Four art students from the world-renowned Royal College of Art are to become Artists in Residence at The Beacon Centre in Eastbourne next month.

The post-graduate artists will work from a vacant shop unit and their task will be to examine communal spaces in the shopping centre and re-imagine how they could be transformed through art and creative thinking for the benefit of local residents.

Under the guidance of London designer Kevin Haley– one of their RCA tutors – the team will turn their ideas into collages, sketches and models.

They have already spoken to shoppers about life in Eastbourne, so they can hit the ground running from Tuesday February 1 – Friday February 4.

Visitors to the centre will be able to watch the artists in action at their unit near Marks & Spencer.

Beacon Director James Roberts said he was delighted to host the art students and looked forward to establishing a good working relationship with the Royal College of Art.

“As a fine art graduate, I have always taken a keen interest in the world of creativity and artistic endeavour.

“So I am thrilled to welcome the MA students to Eastbourne and to The Beacon for a week of high-intensity work in one of our units,” James explained. “They will be out and about in the centre and will be engaging with shoppers about their work.”

Royal College of Art tutor Kevin Haley said he was delighted that The Beacon had been so receptive to the idea of a week-long residency.

“My architectural firm, Aberrant Architecture, has already been involved with The Beacon to create a more flexible communal area for children to play and for people of different ages to meet, socialise and be more active.

“My RCA students have been looking at this work, so their week in Eastbourne is a natural next step to explore alternative scenarios for the communal spaces in The Beacon.”

The students have been given free rein to think “outside the box” and will be creating

collages, sketches and models to illustrate their ideas as they progress.

Local artists and art lovers have been invited to come along and talk to the students during their working week. The Towner Eastbourne has kindly publicised the Artists in Residence week to its members and supporters.

Joe Hill, Towner director, said: “The decision to bring the RCA students to Eastbourne is yet another stamp of approval for Eastbourne’s standing in the country’s artistic and cultural sectors.

“It is great news that the students have been given a unit in The Beacon and I look forward to seeing their progress during the week.”