Close and Remote on BBC Essex

Artists Close and Remote with project participants in Jaywick

In 2018 Essex Cultural Diversity Project commissioned artists Close and Remote (Simon Poulter and Sophie Mellor) to create new work in collaboration with residents in Jaywick Sands. In May 2020, at the height of the Coronavirus outbreak in the tenth week of lockdown, they talk about their work on Essex Voices, BBC Essex’s weekly radio programme focussed on community.


Days Like These was a celebration of everyday beauty. Artists Close and Remote worked with local community groups using watercolours and virtual reality to reclaim the beauty of Jaywick Sands.

Close and Remote created a series of 360 degree watercolours of Jaywick Sands, used to create a virtual reality watercolour tour of the area, incorporating the Jaywick Sands soundtrack. The final paintings by the artists and local residents were exhibition at Jaywick Martello Tower.

The work can also be viewed as a virtual reality experience on a mobile phone or VR headset. The work combines 360 watercolours, 360 video and atmospheric sound recorded around Jaywick, and can be viewed at

“I think the essence of the project was fascinating and opened the participants eyes to the beauty of Jaywick…. of which residents were already aware and non residents were able to discover. The combination of traditional and virtual ways of looking at Jaywick was a brilliant concept, presented in such an enthusiastic way.” Participant

“To be able to work in a place like Jaywick is a huge opportunity for any artist. It is a rare and special place that has its own time and energy. To capture the place and work with people there has also been incredibly rewarding. In the sessions we have run there has been a generosity and sense of sharing of being creative together.” Close & Remote