A colourful array of flags is fluttering above High Street in Shrewsbury – each one designed by a youngster as part of a special art project. 

The Great Big Art Exhibition is a national project, backed by Angel of the North creator Sir Antony Gormley, encouraging people to create their own pieces of art and display them outside their home. 

Shrewsbury BID decided to take the concept one step further and asked children to create a picture which could be reproduced on flags in the town centre. 

More than 800 pictures were received, using the theme of animals as chosen by Sir Antony when he launched the Great Big Art Exhibition earlier this year. 

Now, 71 of those designs are proudly flying over High Street alongside the bright and colourful bunting adorning much of Shrewsbury, as the town centre welcomes visitors again following the national lockdown. 

Katy Rink, editor of My Shrewsbury magazine, who helped promote the Great Big Art Exhibition on behalf of Shrewsbury BID, said some of the images would be sent to Sir Antony himself. 

She said: “A huge thank you to all the children who took up this challenge and to all the teachers who made the effort during what must have been a very difficult time in schools to encourage their pupils to take part.  

“We will be sending some of the images to Sir Antony Gormley’s studio so that he can see how well Shrewsbury has responded to his idea! 

“I think we have proved that we have a very creative spirit in this town and some brilliant talent too. We were bowled over by how many entries we had and by the quality of the output.” 

Jonathan Soden, Shrewsbury BID director and owner of contemporary art gallery, The Soden Collection in Wyle Cop, added: “We really wanted the town centre to have a vibrant and positive atmosphere as businesses reopened, and these flags certainly add to the mix. 

“The children really got into the spirit of the exhibition and we have tried to use as many of the pictures as we possibly could – the standard was extremely high, and everyone who sent in their artwork should be really proud of themselves.”