City graffiti artworks are a big hit on internet

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GRAFFITI art designed to brighten up part of Portsmouth city centre is an internet hit.

Thousands of people have viewed images of the works, which are spraypainted on to hoardings surrounding the former Zurich Insurance building in Stanhope Road, on photo-sharing site Flickr.

The art was created last month by about 21 graffiti artists from all over the country.

The project was the brainchild of an advisory group headed by city councillor Cheryl Buggy and was a joint adventure with creative agency We Are Pseudonym and Fark Industries.

The artists worked free of charge after being given materials by the city council.

Advisory group member Claire Sambrook, who teaches photography and creative technologies at the University of Portsmouth, took pictures of the hoardings and posted them on her Flickr pages. She said: ‘My images usually get viewed between 10 and 150 times a day. But the images of the hoarding paintings started attracting hundreds of people on the internet straight away.

‘Some of them got up to 3,000 hits in a day.

‘This is down to the popularity of the artists that came to Portsmouth and the quality of the work. Some very well known, very good people took part in the project and word gets round quickly.

‘The idea of the project was to brighten up the site while it’s waiting to be redeveloped, but it’s helped put Portsmouth on the map internationally.’