Beyond the call of duty in tourist season
It’s August, the streets of Newquay are packed with tourists suddenly stopping in the middle of the path as they amble between gift shops. The roads are jammed with cars waiting to turn right into car parks that are already full. Supermarket check-outs grind to a halt as people wait in line for ages then seem surprised that they have to get money out when it’s their turn to pay and spend the next ten minutes trying to find the exact change.
This is the reality, and how easy it would be for tourists and locals alike to slate the town during the money making season, but to borrow from a similar phrase, ‘don’t bitch about your town. YOU ARE the town. Just concentrate on doing your bit!’.
Have a look at the photo below. This was taken this morning, by an Eastern European gentleman on his holidays in Newquay. Not having my phone with me, I asked if would email it to me. ‘Of course’ he said. Marus (I learned that’s his name from the email) was rather delighted to see not only a pristine beach spread out before him, but one with a rather unique piece of artwork drawn all over it. How long did this take? What time did the artist have to get up to do it? What happens when the tide washes it away? And of course, WHO did it?
The artist behind all this is the Cornish born-Newquay based Tony Plant. Big Tone or Tone-loc or T-Pain or T-Pizzle as he is often called, has done many similar projects over the years. What surprises me is the risk T-Plasma takes that not enough people will see the work. How do you satisfy your ego when you can’t hang your work in a gallery for people to gaze at and maybe buy it for a tidy sum afterwards? You can’t. The best you can do is find a quite bench and observe the reactions from early morning strollers. Most of the time they just stop and look a bit puzzled, but that’s enough for Tone.
There you go then. While some people area having a damned good whinge about the tourists and beeping their horns at the ones who dare to be walking through town centre as they drive up behind them impatiently revving their engines, some people are quietly picking up the litter from the beaches and one man is doing his part to turn them into works of art.