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Artist designs winning billboard message

Mary's winning billboard messageOver summer 2020, Mary, a second-year student at Plymouth College of Art, entered a competition to design a billboard with an environmental message. Her design, ‘Nature is Your Home’, impressed the judges and in November 2020, was announced as one of the two winning entries.

Making the most of every opportunity

21-year-old Mary, who has autism and works as a Brandon Quality Checker, heard about the competition through the College student portal. Partnering with a local media company, the College set students an exciting brief – to design a piece of art with an environmental theme.

Mary, who is studying for a BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking, wanted to make the most of every opportunity that came up over the summer period. A lot of her work is based on photographs in her mother’s photo album, and one of the newer ones – of a sculpture from The Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell – sparked Mary’s imagination.

‘Nature is your home’

Explaining the inspiration behind her chosen design, Mary said:

“The sculpture is a sleeping human figure covered in moss, grass and ivy, and there is a group of trees behind it. For me, that photo perfectly symbolised the fact that ‘nature is your home’, so I decided to draw it as the main focus of the poster.

“The litter in the grass is based on items I found in photos of family picnics… Over the summer break, I kept noticing litter in random places on my walks. It always looked like someone had carefully placed it in specific positions, as if they were deliberately trying to destroy their surroundings.

“I thought, if people are this cautious about where they put their litter, why don’t they just throw it away? I have never heard anyone say, ‘litter is vandalism’, but I think it is, so I decided to make that the main message.”

Winning design on display

Winning billboard design on display at Transit Way shopping centreMary’s striking design is now available to see in various locations in the Plymouth area. Initially, it was installed on a six-by-three-metre mobile billboard at Marsh Mills in Plymouth, subsequently moving to where it currently stands on proud display at the busy Transit Way Shopping Centre.

Mary has of course, been to see it in all its glory! When asked what she thought when she saw it, she replied:

“I’ve gained so much confidence… I’m so proud of it. I like the fact that it’s massive because it will make the message easy to remember. In fact, I’ve noticed much less litter around since the poster was put up. Maybe it’s already having an effect…”

Congratulations Mary! We hope your message has a positive impact as it moves around the Plymouth area in the coming months.

Find out more

To find out more about the billboard competition and the winning entries, visit the Plymouth College of Arts website.