Any recent visitors to Brighton seafront will have been lucky enough to witness the new art installation that has been created by local artist, Lois O’Hara, intended to draw visitors from the beach up to the boutique shops that nestle beneath the West Pier Arches.
The installation, entitled the Brighton Rainbow Crosswalk, sees the waved rainbow design weave it’s way from the pebbles right up to the doorway of shops such as the Lavender Room and Brighton Photography. The Crosswalk’s rainbow colours also coincide perfectly with the numerous displays popping up across the city ahead of Brighton and Hove Pride, taking place this weekend.
Working alongside Bailey Contemporary Art Gallery, O’Hara was commissioned by Brighton and Hove Council to create the piece, but naturally, her own motives and inspirations shine through. “As with most of my work, I want people to enjoy it’s movement and positivity that I try to capture and portray.”
Speaking to Brighton Journal about the techniques she adopted to create a piece on such a large scale, that also needed to be able to withstand anything the British weather threw at it, O’Hara said: “Using a roller onto the floor was a new technique for me and I painted the installation solely on my own so it was very tiring in the heat! When I paint my art murals I usually use brushes.”
As with any artwork intended to bring a bit of colour to everyone’s day, the response to the Rainbow Crosswalk has been met with much praise. On a photo of the work posted in a popular Brighton Facebook group, one fan commented “Love it, certainly makes a nice change and brightens up the place” and O’Hara herself has said that the response so far has been “overwhelming”.
O’Hara also added that “the idea was to paint using vibrant colours that made people feel happy, even in the grim weather”, which has clearly been achieved. Just days after the unveiling of the finished product, the city’s heatwave came to an abrupt end with a weekend of downpours, but the Rainbow Crosswalk remained as a beacon of colour and joy throughout.
O’Hara’s next project will see her create what she mysteriously describes as a “giant basketball ‘art court’, which will be the first of it’s kind in the UK. To follow updates on this next piece, as well as get a glimpse of more of O’Hara’s beautifully vibrant work, follow her over on Instagram (@loisohara)