New 'striking' murals could be painted across Portsmouth by artist Mark Lewis

A SOUTHSEA artist is calling on support to create a series of 'striking' murals across the city in a nod to popular adverts of the 1920s and 30s.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 3:55 pm
Artist Mark Lewis pictured in front of the Strand mural on the junction of Waverley Road and Clarendon Road in Southsea.

Picture: Sarah Standing (171120-8684)
Artist Mark Lewis pictured in front of the Strand mural on the junction of Waverley Road and Clarendon Road in Southsea. Picture: Sarah Standing (171120-8684)

Mark Lewis, best known for his work on the city map mural the Strand, is looking produce up to 15 new pieces on the side of buildings to reflect the spirit of the area in which they are painted.

He is also aiming to restore existing ghost adverts - old advertising murals found in multiple locations around Portsmouth

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Southsea's Strand city map mural of Portsmouth by artist Mark Lewis to be preser...

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An example of a ghost advert - a faded sign in Farlington Road. Picture: Tim Sheerman-Chase

For both projects he is hoping to gather ideas from members of the public and apply for community infrastructure levy (CIL) funding - a pot of money per council ward that is paid into by developers.

Mr Lewis said: ‘Walk around the city and you will often glimpse faded, flakey adverts for products or businesses long since forgotten.‘Where possible, I would love to see surviving examples of these ghost adverts preserved and protected. But our new initiative takes this one step further.

‘We plan to paint a series of new murals - adopting that classic style and colour palette - in local shopping areas, council owned sites and private properties, especially at existing sites where decay has made former head-turners into eyesores.

‘But we want to go further than simple recreation, and infuse the new works with contemporary nods; a glimpse of the Spinnaker on the horizon or a bystander using a mobile phone.’

An example of a ghost advert on Langstone Road. Picture: Tim Sheerman-Chase.

He added: ‘There is no knowledge like local knowledge, and encouraging involvement from local residents, businesses and stakeholders to identify locations and offer design suggestions would both richen the result and deepen the sense of ownership.

‘We feel that this is an ideal initiative for CIL funding.’

Depending on the location and size it is thought each mural would cost between £2,500 and £4,500.

An example of a ghost advert - an old painted sign for the Kings Theatre. . Picture: Tim Sheerman-Chase

Councillor Steve Pitt, the council's culture boss, said: ‘I think it’s a really great project. There’s a lot of interest in the city around our heritage and what used to be here.’

It comes after a political row broke out over requested CIL money to restore and maintain the Strand mural earlier this year, resulting in cash being allocated from the cabinet's reserve instead.

Tory Cllr Luke Stubbs, who objected to CIL funding being used for the Strand, said about the new project: 'It will depend on the circumstances of each area, it's a decision that will need to be made on a case-by-case basis.'

And Labour Cllr Judith Smyth added: ‘His idea of painting more murals and restoring the ghost adverts is a good one but each will have to be discussed on its own merits.’

Artist Mark Lewis adding more to his ever growing mural on the junction of Waverley Road and Clarendon Road in Southsea. Picture: Sarah Standing (171120-8802)

To make suggestions for the murals email [email protected]

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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