A Southsea-born artist has received a mixed response after depicting the seafront in a controversial manner on a postcard.
The satirical artwork, with the slogan ‘Southsea: It’s Still Portsmouth’, illustrates graphic anti-social behaviour happening along an overcast Clarence Esplanade.
Designed by Loudribs, AKA Jack Hurley, as part of his Rubbish Seaside series, coastal resorts such as Brighton, Cleethorpes and Blackpool have also come under fire.
But co-director of Clarence Pier, Jill Norman, defended Southsea, saying that it ‘will always be the jewel in Portsmouth’s crown’.
She said: ‘It’s good to see that such an iconic building in Southsea is back on the postcards, however it is more of an insult to the people of Portsmouth, suggesting that they all urinate and fight in the street.’
Mrs Norman said that £1m had been invested in the pier over the past 12 months, including the new Solent Wheel attraction, which cost £750,000.
Portsmouth’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, Councillor Linda Symes, took a more sympathetic view on the artwork.
Cllr Symes said: ‘Portsmouth gets over nine million visitors a year and has one of the strongest tourist economies on the south coast. These cards are satire and I’m very relaxed about them.
‘My job is to work with the private sector to improve what we’ve got and that’s what I’m concentrating on.’
Rubbish Seaside creator Jack, 36, a mental health worker now based in Leeds, was born and raised in Southsea.
He said: ‘I always found that juxtaposition between mooching about genteel, middle-class Southsea during the day and the scenes that used to greet me when chaos on South Parade Pier used to kick out, to be inherently entertaining. There’s a side to Portsmouth that really isn’t messing about. Some people might see that as a bad thing but I’m not so sure.
‘It simply is what it is and without it, it wouldn’t really be Pompey.’
Finding inspiration in everyone from legendary satirist Armando Iannucci to political punk band NOFX, Jack described the postcard series as ‘a weird form of love letter’ to the coastal towns he grew up in.
He said: ‘I’ve always been a massive fan of propaganda.
‘I’m not particularly sophisticated when it comes to “art” so images that are very obvious and have a clear purpose very much appeal to me.’