Southsea artist unveils mural that has brought community together in lockdown

FOR more than 30 years Mark Lewis has been painting murals – and his latest work has brought together a Southsea apartment block during lockdown.

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd June 2020, 1:07 pm

With help from his neighbours across the 52 apartments at Carlton House, in Western Parade, artist Mark has helped transform what was an unused communal patio.

Now it boasts an 18ft mural showing an idyllic picture of Southsea beachfront, as well as a view of the South Downs – with some artistic licence taken to show a wild salmon leaping from a waterfall.

Mark said: ‘I moved in two years ago and always wanted to create a mural here – then lockdown gave me the opportunity to get on with it.

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Southsea resident Mark Lewis with his latest mural. Picture: Richard Lemmer

‘It took about two weeks, and so many people pitched in.’

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More than 10 people from the block helped with the project, with several intending to spruce up the front of the building with a flower display.

Jan Stanton, who has lived in the building for two years, said: ‘It’s been a wonderful community project and Mark has done a fantastic job with the mural.

More than 10 neighbours across the 52-flat block have helped renovate the outdoor space. Picture: Richard Lemmer

‘There has never been a community here before this.

‘We have had some residents who have lived here for 34 years saying this is the first time they have got to know their neighbours.’

Her husband John added: ‘We have not had a moment of misery during lockdown.

Artist Mark Lewis has completed his latest mural after two weeks of work. Picture: Richard Lemmer

‘We have been too busy down here working on this.’

Muralist Mark – who has completed public artworks from India to Brazil – is currently working on a range of private properties across Portsmouth and Emsworth, having just finished three large murals for a care home in Kent.

He is currently looking for funding to undertake to create a series of mock ‘ghost adverts’ – historic painted advertisements uncovered from old buildings –across the city.

The 52-year-old, the former operator of the Arts Lodge in Victoria Park, said: ‘I have always been really interested in ghost adverts.

‘My ones would would be completely new – I think they would be a great way to draw people to different areas of the city.’

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