AMBITIOUS plans are in store for artists if Portsmouth becomes the UK City of Culture in 2017.
The council’s literature development officer Dom Kippin says he wants people with talent in Aarus, Denmark, to create a mobile exhibition with local galleries. It is hoped the work will be taken across Europe.
Aarus and Paphos, in Cyprus, are jointly The European Capital of Culture in 2017.
Dom, who is leading the bid, said: ‘We are working with galleries in both cities (Portsmouth and Aarus) to get them to curate mini galleries which will visit the city and around Europe.
‘That’s just one of the thing we are looking to try and do. It’s about showing people what we and our artists have to offer. Visual arts are strong in the city but we don’t shout about it enough.’
As previously reported, Portsmouth and Southampton are filing a joint application to become UK City of Culture.
Aspex Gallery, in Gunwharf Quays, says the bid will help to bring arts in the cities closer together. The gallery’s programme manager Clive Caswell said: ‘Portsmouth and Southampton’s joint bid for City of Culture is a very exciting and potentially rewarding prospect for the artists in the region.
‘Aspex, in partnership with new and existing cultural organisations could collaborate on projects that emphasise and exploit the similarities and differences between the two cities.’
Dom said the new Mary Rose Museum, which opens at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard on May 31, will play a vital role in what happens in 2017.
‘Our museums are central to our bid programme,’ he said.
‘The opening of the new museum in May shows that as a city, we are forward thinking. There’s going to be science education as well as heritage being focused on there. This isn’t just about bringing in new things, it’s about telling people who we are.’ Meanwhile, Dom says he hopes libraries will benefit from extra exposure.
‘Libraries are more than just places where you go for books,’ he said.
What does the bid for UK culture title mean for our city?
BEING the UK’s City of Culture comes with a wealth of benefits.
It would bring Portsmouth’s cultural activities under one banner, help to expand what’s on offer and attract investment and performers from across the globe.
The other areas in the running are; Aberdeen; Chester; Dundee; East Kent (covering Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Thanet); Hastings and Bexhill on Sea; Hull; Leicester; Plymouth; Southend on Sea; and Swansea Bay (covering Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath, and Port Talbot).
If Portsmouth makes the short list, council officers will hold workshops with the public to find out what activities they want.
Some of the things suggested could still happen if Portsmouth lost because making the short list would raise its profile.
Tomorrow we’ll be focusing on how Portsmouth’s culture status would improve architecture, craft, design and the visual arts.
To have your say before the public meeting on April 22 then simply fill out a survey which asks you what you like about the city and how it can be improved.