New Tricorn exhibition to look at art not just architecture

The Tricorn in 1966
The Tricorn in 1966
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome with Jean and Allan Thompson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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AN EXHIBITION opens this weekend at Portsmouth City Museum exploring the history of what was perhaps the city’s most controversial building, the Tricorn.

This month marks 10 years since the controversial demolition of the Tricorn began.

Dr John Stedman, curator of the exhibition, is keen to stress that the focus is not just going to be on architecture.

The exhibition will look at the communities in which the building played a prominent role, the people that shaped its history, the creativity that it inspired, the iconic status that it achieved, and its ultimate downfall.

Dr Stedman said ‘It was very sculptural but it was never a great success commercially so there was never much money to pay for maintenance.

‘The concrete weathered badly and began to look very ugly. A lot of people didn’t like going into it and a lot of people absolutely detested it. But at the same time it inspired an awful lot of people.

‘Skateboarders, artists, photographers all loved it. There are a lot of works of art inspired by the Tricorn from jewellery through to films.’

The exhibit will feature the works of Jim Earl, the man who delayed the building’s demolition for several hours, celebrated photographer Garrick Palmer, and a collection of photos taken by local people that has been gathered by arts promoters Strong Island. It will be accompanied by the music of the bands who played at the Tricorn club.