Artwork shows city’s colourful history

Portsmouth Grammar School pupils with their collages at the cathedral
Portsmouth Grammar School pupils with their collages at the cathedral

From broken bones to new beginnings

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Imposing pillars at Portsmouth Cathedral are looking very colourful thanks to student artworks depicting key events in the city’s history.

Six pillars in the nave at St Thomas’ Anglican Cathedral have been wrapped in eye-catching collages created by Portsmouth Grammar School pupils.

Year Seven pupils accessorised the cathedral in Old Portsmouth as part of The Big Draw – a worldwide project to encourage children to get drawing.

They designed boldly-coloured banners by ‘drawing’ with scissors to make collages about the sinking of the Mary Rose, Pompey’s FA Cup wins, Lord Nelson in Portsmouth, the opening of Gunwharf Quays and the Spinnaker Tower, the Guildhall during the Blitz and the founding of their own school.

The results, in all colours of the rainbow, are spectacular.

Emma Hill-Perales, 11, says: ‘It was a great outcome and the boldness and brightness of the colours looked great in the cathedral.’

Matt Roberts, 11, adds: ‘It was amazing – individually it looked great but together it looked awesome!’

Sujata Dutta, also 11, who worked on the Nelson in Portsmouth design, says: ‘I thought The Big Draw was fun and exciting and the hard work we put in as a team paid off as the end product was very impressive.’

The children’s work was inspired by early American modernist painter Stuart Davis, who created bold, brash, busy compositions. They also referred to The Portsmouth Book of Days, an interesting historical guide by the school’s archivist John Sadden.

Alison Dyer, the school’s head of art, says: ‘It was a very ambitious project which was completed in a short time – the students excelled themselves.

‘Everyone thoroughly enjoyed taking part, from their historical research right through to adding the final touches in situ in the cathedral.

‘For those students who don’t live in Portsmouth it was a great opportunity to learn more about the city.’

She adds: ‘The collages look fantastic and we are so lucky to have the cathedral to display them.

‘I hope many people visit to take a look.’

The artworks will be on display at the cathedral until Monday, October 31.