The People Behind the Bench Designs 2024: Talented Runner Ups Backstory

June 27, 2024

Following the success of our recent Brighton Marina Bench Design Competition, we caught up with the two fantastically talented competition runner ups to delve into their design inspiration and learn more about their creative journey.

For my bench design, I researched different kinds of local wildlife and wanted to display the variety of flora and fauna, mainly using local conservation pages, such as ‘Sussex Wildlife Trust’. I felt that the local forest-life is easily overlooked and so I wanted to use a woodland scene, though still including the South Downs and Seven Sisters in the background. I used the seat of the bench to highlight the ground-based creatures, such as hedgehogs, Peacock butterflies, and the county’s flower, the Round-Headed Rampion. while the backrest displays local birds, such as Sparrows, Starlings and Kingfishers.

My typical style is bright and colorful, and I enjoy illustrating nature and animals, and so I enjoyed working with this year’s theme of ‘Sussex Nature and Wildlife’. I wanted to make a design that would contribute to the vibrant and colourful setting of Brighton and generally feel joyful. I hope that this opportunity helps to promote appreciation for the local wildlife, and reflect the power of art in everyday spaces.

I am currently an Illustration student at the University of Brighton and hope to pursue a career in publishing and concept art.

My name is Zarine Kumar. I’m a 21-year-old illustration student from Solihull currently finishing my second year at the University of Brighton. When I came across this competition, I thought it would be a great opportunity to contribute to the beautiful environment and community I’ve come to appreciate so much during my time here as a student.

I love going for walks around Brighton, especially during the summer, and I usually carry a small sketchbook in my bag to capture moments of beauty. I particularly enjoy sketching at the beach, in the Royal Pavillion gardens and at Brighton Marina, so this is what started my design. I included fish, crabs, starfish, dragonflies, ocean waves, boats, flowers, starlings, swallows and squirrels. My favourite element is the starling murmuration, which I have had the pleasure of watching over the Pier.

I have a slightly abstract approach to my work, often using collage and focusing mainly on appreciating colour, texture and shape. I wanted to create a design that appreciated and enhanced the small details in the natural beauty of Brighton and Sussex.