Jaywick Sands commission: Close and Remote

Essex Cultural Diversity Project is pleased to announce that Close and Remote have been selected for our first place-based artist commission in Jaywick Sands, delivering a new project Days Like These, starting in September 2018.

Days Like These is a celebration of everyday beauty. Artists Close and Remote (Sophie Mellor and Simon Poulter) will work with local community groups using watercolours and virtual reality to reclaim the beauty of Jaywick Sands.

“The media perception of Jaywicks Sands is quite negative, when in actual fact it is surrounded by beautiful countryside and there are many local community groups working together to improve and celebrate their place” says Simon.

“Working with local residents we want to go with this celebratory feeling. We’re going to set up our easels and run a series of open air watercolour workshops, to explore their places of beauty. We also want to work with the community to record sounds of the environment to create a soundtrack for Jaywick Sands” explains Sophie.

Close and Remote will create a series of 360 degree watercolours of Jaywick Sands which will then be turned into a virtual reality watercolour tour of the area, incorporating the Jaywick Sands soundtrack. The final paintings by the artists and local residents, as well as the VR experience, will form part of a final exhibition at Jaywick Martello Tower in February 2019.

For more information about the artists’ work visit or follow them on Twitter @closeandremote


The selection followed a call for proposals in May/June 2018, for artists wishing to explore diversity through their work focussing on the Jaywick Sands area and community. Overall we received very high quality proposals with inspiring ideas from both newly emerging and established artists in Essex and beyond. Essex Cultural Diversity Project would like to thank all those who sent in a proposal for the commission – we will have more calls for proposals in different areas of Essex, so please sign up to our mailing list for news and updates.