Preview: Look Up Street Art Festival

You may have noticed some fantastic street art popping up over the city over the last week and wondered what this is about. This weekend – the 9th and 10th of September – sees the city prepare for the first-ever Look Up Street Art Festival

In the coming days, almost 100 local and international street artists will be welcomed to the city with each being given a dedicated location to transform spaces spread right across Portsmouth.

Visiting stars from the world of Street Art will include The London Police, Hera, Phlegm, Kashink, Hayley Welsh, Cbloxx, My Dog Sighs and Inkie while organisers have also been keen to provide platforms for emerging home-grown artists, underlining the Festival’s philosophy that art is for all.

During the two-day, free-to-attend event, thousands of residents are expected to be joined by visitors from further afield as they explore the city to discover artworks and watch them take shape. A map showing all artwork locations is available to view and download at: www.lookup-portsmouth.co.uk

In addition, there will be free hands-on workshops running on each of the two days at Pitt Street Skatepark. Workshops are bookable via the website but there will also be a Creative Corner and Pavement Chalking area open to all from 10 am to 5 pm without the need to book in advance.

As the brainchild of Portsmouth’s own renowned street artist ‘My Dog Sighs’, the Look Up Festival aims to enliven, enrich and involve communities through Street Art to provide a social voice and fun through visual spectacle. Supported by the Arts Council, the local cultural social enterprise Portsmouth Creates and Portsmouth City Council, the festival will also feature a Local Artist Arena where artists from the city can network as well as the possibility to expand their practice into Street Art for the first time. Alongside this there will also be a dedicated Female Development Area which aims to break down the barriers faced by many female street artists and provide a safe space for creation and development. 

Discussing how the festival idea developed, My Dog Sighs said: “Having spent the last 10 years painting at Street Art festivals around the world, I wanted to bring some of that excitement to my own city and create a festival that will entertain, inspire and rival some of the best Street Art destinations in the world. I’ve persuaded some of the world’s leading artists to come and create awe-inspiring works that will showcase the city as the creative hub it is and create a destination for art fans. We already have an incredible creative community in Portsmouth and the festival plans to give local artists the opportunity to work alongside and learn from established and leading contemporaries in the Street Art field.”

For more details on the festival visit the website: www.lookup-portsmouth.co.uk and search Look Up Portsmouth on Instagram and Facebook for regular updates.

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