Sunday, 13 April 2014

Street Art Exmouth Style (Part 1)

STREET ART EXMOUTH STYLE - 
THE POWDER MONKEY

Does anyone take any notice of the art hung out on the streets of Exmouth? I'm talking about the pub signs. Do people actually recognize that they are indeed works of art? Genuine paintings hanging there for all to view; painted by starving, anonymous artists in their garrets?
The Powder Monkey pub sign is an example.


It may just be a Wetherspoons pub (and there's nothing wrong with that) but the meaning of The Powder Monkey's name is interesting. The boy in the painting is a 'powder monkey', the name given to children who worked on battleships in days of old ferrying gunpowder from the ship's hold to the cannons. It wasn't exactly a job with many long-term prospects as life expectancy was thought to be limited, particularly at times of battle. Exmouth's most famous powder monkey was actually, however, a woman called Nancy Perriam who served in the navy at the time of Nelson. Legend has it that she miraculously survived numerous battles at sea and lived to the tender age of 98 years. A blue plaque has been mounted outside her old home in Exmouth.

The Powder Monkey is a haven for artists of every hue (as are many pubs in Exmouth - there's a joke in there somewhere) and apparently even Morrissey has been spotted in there ordering drinks.  


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