The Plymouth artists creating a 'lockdown gallery' to brighten up city streets

  • Watch Sam Blackledge's report:

A group of talented artists have been busy transforming an area of Plymouth with a collection of vibrant and colourful street art.

Billboards, walls and even telephone exchange boxes in Stonehouse, Millbay and Stoke have been decorated by members of Plymouth Artists Together - and the works are attracting a lot of attention.

The group has spent lockdown taking over drab and dull spaces and covering them with vibrant, challenging and often thought provoking pieces created by artists of all ages and social backgrounds.

Artists have been contributing their work to the project. Credit: ITV

Artist Chi Bennett said: "Graffiti can look quite bad sometimes and can get quite a bad reputation. But there are a lot of artists out there who are incredibly creative and very artistic but sometimes they just need the right opportunity. Plymouth Artists Together has been able to give these street artists the opportunity to really express themselves, to show their creativity and show that they can create this amazing work."

Some of the canvasses are more unusual than others. Thirty artists were given the challenge of brightening up telephone exchange boxes.

Olivia has decorated old telephone exchange boxes. Credit: ITV News

Artist Olivia Kazlauskaite says she was inspired by nature and enjoyed painting in an unusual medium.

"I just loved every minute of doing it," she said. "It's like an art gallery, when you visit an exhibition you want to connect with the artist. It's easy to walk past but if you stop and look at the artwork you can get into the message and what the artist is trying to achieve."

An old railway bridge in Stoke has become a memorial for the lives that were lost in the Plymouth Blitz of 1941.

Read more: Boy, 10, has camped out every night since last March

A bridge in Plymouth has been painted with the story of the Plymouth Blitz. Credit: ITV News

Councillor Ian Tuffin, from Plymouth City Council, says he has enjoyed seeing the artwork develop over the last few months.

"I think it's amazing, it makes such a difference," he said. "We're all able to cheer ourselves up when we see these bits of art, they've done a wonderful job."

The group is growing all the time and always happy to welcome new members.

There are even plans for a crowdfunding campaign to help the artwork expand across the city.