ARTISTS from across Weymouth are coming together to issue their response to a national newspaper article that described the town as a ‘graveyard of ambition’.

An exhibition will be held at Weymouth Library in October presenting artists’ work on themes of dystopia, literature and social concerns of the town.

Creative director Laura Mulhern said she hoped the exhibition would keep the debate going.

She said: “This isn’t about artists coming to the town’s defence, just saying it’s amazing or wonderful, but it’s a chance for people to say what they think.

“Yes, there are things that can be improved in the town but the article was quite one-sided.

“We want the exhibition to be a bit different and to help keep this issue on the agenda.”

And young people are also being included in the event, with members of the b-roads youth programme writing short texts to highlight their own feelings about the comments made.

Reporter Tracy McVeigh told the Dorset Echo after the Observer article was published in June that she wanted it to prompt action for young people.

Laura, who is a mentor on the b-roads programme, said: “We want to showcase the talent we have in this area and it’s also about giving young people a voice and helping them to realise there are employment opportunities in the creative industries in this region.

“The texts that the young people produce will be printed and framed to be hung alongside the artists’ visual work.

“Projects like this give young people something to work towards and be proud of.”

The exhibition takes its title from the poem The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot which outlined the social concerns of the time, and artists are hoping to do the same with their work.

Laura is keen to make people aware the exhibition will not be a collection of art celebrating what is positive about the town.

“It is a creative response to what was written.

“Everyone knows there are things that need work, as in every coastal town across the UK.

“Condor is moving out, that has an effect on accommodation providers, young people are constantly thinking they need to move to other towns to find work and that means we lose out on amazing talent.”

She added: “There is such a loyal base of people in Weymouth who do care about the town, which is obvious from the fantastic work done by groups such as Wey Forward.

“We just want the exhibition to be something that keeps this issue on the agenda and brings it to the attention of people that might be able to improve the town.”

The exhibition runs from October 13 to 25 in the Mulberry Gallery at Weymouth Library. Entry is free.

CO-DIRECTOR of the exhibition, Chris Lee, said: “The Waste Land is really a showcase of local contemporary art.

“At South West Artwork one of our goals is to maintain a steady stream of opportunities for local artists to exhibit, and where we can, to receive funding so that this can become not just a hobby, but a bankable income for artists.

“The Observer article was really a motivation for us to carry on doing this, to start to put Weymouth on the map.”

And Baron Miles, of Wey Forward, added: “Wey Forward was formed with the desire to involve the whole community in the economic regeneration of Weymouth and Portland.

“We want to help people to further their creative, business and enterprising ideas.

“The Wasteland exhibition is a perfect refection of a community ready to rebuild itself.”