Artwork gees up Gunwharf’s shopping crowd

Racehorse art at Gunwharf Quays.
Racehorse art at Gunwharf Quays.
Portsmouth Port. Photo by Chris Pearsall

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LEAPING out of the pavement, this piece of art had shoppers at Gunwharf Quays horsing around.

Created by contemporary artist Mark Crowther, the artwork appeared at the Portsmouth shopping centre over the weekend and prompted Ella Preston-Tyrrell, 8, and her sister Eve, 5, to point it out to shoppers.

Mr Crowther has been an artist for 30 years, specialising in street art before setting up his company, Soulful Creative, in Berkshire two years ago.

He created the design over three days, spray painting it on canvas in his studio rather than getting in the way of shoppers at Gunwharf during that time.

He said: ‘It took that time because drawing horses is notoriously difficult, especially in 3D.

‘You keep having to go back to the viewing point because your brain keeps telling you you’re doing it wrong – it can’t process it – so you have to draw a few lines and then go back to the viewing point.

‘I then drove it down and was at Gunwharf by about 5am to blend it in on site.’

The artwork was put in place to promote Fontwell Park racecourse, which has recently completed an investment in its facilities and is positioning itself as a community hub.

Tracy Skinner, the course’s general manager, said: ‘We wanted to demonstrate just how exciting horseracing can be and what better way than to have a racehorse leaping out of the ground of a shopping centre.

‘We were happy to see so many shoppers stop to have their picture taken and we hope to see them at Fontwell Park very soon to enjoy the real thing.’