Artist creates unique street art featuring supportive quotes for the NHS across Southsea

UNIQUE quotes have been springing up across Southsea over the past 18 months and the man behind them has finally been revealed.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 8:50 am
Artwork by Ashley David John from Southsea.

During the pandemic, the struggle to find work inspired gallery technician, Ashley David John from Southsea to use his love for writing and politics to create public pieces of artwork.

Ashley said that being surrounded by expensive artwork in a gallery pushed him create art that would be valuable to members of the public.

He said: ‘I like the immediacy of creating something which isn’t precious. Some people don’t notice my work, but some people do, I find that more valuable than saying my work is worth, say, £50,000.

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Artwork by Ashley David John from Southsea.

‘Sometimes they last, sometimes they get torn down after two days and I don’t know if that’s someone disliking them or the weather, but this process teaches you to not be too precious about something.

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‘This is my way of conveying something via text that I think matters, words can be extremely powerful, and I like to make things look beautiful - so I try to combine the two but whether that’s successful or not I don’t know.'

The act of replicating text started from a project Ashley completed a few years ago. He said the simple but effective stages of making pieces of work include ‘writing out the piece and then drawing it all out.’

Artwork by Ashley David John from Southsea.

Ashley has become prolific during the last year and his pieces have caught an increasing number of people’s attention. They range from short quotes to full poems.

The 33-year-old has recently completed a strand of quotes dedicated to the NHS such as ‘Fund the NHS’ and ‘Up the Workers’, some of which take hours to create and are in areas chosen at random.

Ashley said: ‘The most interesting artists don’t just make something, but they also address something.

‘I created the NHS pieces because you can’t avoid the fact that it’s been abused; it’s always something that I’ve thought that I needed to express.’

Ashley said he hopes to complete more pieces around different areas within Portsmouth, as he works on his new visual collage pieces.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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