprons, is creating a snail sponsored by The Grand Hotel.

She said: “I thought it would take me three days but it’s taken me three weeks so far! I am actually enjoying it now, It is nice being around all the other artists. It is lovely seeing all the other ones coming together.

“I have never done something of this scale before.”

She said as Brighton and Hove has so many landmarks and associations, it has been nice to be able to include as much as possible because of the size of the sculpture.

A floral theme

A floral theme

“I have done everything I can think of. I just keep adding to it which has been really nice.”

Phil Wegman, otherwise by his artist alias Mister Phil, said he was pleased to get involved after getting the deadline for the Snowdogs wrong.

He said: “There are a few key elements, like certain words and phrases that are quite key to the concept of my snail; about taking it easy, relaxing and being ‘more snail’.”

Danielle Smith, sponsored by The Ivy, said: “We saw some of the dogs, me and my children, when they were out a couple of years ago. It’s just such an amazing community project. My design is quite floral – I’ve got an allotment and that’s kind of where my idea came from, spending time in the garden and slowing down.”

Love on the snail trail

Love on the snail trail

Organisers of the Snailspace project are also looking for the community to get involved – by volunteering as Route Masters.

A Snailspace spokesperson said: “Are you a closet performer? A humble historian or an art addict? Want to meet people, re-discover this vibrant city and help a wonderful cause?

“If so, then sign up to be a volunteer Route Master as part of the Snailspace art project.

“Your role as a Route Master will be to help visitors find their way around the trail (various locations throughout Brighton and Hove) and direct them to key destinations on the route map.

“This may involve showing them how to download the Snailspace App, talking about the sculptures, helping with ‘Snailfies’ and much more! At times you may also be asked to collect money for the Martlets.”

Route Masters will work in pairs on four-hour shifts from 11am to 3pm, on Thursdays to Sundays between September 9 and December 4.

The Snailspace arts trail will officially launch on September 15 for nine weeks.

To find out more about the project, and to volunteer, visit: www.themartlets.org.uk
Video and additional reporting by Rachelle Foster.

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