With the new season approaching Pompey Supporters Trust and Portsmouth FC were looking at replacing many of the old and outdated pieces of artwork at Fratton Park. The club partnered up with Pompey 12th Man and Strong Island Community with the aim to work on an ongoing arts project over the length of the season. The aim is to work with local artists, illustrators, designers & photographers, to engage with Pompey’s 12th Man and supporters to dramatically improve the artwork in and around the stadium.
Over the years with Strong Island we have run community arts projects and exhibitions such as the Strong Island Round Tower Exhibition, Primary and more but we were limited to self funding these projects. Strong Island Community is a new not for profit company that allows us to access funding and dedicate time to expanding on the projects we can work on, including this new, year long partnership project.
The first phase of the project was to work with Bruce Jamieson, Matt Howarth and Johnny Winslade from Portsmouth’s infamous design company ilovedust, all long time supporters of the club and part of an innovative design company that is world renowned for their work with clients such as Nike, Red Bull, Coca Cola, MTV and more. Three large murals have been created, two at the entrances to the Fratton End and one in the North Stand. Quotes and stats feature alongside iconic players, illustrated in a style that allows the club’s glorious past to shine within the setting of it’s exciting new chapter. ilovedust will be involved more in the project as a whole moving forward.
Another phase of the partnership will be creating Pompey Supporters Walls in all of the stands that we hope will tell the story of the first season of community ownership as told by the fans themselves. Over the 2013/14 season we will be running ‘We Are Pompey’, asking fans to post up photos via social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc) and tag them with the hashtag #WeArePompey, these photos at the end of the season will all be collected together and displayed in large wall murals around the ground, creating artwork by the fans, for the fans, that also documents the first season of a new era for the club. We are hoping fans will begin to use this hashtag from tomorrow’s first league home game.
Further phases of the partnership project will be rolled out during the season and will involve many famous local artists and also work with young people, so expect to see fresh new Pompey artwork in all the stands in the coming weeks and months. Funding for the project has come from PST, Pompey’s 12th Man, charitable donations and also from the sale of Strong Island’s collaboration t-shirt with Portsmouth FC. Each t-shirt sold sees £5 go direct to finding this project and other projects that aim to improve the ground by working with local creatives. Many of the artists and the people involved are working on a voluntary basis, keeping the costs to minimum and allowing for striking, bold new artwork to continue to help keep the spirits high for the club’s first season under ownership of the fans and the local community.
Find out more about this project and Strong Island Community at the new website: