Gosport centre wins cash for art exhibition and D-Day project

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D-DAY commemorations in Gosport are set for a boost after a project won £40,000 of arts council funding.

It comes as staff at Gosport Discovery Centre are keen to hear from anyone who saw the preparations in Gosport for the Normandy landings.

People who come forward will be filmed for the project, which will also see primary school pupils and community groups work with an artist.

Sally Beattie is the learning and engagement co-ordinator.

She said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted that we’ve got it because Gosport did play such a significant role in D-Day preparations.

‘It will be providing an artistic response to the preparations that took place and it will raise awareness about what Gosport’s role was.

‘There will be people 70 years ago who will have been eight years old at the time who remember seeing the tanks waiting in the streets.’

Sally added she wants to include veterans who went over to fight in Normandy.

Lithography artist Mary Dalton will put together a piece responding to people’s memories, Primary school pupils and community groups in the area will also help.

When finished, there will be an eight-week exhibition at Gosport Gallery with commissioned artwork.

The project will also see the creation of a hand-crafted book with prints and quotes, which will be given to D-Day organisations.

Sally added: ‘It’s going to be a multidimensional exhibition. There will be conventional interpretation panels as well explaining exactly what happened where.’

The exhibition is due to open at the end of May – in time for the 70th anniversary of D-Day on June 6. It will be at the gallery until August 1.

The funding comes after The News agreed it will help publicise the project.

Katy Gough is the youth group co-ordinator at Groundwork Solent.

Mix-Up, the Rowner-based group for eight to 14-year-olds, is involved in the scheme.

She said: ‘It gives children something to do with their parents other than their school work.’

She added there will be chances for the youngsters to visit museums to learn more.

Cllr Keith Chapman at Hampshire County Council said: ‘I am delighted that we were able to secure this funding which will engage people young and old.’

The cash has come from Arts Council England.