A new community arts project starts in Salisbury on Wednesday, November 25, with an exhibition in the window of an empty city centre shop.

The former lighting shop at 59 Catherine Street will have a window display showing the potential of a new project that links in strongly with current plans for regenerating the city centre with arts and cultural activities as well as shopping.

Hidden Figures is the brainchild of local artist Anthony Durman and is nine life-size figures of real-life Salisbury people to hidden corners of the City. The figures are based on real individuals nominated by local people and organisations. They are created by scanning the person chosen with a hand-held scanner and using the data with a community-owned 3D printer to generate a life-size statue.

Deciding on who the statues will depict and finding the right settings for the figures – out of the way, unexpected and secure – are important parts of the project in which the community can get involved. When complete, the figures will form a trail, complete with a phone app, to encourage local residents and visitors to explore familiar and unfamiliar corners of the City. Plaques and information on the app will tell the back story of the person selected.

Hidden Figures is hosted by Safer and Supportive Salisbury, whose newly-elected chair Anne Trevett said: “ We see this as a way of bringing some fun and interest to the city at a very difficult time. Living through Novichok – and now the pandemic has been a hard time but this project will help Salisbury to celebrate local people who represent some of the best values of the City.”

Opportunities for volunteers include nominating the people to be depicted in the statues, helping with the printing and production, finding unexpected and out-of-the-way places to locate the statues, and helping to promote the project, plus fund-raising.

Contact Safer Salisbury administrator Linda Baker on sassalisbury5@gmail.com and more details are on the Wiltshire Together website.