CHILDREN are helping to create a work of art - on the side of a house in Newport.

Youngsters involved in the Barnabas Arts House' Fringe Festival are working with urban painter Alex Arnell to re-create the famous image by Japanese artist Hokusai, 'The Wave', with a Welsh twist.

Janet Martin, owner of the independent Arts House on New Ruperra Street, told the Argus: "Two years ago Alex came here as an artist in residence and helped local children to paint one of the building's side walls, inspired by what Newport means to them.

"It's a piece which has developed each year," said Janet, who renovated the 107-year-old building three years ago.

"The shutters of nearby shops have also been decorated, so it's becoming a real area of street art - Brick Lane comes to Newport."

Alex, who has exhibited in London's Brick Lane, was asked to create the artwork a year ago by nearby resident Rachel Young.

"A blank space always looks better with something on it," said Rachel, herself a design graduate. "I left the design to Alex."

The painting incorporates the Newport skyline and the wave's white crest will be made of sheep, explained Alex.

"It's a play on the idea of Welsh pop art, what would Andy Warhol have painted if he'd been Welsh," said Alex, 35.

"The sheep is the equivalent of Warhol's Marilyn. It's quite tongue in cheek."

The ground floor of the Arts House will temporarily become a gallery for children to sell their artwork to relatives.

The third annual Barnabas Fringe Festival ends today. To go along, call 01633 673739 or for more information, visit