PUBLIC ART IN PORTSMOUTH
The City of Portsmouth is well served in the area of public art, having many sculptures, statues and other installations to view and enjoy.
THE SAILS OF THE SOUTH
Part of the Gateway Project initiated to help address the poor visual entrance to the city, this 43 metre high structure stands on the central
reservation of the M275, the western entrance to Portsmouth.
The structure is lit at night time, but care has been taken to ensure that it does not cause a safety hazard to motorway users, or affect navigation on the harbour.
The design reflects Portsmouth's obvious links with sailing and maritime activities, the tri-sail aspect symbolising the three different maritime activities, which have and continue to share Portsmouth Harbour; Naval, Commercial and Recreational.
Another installation that is part of the gateway project, designed by Hampshire based artist Richard Farrington, this sculpture of a large-scale jack hovering over Tipner Lake provides a strong and surreal landmark and is designed to provide a roosting place for sea birds that feed in Tipner Lake.
The flags are made of galvanised steel and the jack is made of sprayed and painted zinc, the float is plastic. For more information about the installation click here
THE WHALES TAIL
Richard Farrington has another sculpture on display in Portsmouth, The Whales Tail at Gunwharf Quays.
The creation in bronze of a whales tail for the plaza in front of No 1 Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth was chosen as it represented something of the nautical heritage and history of the area being essentially about the perils of the deep and a metaphor for the almost migratory life of sailors.
For more details of Richards Portsmouth installations click here.
PORTSEA ISLAND MURAL
A 60 ft by 50 ft mural, which shows a stylised map of Portsea Island, is situated on the end wall of a building at The Strand, Southsea.
The largest of its kind in the South of England, the mural was designed by Mark Lewis and carried out by The Art and Soul Traders being completed in August 1998.
The mural was funded by The Arts Council, local businesses and The City Council.
ARUNDEL STREET SCULPTURES
In the shopping area of Arundel Street, there are a number of sculptured benches, depicting cultural icons of Portsmouth, featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle , Sir Marc Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the maritime painter W.L.Wyllie, Victorian authors Sir Walter
Besant and George Meredith and Charles Dickens.
Set into the pavements are a variety of quotations from historical Portsmouth figures such as Mary Sumner, who founded the The Mother's Union and Margaret O'Shea, a Suffragettes supporter.
The works were designed by Pete Codling as part of the Arts Councils Art at The Centre project and this also involved working with local schools and community groups in the development of the designs and concept.
THE BRIDGE TAVERN MURAL
On the side wall of the Bridge Tavern, on the quayside of the Camber Docks in Old Portsmouth, is a huge mural version of Thomas Rowlanson's cartoon entitled 'Portsmouth Point'.
Thomas Rowlandson born 1756, died in 1827 after gambling away his earnings. Rowlandson's picture shows the waterfront at Portsmouth before the departure of the fleet, including press gangs, drunkenness and other aspects of street life.
The cartoon later inspired William Walton 1902-1983, to compose his overture Portsmouth Point in 1925.