Street artist paints ‘fantastic’ mural of thresher shark on Langstone Harbour wall as part of project’s drive to showcase Solent wildlife
A GIANT painted shark will adorn a Langstone wall after a community vote decided to pay public homage to the local marine creature.
Street artist ATM began work on his new wildlife mural at Langstone Harbour Office yesterday, and the painting is expected to be finished by Sunday.
The design of the mural - a thresher shark - was voted for by Hayling Ferry passengers, Langstone Harbour staff, the Hayling Health Society, and the Eastney Cruising Association.
ATM, also known as Mark Anthony, lives in London and is known for painting birds and other animals threatened with extinction.
He said: ‘I’m very excited to be working here, each location I paint at is unique and this is a lovely place.
‘It’s an unusual building but the perfect shape for a thresher shark.’
The corrugated iron of the office wall creates a rippled effect as if the shark is under water.
ATM’s thresher shark is one of a series of six murals commissioned from him as part of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s Secrets of the Solent project, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Dr Tim Ferrero, senior marine biologist for the project, said: ‘Most people don’t know that thresher sharks live around here, they live towards the Isle of Wight.
‘In the Secrets of the Solent project, we are seeing if we can satellite tag sharks to help us plot movements.’
The murals will help raise awareness of the important marine habitats and wildlife in the waters surrounding Hampshire and the Island.
Tim, who lives in Lee-on-the-Solent, added: ‘It’s fantastic to have this mural depicting a thresher shark.
‘Langstone Harbour Office letting us have something on the wall is helping us shout out local wildlife - we want to keep bringing that awareness of our environment.’
The first mural, of a spider crab, has already been completed at Hythe Pier in Southampton. ATM will paint four other murals of Solent wildlife later this summer, with the species yet to be chosen by local communities.
A four year project, Secrets of the Solent is shining a spotlight on the vibrant marine environment of the region.