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Gravesend artist Wendy Cottam asks people to paint her in chalk taken from Northfleet pits

A Gravesend artist has invited people to cover her in chalk - in an effort to make them think about art in a different way.

Wendy Cottam, 43, of Dover Road, is one of the artists organising Footfall - a project running in the Gravesend indoor market.

Footfall, run by Gravesend Arts Consortium, wants passionate artists to create and display their work in the market, just off the High Street, where they can rent studio space for £30 a week.

Artist Wendy Cottam gets covered in chalk in Gravesend

All creative types are invited to take part, whether it is painting, sculpting, poetry, storytelling or photography.

Mrs Cottam decided to use ground down chalk sourced from pits in Northfleet for her installation.

Dressed in dark clothes, she got people to daub the chalk all over her. She said it was important to use material from her area in the piece.

She said: "I think as an artist I'm inspired by my environment and the nature in my environment and that in turn goes with the chalk and everything. It's in our buildings and in the water."

Mrs Cottam said she wanted people to enjoy and appreciate art in all its forms and that Footfall and her chalk installation was about opening minds.

Wendy Cottam let other artists cover her in chalk sourced from pits in Northfleet as part of the Footfall arts project in Gravesend

She said: "[My aim is] to introduce people to a different type of art and let them know that it could be interactive and make you think about it differently.

"It was interesting listening to people talk saying 'can I paint on her clothes? Can I paint over her legs?'"

Footfall studio space is available until May 31 with an exhibition of work at St Andrew’s Arts Centre in Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, on June 7 and 8.

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