Tribute to artist Sid Benyon unveiled

Hastings Mayor Cllr Kim Forward with Harry Lyons, Juliette Dodd and Jamie Stapley
Hastings Mayor Cllr Kim Forward with Harry Lyons, Juliette Dodd and Jamie Stapley
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A MEMORIAL has been set up in memory of a popular local artist.

The town’s Mayor, Councillor Kim Forward, unveiled the specially designed mosaic and plaque on St Leonards seafront on Saturday, which has been dedicated to Sid Beynon.

Sid Benyon

Sid Benyon

He was best remembered for his beach art and being a leading light for Hastings Arts Forum at Marine Court.

Harry Lyons, the forum’s chairman, said: “The mosaic is made of pebbles picked from Sid’s beach.

“He always wanted people to notice the many colours and shapes of the pebbles and see the familiar coastline with new wonder and creativity.

“He was a beloved member of the forum and wider communities and is much missed.

“We see the mosaic, and the plaque which will accompany it, as a fitting tribute to a great local artist.”

The mosaic, which was designed by Juliette Dodd, is in the shape of a dolphin, which was one of Mr Beynon’s most iconic beach designs.

The stones for the piece were gathered by Mike Williams, under the guidance of Jamie Stapeley, who worked with Mr Beynon in the 1990s on his original beach works.

A plaque reads: Sid Beynon, 1956-2010, Beach Artist and also contains the following quote: The beach is my studio, the stones are my palette.

He died of a heart attack in August last year, aged 54, and just days before the start of his first ever exhibition.

At Hastings Arts Forum he helped to run and curate a host of exhibitions for other local artists.

Sid left school at 14 with what he jokingly told friends was little more than a few swimming certificates.

He was accepted at Hastings College of Arts and Technology in 1998 and began to draw for the first time, inspired by his tutors.

A year later he was accepted onto a BA Honours in Fine Art course at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.

Sid then started to experiment with his own designs with stones on the beach.

He also gained a reputation as a beach entertainer and crowds would often gather to watch his work take shape.

In his final years he spent time working with young artists to help them develop their skills.

After the memorial was unveiled, children took part in a workshop making mosaics on the beach.