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Stona Lisa: Pair recreate masterpieces out of pebbles on beach

Versions of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and Vermeer’s Girl With The Pearl Earring have been created at Southsea.

Justin Bateman and Tony Brooks’ creation Stona Lisa (Justin Bateman/PA)
Justin Bateman and Tony Brooks’ creation Stona Lisa (Justin Bateman/PA)

By Megan Baynes, PA

A lecturer and an artist from Southsea have been recreating famous masterpieces, including their own “Stona Lisa” out of pebbles on the beach.

Justin Bateman, 43, who works at Fareham College, concocted the idea with his friend and fellow artist Tony Brooke, 38, while walking on the beach.

The duo created their own versions of the iconic Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and the Girl With The Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer.

Each piece of art took upwards of 50 hours’ work, including 16 hours’ gathering the stones.

Mr Bateman told PA: “We chose artwork that was 18 or 16-bit images, which meant we needed to find 18 or 16 different colour tones. Once we collected the stones we then spent time sorting them.”

Once each artwork is complete, they leave it in place for four hours before returning the pebbles to where they were found.

Mr Bateman said: “Impermanence is a big part of the work. Some people may consider this to be a form of vandalism in the natural environment and we prefer to leave only footprints.”

They have been joined by children and families on the beach, and encouraged them to help with creating the masterpiece.

Mr Bateman said: “Children have no inhibitions and will happily come over and start creating their own artwork next to us, or helping.”

After seeing the reaction to the artwork, he said the pair have plans to create something else — but have not yet revealed what.

“We have big plans, watch this space,” he said.

PA

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