As part of the Clevedon BID’s street enhancement initiatives, we commissioned two pieces of street art last year to bring colour to corners of Clevedon and add a little nod to the heritage of our unique town. Meet Damien Jeffrey, the man behind the murals and the artist who will be taking on our next art project later in the year.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?
I’m Damien and I’m a clevedon based painter, I’ve been painting murals for about 10 years. I started by running mural painting projects for primary schools in and around Bristol and then later designing and painting for homes, offices, events companies, arts organisations …
What inspired the murals you have already completed for Clevedon?
The train painting on Station Road is meant to bring back a bit of that history of clevedon -The Weston Clevedon and Portishead line used to run through the centre of the town, pretty much exactly where the mural is. There are amazing photos from the 1930’s of trains crossing the triangle right past WH Smiths.
The Hill road painting was inspired by the atmosphere of the street itself- the incredible independent shops in the area, as well as features from some of the numerous landmarks that are all about 5 minutes walk away.
How have you found the reception to your work in the area? (I’m thinking about the people who stopped you while you were painting the train to talk about the memories they have of the station etc)
Its been amazing so far, lots of people stopping to talk, ask questions and share stories. Its been fascinating to hear about peoples parents and grandparents that used to use the trains or work on the line. The locals are obviously really proud of Clevedon and enthusiastic to celebrate its history, I’ve had people wanting to help paint and offering to buy me coffee in December (much appreciated) so its been great to meet people and learn even more about the town.
Would you say the art community on Clevedon is growing? Where would someone interested be able to get involved? (You’re exhibiting at Pologando right? Could you explain a bit more about that maybe and any groups you know of?)
I think the art community in Clevedon is incredibly strong, galleries like Polodango are always keen to support local artists and they are never short of new work. Likewise it seams like lots of businesses in the town embrace the community and realise the benefits of sharing local talent and drawing artists from further afield. The Clevedon Art Club has a great reputation as does the Craft Centre and Sunday Market and I think the towns popularity as a destination for all kinds of artists from photographers, painters, print makers, film makers, designers etc is growing all the time.
How do you like to spend time in Clevedon when you’re not working?
I’ve only lived in clevedon for two years (grew up in Nailsea and then Bristol based) but living by the sea will never get boring. I love the coastal path, all the walking, cycling and exploring with my family. There are so many great spots like the Curzon and fantastic places to eat and drink (do you want a big list?) Its also wonderful to see such positive changes emerging that show people love living here and want others to visit and enjoy it. I’m really excited about the Clevedon Skate Project and determined to swim more at the marine lake (not just the summer)
Any big plans for 2020?
Yes, big plans this year, have been meeting a lot of very enthused people recently so lots more painting, more exhibiting and finish my first children’s picture book (its only taken 3 years, why rush?)
The next mural will be painted onto the wall by the Bowls Club and the Skate Park. Keep up to date with designs and progress through our Facebook and Instagram. #discoverclevedon You can also follow Damien’s work through his instagram profile here.