AN art student who could not continue her course during the lockdown created her own project with the help of her neighbours.

Sarah McBrearty said she had lost motivation to do the final piece for her art foundation course at Brighton Metropolitan College from home, as she already had a sense of what her final grade would be. 

The college has been teaching courses remotely but Sarah decided to do something artistic for her neighbours during lockdown.

The 47-year-old from Montpelier Street began painting pebbles and leaving them on her nearby doorsteps as tokens of hope amid the pandemic.

She said: “I painted between 200 and 300 pebbles and left them with a note to say ‘You are not alone’ during these challenging times.

“The next thing I knew, people were leaving messages on the Next Door app to find me and say thank you. So it gave me the motivation to do some more community-based art.”

Sarah created two large wings and came up with the idea for her neighbours to each design their own feather.

She got people involved through the Next Door app and posted the feather templates through people’s letter boxes.

The Argus: The completed wingsThe completed wings

Sarah said: “Lots of people took part - from the age of three up to retirement and every age in between. Everyone approached it differently.

“One person stuck some of their dog’s fur on their feather and my next door neighbour did his design based on Yorkshire Tea, as he said that’s what has got him through lockdown.

“One of the most amazing things about this has been connecting with people. There’s already a group forming who want to meet up after this is over – I know I’ve made friends for life.”

Sarah displayed the wings outside her house for participants to see how their handiwork fitted in to the artwork.

She said: “It was a continuous stream of people coming to see the wings and everyone thought they looked great in real life. Most people are already asking when the next project will be.”

In the meantime, Sarah has decided to donate the wings to Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice in Angmering.

Melissa Hancorn at Chestnut Tree House said: “This is a really lovely gift and we are honoured to be the recipient of the wings.

“Many of our children love getting involved in arts and crafts so I’m sure this will inspire some new activities.

“Apart from the wonderful end result, what really struck me about this project is that it is all about community and celebrating coming together and being part of something.

The Argus: Some of the feathers people madeSome of the feathers people made

“We rely so much on our local community, and children’s hospice care simply wouldn’t be possible without people’s support and generosity.

“For us, these wings symbolise how Chestnut Tree House is part of the local community, and how everyone is important. Thank you to all involved.”

Sarah also wanted to thank all her neighbours who got involved with making the feathers for the wings, who are:

Alex Adams, Andrea Arnold, Anniek Verholt, Arona Khan, Bernard Claydon, Boglarka Bogyai, Carlos De La Roche, Cath Laffan, Charlotte Pihlqvist, Claire Viva, Clive Rodgers, Colin Rogers-March, David McBrearty, David Sweeney, Debbie Taylor, Dee Tipping, Eleanor Gamper, Eliph Hadert, Ella Baker, Emma Jackson, Fran Jackson, Frances Lindsay-Hills, Gaynor Wingham, Imogen Tanner, Isobel Bigland, Jacqui Freeman, John Wingham, Johnny Carrol-Pell, Laia Farran Graves, Lewis Carter, Luella Skye Woollen, Maria Scard, Maddy Morton, Max Sargent, Meghan Brooks, Melissa Chalmers, Miranda Blayney, Natalie Sargent, Nathalie Von Rueti, Neal Young, Oliver Ryan, Rachel Davidson, Rachel Ness Martin, Richard Hanley, Rohays Perry, Roxy Binns, Rowan Tanner, Rupert Juan Woollen, Sarah Gravett, Sasha Glynn, Sasha Morton Smyth, Stanley Andrews, Sue Penrose, Summer Martin Desouky, Susan Clement, Tash Sweeney, Teresa Outhwaite, Tilly Outhwaite, Veronica Urbano, Violet Pugh, Wendy Glynn, Yvette Dehoop, Yvonne Raisin and Zoe Bigland.