Revealed: the Southsea location of artist My Dog Sighs' exhibition, Inside

IT’S something that’s been baffling art-lovers for months now.

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 6:00 am
A sneak peek at My Dog Sighs: Inside

Portsmouth artist My Dog Sighs has been leaving hints and clues across the city – even in the pages of The News in a series of cryptic adverts – as to the secret location of his forthcoming exhibition, Inside.

The News can exclusively reveal today that it is in the old casino on Osborne Road, Southsea

My Dog Sighs said: ‘When I started thinking about this project two years ago I had a specific building in mind.

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The old casino site in Osborne Road, Southsea. Picture by Google Maps

‘I was having difficulty getting the owners permission so I started looking for other options.

‘I knew the casino because the owner had let me paint the outside for a previous project.

‘When he let me inside I instantly knew how perfect it was for me and was delighted that I was given permission to use it.’

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Artist, My Dog Sighs has finished painting his mural at Hilsea Lido, on July 23, 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

More than 1,000 tickets sold for Inside in the first 15 minutes they were on sale, and although the opening weekend is now sold out, there are still plenty of tickets left.

The exhibition will run from Friday, July 16 to Sunday, August 1, and more than 1,000 tickets

The building was originally built as a ballroom and known for many years as Kimbells.

In the 1960s it hosted live bands including Led Zeppelin, the Yardbirds with Eric Clapton, the Tremelos and Manfred Man.

Throughout June, Portsmouth artist My Dog Sighs placed cryptic adverts in The News as clues about his secret project 'Inside (We shelter here sometimes)'

It hosted regular supper dances, local functions such as Portsmouth Football Association Presentation Dance and was a popular destination for family celebrations.

At some time, thought to be the 1970s, the staircase to the upper floors was boarded up and it is thought the space wasn’t used after that.

When My Dog Sighs first entered the building he had to climb through a hole in the wall and deal with the accumulated dust and the pigeons which had made it their home.

The internationally renowned artist took inspiration from the faded grandeur and used it as the backdrop for his exhibition which highlights how lost spaces can be repurposed in creative ways.

Building owner Farid Yeganeh, who also owns the Queens Hotel next door, said: ‘I’m a big fan of My Dog Sighs work and I’m excited that I could help him with this project.

‘I’ve been fortunate to see some sneak peaks as this project has developed and it’s an amazing use of the space.

‘Portsmouth is a very creative city and I am pleased to play a part in highlighting that and sponsoring the exhibition.’

Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for conessions and children go free. They are available from mydogsighs.co.uk.

Follow him on Facebook or Instagram for more updates.

The News will be publishing our first look at Inside in our Weekend magazine with your paper and online on Saturday, July 17.

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