Signage … ‘Just do it’

Exmouth in England is where I live.

In early October 2012 I met with Manya McMahon at Spoken for mid-morning coffee. During our conversation the topic of an Arts Forum in the town came up and we agreed it would be a positive step if we could install some mosaics around the town so we invited the town Arts Manager, Carla Hiley, to join us for coffee… and the project began.

I proposed that a small mosaic sign, as a prototype, would be a way of showing the Arts and the Tourism Forums what we could do to enhance the signage around the town through a series of unique direction signs.

The first location that we feel needed a sign was at the railway station to show the way to the beach. Manya suggested including stones and shells from our beach within the design. The sign would be 900mm by 200mm. The target completion date was the 15 November so that Carla can show the sign to the Tourism Forum.

On 8 October I went down to the railway station to assess where a new sign might be placed. Here are photos of the pedestrian route away from the station.

If you come out of the main entrance you see this town map. The next photo is the foot of the path away from the station as you turn left to go to town.


The blue sign reads ‘Town centre via subway’.


The main station entrance is open from 6.00am to 4.00pm so outside of that period you have to use

the rear access path through the bus station. If you arrive by train to Exmouth and exit by the rear path you

see this… no immediate signage.



Two signs stating the same thing?




Gloomy path through bus station.



At the top of the subway path.






Looking down the steps to the subway.






I began work on the mosaic design and completed the piece at the end of  January 2013.  I took the sign to show staff at the Town Hall and they welcomed the work. However, there had been a change in plan as to the location for this first art sign. The loctaion would be next to the Mill waterwheel opposite the Manor Gardens.

East Devon’s Member of Parliament, Hugo Swire, officially unveiled the sign on the 22 March 2013. So Exmouth now has its first art signage made in mosaic!

exe 7470-12-13AW New art unveiled

[picture by Alex Watson, courtesy of the Exmouth Journal]

Hopefully, there will be other public artworks commissioned in Exmouth in the near future. Sometimes you have to give the public machine a little push to get things moving…

exe 7477-12-13AW New art unveiled

[picture by Alex Watson, courtesy of  the Exmouth Journal]

In January 2016, additional art signage has been installed to guide visitors to the natural attractions of Exmouth.