The seaside suburb of Southbourne, some 3 miles east of Bournemouth does not have the same amount of public art as its neighbours. However, there are some murals in the main road which warrant attention, including a traffic stopper of a public toilet.
At the bottom of Fisherman’s Walk, you can see LucanArt’s ‘Role Reversal’. This fish trying its hand (or fin) at fishing is part of the Bournemouth Selfie Wall Trail. More details of the trail can be found here.
At the end of Fisherman’s walk, turn right onto Southbourne Grove. Southbourne residents like to refer to the area as SoBo. On the side of Bacon and Cheese delicatessen, you can find this Love SoBo mural by another local artist, Ricky Also of Poole based Paint Shop Studio.
Follow the road (it becomes Bellevue Road) until you reach two shops with arty exteriors. First, is Bellevue Stores general store. You will have to be out early or late to see this one, as it’s on the shutter. Here, if the store is closed, you can find local artist Miroslav Lucan (LucanArt)’s take on Yellow Submarine.
Ricky’s Fish & Chips
A couple of doors down is Ricky’s Fish & Chip shop. Lucan has also been at work here. Outside, you can spot an overly greedy seagull and a fish on a unicycle. If you go inside, there is plenty more LucanArt on display. The food is really good too!
Gods of the Sea
Just past Ricky’s are the Southbourne Crossroads Public Toilets. These show stopping public toilets have been painted to look like a giant fish tank containing a shipwreck, which can been seen from different perspectives on each side.
Entitled ‘Gods of the Sea’, it is the work of yet another local artist, Krishna Malla (Tech Moon). The end walls depict the Greek sea god Poseidon and his wife Amphitrite.
The couple are joined by their son and a variety of a marine life, such as sharks, a whale and a turtle.
While I was taking photos, several people came over to express their admiration of the murals. I guess this is one place where it’s socially acceptable to hang round public toilets talking to strange men!
As the building is on a (traffic) island, you can wander round and round admiring it without risk of being run over.
Back to Fitness
Just past the Crossroads is Back to Fitness, where you can see this image by eccentric Australian artist Sunyata. It was originally used to illustrate a book about how to explain the concept of pain.
The final piece is in a layby off Bellevue Road (just before the zebra crossing between numbers 247 and 253). Note; it’s quite hard to spot. Also note; it’s quite narrow and gets narrower further along (I took my bike down here and got stuck half way down!) Here you can find a ceramic portrayal of Charles Rolls by local artist Matthew Byrom. Famous for being half of the company Rolls Royce, Rolls has the unenviable honour of being the first Briton to die in an aeroplane crash. The accident happened at nearby Hengistbury Head and Byrom has produced this piece to commemorate the aviation pioneer and his local connection.
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