Wish You Were Here at Billy's on the Beach

April 2019

Billy's on the Beach

Stunning views of Bracklesham Bay from Billy's on the Beach café have inspired a local artist to capture the scene in a postcard.

Shazia Mahmood has been a regular at the café for several years and more than half of her paintings in her Birdham-based studio are of the dynamic coastline stretching from Bracklesham to West Wittering. Some of her final pieces are on display in the café, but now she has put Billy's itself into the picture with a painting which has been turned into a postcard to raise money for Selsey Lifeboat Station.

"I was so excited when Billy's first started hanging my pictures on the walls of the café knowing that customers would be looking at them," said Shazia, a mum of two. "This area is very, very pretty – you can see over to the Isle of Wight while you watch the sea and clouds moving in. Billy's is such a part of that scenery that I thought why not put the café into one of my paintings. It is the first time I have included a static building into my artwork but I am delighted with the results."

And so is Billy's on the Beach owner/manager Brett Dyson. "The final artwork is breath-taking and really captures the changing environment of this part of the coastline. I feel very proud that the café has helped to inspire such a talented artist and that the final result is not only beautiful to look at for our customers, but will also help raise vital funds for our local Lifeboat station."

Shazia began working on the picture in late autumn, taking photos and sketches of the scene before returning to her studio and recreating the images using a mixed medium of acrylics, sprays, and oils.

The original artwork now has pride of place on the walls of the café and the image has been turned into an A5 postcard, on sale from Billy's priced at £1, with all profits going to Selsey Lifeboat Station.

Billy's on the Beach

(You can see more of Shazia Mahmood's work by visiting her website here.)