‘Big community achievement’: Village lockdown artwork made permanent

An artwork made during lockdown in Boughton-under-Blean, Kent, has been praised as a “big community achievement” as it was made permanent.

The piece details a large snake made of around 700 hand-painted stones from local residents, which have now been coated in protective resin.

Aimee Skinner, 37, who started the project at the beginning of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown with her 14-year-old daughter Hannah, said the finished work is “absolutely beautiful”.

“It was a real big community achievement,” Ms Skinner told the PA news agency. “It’s a really good memory of everything we’ve gone through with Covid-19.”

As well as the individual stones being protected, two local builders solidified the art’s groundwork, while Boughton-under-Blean Parish Council paid for a plaque to be displayed alongside it.

Ms Skinner, a senior support worker for a charity helping deaf people, told PA: “We went to the beach and collected some stones, my daughter was the one who painted the snake’s head.

“All of a sudden it took off and the whole of the village got involved, it really seemed to bring the whole community together at a time when we all had to be apart.

“Last weekend it was all finished.”

Ms Skinner said that before the artwork was made permanent people would spray their stones in varnish, or repaint them if they were damaged by rain.

“There’s definitely in the region of 700 stones, when we set it up we thought it would be an achievement if we got to 300 stones.

“We’ve had people come to see it from other towns… we even have people from other towns ask to paint stones for it.

“It’s been amazing, I never thought something so small would be turned into such a massive project. It’s been so uplifting.”