BASINGSTOKE-based artist Sian Storey has painted of the 50 unique Book Benches that have appeared in London this summer as part of the Books About Town sculpture trail.

The event, organised by the National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art, is a summer-long celebration of London's literacy classics, aiming to inspire children and adults to pick up a book.

Each bench, shaped like an open book, has been individually illustrated by an artist. All of the benches will be auctioned off for charity in October at London's Southbank Centre.

Sian's intricate and colourful design was inspired by Peter Pan and it can be seen in London until September 15. It is located at Red Lion Square near Holborn tube station. 

"I called my bench 'Always Try To Be A Little Kinder Than Is Necessary,' which is a quote from the author of Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie,” she explained.

“Nothing sparks the imagination quite like reading, and I wanted my bench to reflect that through the magical world of Neverland.”

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Sian, who is head of art at The Hurst Community College, Tadley, spent her evenings and weekends painting the bench.

She added: "I literally lived with the huge bench in my house for weeks - it was a real labour of love. So I'm really proud that it's now in the heart of London for everyone to enjoy this summer as part of such an important cultural event." 

It’s not the first time that Sian has been involved in such a project. Last year you may have seen her in Festival Place painting a huge rhino sculpture for the Marwell Zoo Go! Rhinos trail.

In addition, Sian's art is currently in Festival Place as part of the All Our Own Work pop up gallery.

"The pop up gallery has been such an exciting project to be involved in,” she reflected.

“It's been great to collaborate with fellow local artists, and showcase our artwork in such a busy environment. The public feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I think that's because the gallery is fun, it’s unique and it makes art accessible to everyone."