NOT long now until Leigh is awash with the creative beauty of brushstrokes, sculptures, jewellery and more, in its hugely popular Art Trail.

It starts on June 4 and continues to Saturday June 11, playing host to over 40 professional artists, ceramicists, jewellers, sculptors, painters and photographers, all working locally and showcasing an exciting and diverse range of contemporary art.

Annabel Dee, who herself runs a gallery, is this year's spokesman. She said: "This year the Art Trail is pleased to announce eight guest artists who have also been invited to exhibit their work as part of the event.

"It's set in over 30 different venues, many of whom are independent businesses, and really does celebrate the dedicated artistic community who generate the dynamic creative buzz that best describes Leigh on Sea. For one week annually, artists and businesses work together to provide an inspiring day out for the whole family as well as showcase art that you can buy for a lasting memoir of Leigh on Sea."

The art trail was originally set up by a community of artists who wanted to provide an outlet for their work locally, and became the first of its kind in the East of England.

Photographer Mark Taylor is drawn to documenting his hometown of Leigh, for "its urban and eccentric take on life by the water".

He says: “My work aims to capture the essence of this quirky estuary hinterland. Mostly I take candid shots featuring the characters who populate Old Leigh, an atmospheric area of cobbled alleys, cockle sheds and wharves strewn with ropes and nets. This is the backdrop for daily dramas comprising bait diggers and day trippers, boat owners and cafe crawlers. I try to trap in frames decisive moments in the worlds of this unwitting cast to compose images which tell stories, or at least parts of stories.”

The Leigh Art Trail is part of the county-wide project Essex Summer of Art, promoting a whole host of art exhibitions and events throughout Essex this summer.

For more information including venues and opening times please visit the website, collect a brochure from venues locally, or contact Bronwyn Oldham at