John Hansard Gallery, GO! Southampton, Southampton Forward and Southampton City Council are working alongside local artists to commission a striking new mural at Southampton Central Train Station.
The artwork, created by Poppy Ash, aims to highlight the city’s vibrant culture and offer an exciting welcome to visitors as they arrive at Southampton. It aims to provide a permanent exhibition space for the works of talented local artists, hoping to nurture the community’s homegrown artistic talent.
Following John Hansard Gallery’s Artist Open Call earlier this year, the project partners saw there was a clear demand for public art in Southampton, as well as an incredibly high standard of artists in the city. Working together with several organisations across the city to explore options, a new permanent location has been established to showcase local creatives.
Poppy Ash studied at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, and her work is now commissioned nationally by a wide range of clients. Poppy is working alongside Callum Young, Muralist and Founder of LICC Design Co. to transform the digital artwork into a physical creation. Callum Young said: “It’s great to be able to use my experience in mural painting to bring this design to life. It is always exciting to do artist collaborations, especially in the city where I grew up and still live.”
Stephen Manion, Executive Director, GO! Southampton said: “This is all part of GO! Southampton’s wider plans and ambitious programme of work that aims to create a better city centre experience, as well as allowing artists to flourish and creativity to flow throughout the city. When visitors come into the city, this artwork gives them a real flavour of Southampton.”
Poppy and Callum’s piece is the first phase of an exciting new opportunity that will welcome both new and established artists to have the chance to see their work featured. The selected artwork will be a community-led process, inviting the public to vote for their favourite on an annual basis.
The first mural is set to be completed by the end of January 2024. The mural will be hand-painted on the side of the railway bridge stairs on the South side of the station, and is intended to complement the new station improvements.
The project has been supported by Network Rail.