PORTSMOUTH: Creative Responses from UoP Illustration BA Students

October 27, 2016

As part of Journeys Festival International a shipping container, symbolic of export and transference of place is brought to each city. In Portsmouth, the container was placed in the Eldon Building Courtyard, in the centre of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. Throughout the festival, the container underwent its usual transformation from industrial shipping container to innovative project space.


The Container began by hosting the WELL-COME project, in partnership with Aspex. Working alongside local urban artist M-One and Portsmouth's leading contemporary gallery, ten young artists from the local refugee and asylum seeker community explored their creative talents in a series of arts workshops. This finished with a final project that saw the participants create a mural on the outside of the Container. 


The piece created was incredibly poignant and documented the personal stories of displacement and travel across land and sea, in order to seek refuge. The container became a map of geographical familiarity, dotted with personal messages from experience. A cathartic experience, the participants savored both the creative process and the platform on which their moving stories could be heard.


With this emotive art work on the exterior and the innovative pop up theatre and art exhibitions happening throughout the week, the Container inspired interest among the students and audiences. At Journeys Festival International, we enjoy nothing better than a good conversation sparked from the artworks we present. But what's even better is a creative response to those artworks. That's exactly what the Illustration BA students at the University of Portsmouth have been doing this week, in response to The Container Project. 


Bethia Santi Wentworth



The Illustration students sketchbooks have been exhibited at Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf Quays, from 2-6 November. The books then start their tour tomorrow (Thursday 17th Nov). They will be exhibited in the University of Portsmouth Central Library for the next 3 months, with further touring being confirmed for 2017.


The participanting students are George Hinchcliffe, Danielle Hackett, Anna Tromop, John Lihou, Thomas Harrington, Tegan Meredith, Octavia Herdson, Else Can Den Hooven, Koby Prior, Drew O’Hare, Ross Hughes, Emma Bates, Bethia Wentworth and Vicente O’Neill.


The project brief for students was set by CCI’s Denise Callender who is a member of Journeys Festival International’s Portsmouth planning team. She said “I was deeply moved when I saw the carefully considered illustrations which flow from page to page revealing refugee narratives. They are a collection of  thoughtful responses using a variety of skilled techniques.”


John Lihou






Check out more of the participants work here: 

Else van den Hooven



Koby Prior



Tegan Meredith



Vicente O'Neill




Anna Cecilie Tromop



Drew O'Hare



Dani Hacket