THE Minehead Eye skatepark has a new face for youngsters to meet - Brian the Brain.

The 12ft high character was designed and painted by the Minehead Eye’s resident professional graffiti artist Charlie McFarley.

Charlie, who has been teaching street art and running workshops for youngsters in West Somerset, was asked to put up the mural after getting involved in the mental health awareness campaign Time To Change, run by Mind in Somerset.

“I have always had an interest in mental health and trying to erode some of the stigmas that surround it, and the Time To Change campaign fits very well with that,” Mr McFarley said.

The Minehead Eye team thought lockdown was a great time to add some art to the skatepark, and the work took Charlie around six hours to spray paint.

“Inspired by the Time to Change campaign, the mural is of a 12ft character I’ve called Brian the Brain working out,” Charlie explained.

“I thought this was a good way for the young people here to have something enjoyable to look at, while also making a serious point about looking after your mental health.”

Charlie, 43, moved to Minehead from London two years ago, and says there is great enthusiasm for genuine street art among West Somerset’s youth.

“It is great as a graffiti artist to work in Minehead – there is great interest and it is a fresh canvas as there are very few pieces around.

“I have already been commissioned for work on the outside of the Minehead Eye and the local boxing club.

“The young people here have been to Bristol and Exeter and seen some of the great street artworks they have and are enthusiastic about learning.”

Charlie grew up in Hackney in London and developed his graffiti talent on the street, but is pleased to be able to offer a new generation a safe way to learn the skills.

“As a teenager I could be described as a ‘delinquent’,” Charlie said.

“I was one of those that would walk alongside the train tracks to do graffiti, and having always been into art I found I was quite good.”