Stories of the city portrait exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery

southampton city art gallery library entrancePortraits of people with connections to Southampton, including Chris Packham, Jane Austen and Craig David, feature in a new exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery.


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Creative Connections Southampton brings together the collections of the National Portrait Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery and Museums to explore and celebrate people whose stories are linked to Southampton.

It will feature Jane Austen, Craig David, Spitfire designer R.J. Mitchell, Chris Packham, Alan Shearer, Captain of the Titanic Edward John Smith, the city’s first female mayor Lucia Foster Welch, and a recently acquired portrait of the Paralympic athlete Aaron Phipps, born in Totton, Southampton.

Drawing inspiration from the collections, portraiture work from Cantell School art students will also be on display.

In response to the project, artist Pete Codling created a dramatic large-scale drawing called The Kinship, inspired by the local story of 4,000 child refugees from the Basque country arriving in Southampton on the steamship SS Habana,in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. Depicted within the new artwork are pupils from the school - representing the history of Southampton and the future, and reflecting Southampton’s historic role as a place of refuge and Cantell School’s status as a ‘School of Sanctuary’.

There will also be free activities and events supporting the exhibtion, including portrait drawing workshops for adults and children, led by Pete Codling.

The exhibition runs from May 26 – September 30. More info here. 

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