Clare’s musical legend portraits

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An Eastbourne artist who has spruced up empty shops with a mural is hoping her paintings of musical legends will become a tourist attraction in a neglected part of town.

Clare Hackney-Ring, of Latimer Road, has been commissioned by Eastbourne Can – a local group which takes part in local projects and aims to give empty shops a face-lift.

Clare has painted life-size portraits of 11 world famous deceased musicians including Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley .

The mural measures 16 metres wide and three metres high – stretching across three empty shop fronts in Langney Road at the junction with Seaside. It has a back drop of Sovereign Harbour to give it a local feel.

Clare, who has spent 70 hours throughout the winter months creating the mural, says she is pleased with her work now it is complete.

Clare said, “I have been working on it since September and I have become very involved with the local people in the area.

“It has been extremely hard work. Working outside all through the winter.

“But it has been a really good experience and I have had hundreds of people come up to me and tell me how much they like the mural. It has brightened up what was a very grim corner of empty shops.”

Devonshire, the most deprived in the town, got funding under the National Lottery’s Big Local project. The funding, which will see the area benefit from £1 million over the coming years, was announced last year.

Clare said, “I am now hoping to go on to do more in the Devonshire Ward of Eastbourne as part of the Big Local project.

“I would like to do something in Whitley Rec as part of the Big Local project.”

Clare has shown off her art work in public before. For three years she painted political, and often humorous, boards and placed them on the front of her house in Latimer Road. The paintings were a hit with her neighbours and Clare hopes this mural will be just as successful.

She added, “I would really like to make it a tourist attraction as there hasn’t been anything special to bring people up this way until now.”

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd recently visited the site.

Visit Clare’s Facebook page at