Hollywood-style sign for Otter Valley?

PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 August 2015

An image of how the proposed PINN sign would look in the East Devon countryside.

An image of how the proposed PINN sign would look in the East Devon countryside.

Archant

A Hollywood-style sign could be looming over the Otter Valley, if an artist's plan comes to fruition.

Artist Jamie Lewis Hadley. PIcture by Lorna Jane NewmanArtist Jamie Lewis Hadley. PIcture by Lorna Jane Newman

Jamie Lewis Hadley, 28, grew up in Budleigh Salterton and spent much of his childhood at his grandmother’s house at Pinn, between Otterton and Sidmouth.

Now a successful artist based in London, Jamie (pictured) says he wanted to come up with a work which would celebrate the area, and decided erecting the word ‘PINN’ in white letters, up to 14 metres high, on a hillside, in the style of the famous sign in Los Angeles, would fit the bill.

He said: “That hill, whenever I come to Devon, I look at it and it’s the most beautiful spot I think in the area, so I thought it would be great to do a big piece of public art up there.

“It will be the exact same size as the Hollywood sign, 10 to 14 metres high. I wanted something that could be visible from the whole Otter Valley area – Otterton, East Budleigh, Budleigh Salterton, and particularly the beautiful walk between Budleigh and Sidmouth.

“I didn’t want it to be anything too serious. I wanted it to be quite light, quite fun, a celebration of rural life, as a celebration of everything Los Angeles isn’t.

“Pinn is so down to earth. There’s no pretence there, just a wonderful, authentic country life, and that’s why I love the area.”

Jamie, who trained as a professional wrestler before becoming an artist, approached landowner Clinton Devon Estates with the idea, and was told he could install the work for two weeks only, on condition that he first consulted with the community.

Jamie said one possibility was to install the work to coincide with next year’s Sidmouth FolkWeek.

He is hoping to obtain a grant from the Arts Council to fund the project, and would look to enlist local materials and labour to create the giant letters.

Jamie said: “For the next six months, I will be speaking to community groups. I will be trying to involve the community in any way possible.

“I want to create a debate, that’s what good art does.”

Jamie is inviting all residents to have their say about the plan, by emailing him at jamielewishadley@gmail.com

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