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Art Student Sees Octopus Creation Take Centre Stage on Town Trail

A former Coleg Llandrillo Art student’s octopus ice cream concept has taken pride of place within Colwyn Bay’s Imagine Sculpture Trail.

Abi Dearden’s creation was selected from dozens of entries to be included in the town’s newly-imagined trail.

Whilst at the college’s Rhos-on-Sea campus, Abi, 20 from Kinmel Bay, gained excellent grades in her Art, Graphics, and Photography A-levels, before staying at college and joining the Foundation Studies Art & Design course. She is now studying for a degree in Illustration at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle.

The octopus ice cream is called Lady Penelope, the result of a naming competition which was held by staff at the town’s Station View Café. Lady Penelope is a key component of the trail and now adorns a wall holding up a ‘to the beach sign’, pointing the way with one of her tentacled limbs!

Lady Penelope’s frame is made from donated offcuts of heating pipe. Her eyes are fishing floats and her skin is re-used bubble wrap, painted and covered in UV-stabilised clear tape. The traffic cone and fishing net were washed up on the beach and fashioned into an ice cream cone.

The Imagine Sculpture Trail has been developed as part of the Imagine Colwyn Bay Heritage Fund Great Place Scheme. The project aimed to involve young people in creating playful and engaging public art with strong, locally-based environmental and heritage themes.

The ideas for the trail were developed through workshops and engagement with Coleg Llandrillo’s Foundation Art & Design students. After Abi’s design was chosen (along with several other designs), representatives from Ceredigion-based Small World Theatre were commissioned to work on the projects, setting about turning the concepts into reality using salvaged materials.

Small World Theatre has a proven track record of creating exciting, stimulating commissions and public art spectacles. It makes articulated sculptures, automata and giant lanterns using a mind-boggling range of recycled, repurposed and found materials.

Talking about her time at college, Abi said: “My experiences throughout the Foundation Art & Design course were amazing. I made a lot of friends and picked up a lot of new skills that I now use every single day at university. Having completed this course, I feel like I am ahead of the game with the work I am doing now. I am grateful I did this course and recommend it to anyone.”

A selection of Abi’s work can be viewed at

For more information on Creative Arts courses, or any other courses available at Coleg Llandrillo, contact the Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.