It’s just rubbish to some, but an open canvas to others

(Left) David Kirby and Paul Stone, artists from Portsmouth who will feature in BBC 2 TV's The Culture Show are pictured in Paul's studio in Eastney Picture: Allan Hutchings (120470-268)
(Left) David Kirby and Paul Stone, artists from Portsmouth who will feature in BBC 2 TV's The Culture Show are pictured in Paul's studio in Eastney Picture: Allan Hutchings (120470-268)
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MOST people don’t see much use for empty tin cans and bits of old cardboard.

But green-thinking street artist Paul Stone has used rubbish as canvases for his drawings and paintings for the past 10 years.

Paul, 40, gathers up litter on the street and paints quirky cartoons and stick men on them.

He then hits the streets every Friday and tapes his creations to lampposts and telegraph poles so people can look at and take them home.

And now his idea – which he calls ‘Free Art Friday’ – will be put under the spotlight in front of millions of people tonight.

Paul will give viewers an insight into his quirky project during BBC Two’s The Culture Show, which showcases the best of Britain’s art movement.

Viewers will watch Paul paint his collection of rubbish inside his art studio at his home in Hellyer Road, Eastney.

They will also see examples of his work propped up on lamp posts in streets across Southsea.

Paul said: ‘It’s nice that my work is going to be recognised.

‘I normally put an email on the back of each tin or bit of cardboard so people can get in touch and let me know what they think of my work.

‘I love doing it because it’s unusual.

‘People really do take notice.

‘If someone walks by my work, and it brightens up their day, then it makes all the hard work worthwhile.’

BBC officials asked Paul to be in the show after they spotted someone blogging about his ‘Free Art Friday’ project online.

Scores of other artists in Portsmouth have also joined Paul’s project.

Street artist David Kirby, who began using beach rubbish for sculptures and landscape paintings eight years ago, recently signed up.

His creations, which he displays on park benches, will also feature in tonight’s show, which starts at 7pm.

David, 47, of Marmion Road, Southsea, said: ‘Paul and I have become good friends through doing this.

‘It’s a great way to get your work out there.

‘I was doing street art before I even knew about Free Art Friday.

‘But when I discovered Paul’s work I was keen to hook up with him.

‘He has a great style, plus we’ve got our own niches.’

‘The show is going to be fantastic for my profile and I hope it raises more interest in art as a whole.’