New mural by Richt in North Devon, England – StreetArtNews

Artist Rich Thorne a.k.a Richt, returns to his hometown of Barnstaple, in North Devon, England; for its latest street project and educational program.

The project initiated by Barnstaple Town Council brings together iconic references from the region and surrounding natural lands. Led by local councilor Ricky Knight, the mural has been in development for 18 months and will be the city’s first mural. Environmental advocate, United Nations award winner and local teacher for over 30 years, Ricky talks about his pride in supporting the importance of art in the region;

“There is a historic cultural tradition here in Barnstaple, from the poet John Gay to the Queen’s Theatre, a legacy wholeheartedly supported by the community. It’s such a pleasure to have Richt, who was born and raised here, returning for Barnstaple’s first mural; an integral part of our rejuvenation and regeneration of the city center by welcoming new visitors. ~ Ricky Knight

While the mural engages visitors old and new, the project notably partners with the North Devon Biosphere and UNESCO for work aligned with the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) for young people. Richt and Robbie Keast, a childhood friend and local teacher, examine the region’s fragile and spectacular natural beauty by coordinating mural tours and in-person sessions with children. Providing over 200 worksheets across 6 elementary schools, they are encouraging important conversations about sustainable culture and attitudes. The designs most committed to SDG themes will win a special prize, with Richt and fellow creative Ricky Martin, (Art Ninja – CBBC) returning to present it.

“Returning to my hometown to engage young people through art seems very important to me. Knowing how important the seaside and surrounding nature are, I hope this new mural can bridge a local conversation about the value of art to inspire positive actions and attitudes. ~ Rich Thorne (Rich)

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 each other to develop strategies that enable humans and nature to interact in a more sustainable way. North Devon was the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the UK due to its unique ecosystem of nature and wildlife.

“Art in the public domain is a great way to not only brighten up a place, but also 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 have this conversation with the people who will inherit everything we leave behind. We need more of this” ~ Andy Bell UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Coordinator

Rich Thorne is a multidisciplinary British artist based in Bristol, UK. Hailing from the UK Graffiti scene, ‘Richt’ has been exploring creativity through original artwork, design, animation and street art for 20 years. Projects range from Oscar-winning film studio Aardman Animations to global powerhouse Vans. The artist also considers a social responsibility towards young people, organizing conferences and workshops in schools and with groups of young people around the world.

With a “feast or famine” approach to color, the aesthetic oscillates between monochromatic minimalism and vivid saturation. Through his compositions, the movement and memory of graffiti culture are reimagined through a contemporary lens. Solo exhibitions include Barcelona, ​​Amsterdam and London with public art projects and commissions from Eastern Europe and North Asia to the United States. His latest project starts in June 2022 with Urban Nation, the first museum in the world dedicated to artists from the graffiti culture.

Photo credits: Rob Tibbles, Tom Ham, Hanna Söderholm
Scroll down for more photos of the project.

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