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Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009
Striking art intrigues shoppers
Old lady in ballet costume
This elderly figure dressed as a ballerina is among the artwork on display

An art exhibition in an empty city centre shop is causing a stir.

A model of an elderly ballerina and a sinister figure made of giant inner tubes are among the works stopping shoppers in their tracks in Bangor, Gwynedd.

The show in a former Chinese herbalist's is by Creative Bangor, a group set up in response to the loss of arts venues like Theatr Gwynedd.

Now the initiative is to be extended to a coffee shop and a hair salon.

Lorna Jones (left) Helena Mcintosh
I like them, they are brilliantly done, but I think the babies might upset someone who may have lost a baby
Helena Macintosh, Bangor [R]

Lisa Hudson, artist/curator and secretary of Creative Bangor, explained the thinking behind it.

"While there were all the empty shops on the high street it was quite a depressing sight.

"We knew there was a lot of artistic talent in the area waiting to be exhibited and this seemed a very sensible way of getting art shown, livening up the high street and boosting people's morale.

"We've had a fantastic response from people in Bangor," she added.

"One man said he now goes to and from work each day through the Deiniol Centre just to see our exhibition, it lifts his spirits so much."

This is the second such exhibition and it seems to be having a bigger impact.

Thirty Pieces of Silver by Wendy Mayer
Thirty Pieces of Silver by Wendy Mayer

"This one's a bit more in your face than the previous one," said Lisa. "And it's reaching a lot more people than it would if it was in a gallery."

Catching the eye of passers-by in the front of the Deiniol Centre shop window is Thirty Pieces of Silver, Wendy Mayer's crate of baby Jesus dolls with "special offer" labels.

The other artists currently represented are Wanda Zyborska, Jo Alexander, Harri Challis Jones and Julie Gritten.

Reaction to the pieces has been varied.

"It would be good to have something cheerful with all the shops closing," said Helen Roberts.

"This is a bit scary," said Jane Jones, from Menai Bridge.

Meirion Owen, from Pwllheli, thought it was better than an empty space, but he was not sure what the baby models were supposed to represent.

Lorna Jones from Bangor said that it was not art as she saw it, but then people had different ideas.

"I quite like the thing in the jar, it's a little bit like a curio in a museum," she added.

Paintings and prints by five artists will soon be hung in Debenhams cafe and Claytons hairdressers and there will be performance artists in the Deiniol Centre shop in early December.

Artist Wanda Zyborska said: "It's our aim to have art in every empty shop in Bangor."


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