Old Portsmouth’s Round Tower set to host new ‘Portrait of Pompey’ exhibition as Hotwalls artist showcases city characters

A NEW art exhibition showcasing portraits of city people is set to launch in Old Portsmouth this evening.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 4:00 pm

Hotwalls artist Karl Rudziak’s ‘Portrait of Pompey’ show will feature work from his project ‘We Don’t Need Culture’.

This project, now in its fourth year, explores attitudes in Portsmouth towards the word culture – in particular the elitist connotations it can invoke.

‘Portrait of Pompey’ will launch at the Round Tower at a private viewing today from 5pm to 7pm, and will open to the public from Friday to Sunday, open 10am to 5pm.

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A new exhibition will launch at Old Portsmouth's Round Tower. Titled 'Portrait of Pompey', and will feature new works and paintings from the project 'We Don't Need Culture' by RA artist Karl Rudziak. Picture: Courtesy of the artist, Karl Rudziak.

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Karl said: ‘What is unique about this exhibition is that it’s based on the people of Portsmouth and we all know, there is nowhere else like Portsmouth.

‘Portsmouth has a diverse, rich and caring community full of characters and personalities who have and continue to influence my work.’

Karl engages his community, working with low income, inner city areas through sketching and painting portraits of local characters, and working with local people in community hubs, youth centres, coffee mornings and multicultural groups.

Picture: Courtesy of the artist, Karl Rudziak.

‘We Don’t Need Culture’, which works with people from Somerstown and Paulsgrove, aims to re-brand the word culture as a concept that is inclusive and equal within all areas of the community.

The artist wants to expose those who wouldn’t normally see themselves as ‘cultural’ to arts practice by painting them, and then exhibiting the resulting pictures in pop-up exhibitions.

Karl added: ‘What I hope people take from this exhibition is, even though we have our own traits that differentiate us from each other to form our own personalities, characters and identities - essentially, we’re all the same, we are all human beings.

‘Alan - a very well known, local rough sleeper said to me very poignantly as I was painting his portrait, ‘We’re the same you and me, Karl. We’ve just got different stories’. I couldn’t agree more.’

Portraits by the artist reside in private and public hands as part of Portsmouth city art collection, and have also been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Marine Artists, and the National Gallery of Scotland.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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