Southsea artist paints mural to highlight ecological crisis

Southsea artist paints mural to highlight ecological crisis

My Dog Sighs has taken his cans to the Carers centre in Francis avenue for his latest piece, the Southsea artist  is supporting the Wilder Portsmouth campaign led by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust by painting a specially created artwork entitled ‘wild thing’ on the wall at the Portsmouth Carers Centre in Francis Avenue. The internationally recognised artist, who is well known for his artwork featuring lifelike eyes and faces painted on old tin cans created his characteristic stickman over 15 years ago and they have since been seen all over the world. This painting will be the latest addition to our Wild Streets project which aims to encourage more people to get involved in bringing nature back to our city. Why not pop along and have a look, take a photo and share using #wilderportsmouth.

Wilder Portsmouth 2

The Portsmouth Carers centre is situated in Francis Avenue and is amongst the many supporters of the Wilder Portsmouth initiative in this area. It is hoped that by adding this Mural in such a prominent spot we can help spread the Wilder Portsmouth message to more residents of the city.

Clare Rachwal, Team Manager at the Carers Centre said "we are so excited to be able to support the Wilder Portsmouth project and lend a hand to helping wildlife live alongside us despite not having a garden or balcony at the Carers Centre."

‘Wilder Portsmouth’ is a partnership project between the Southern Co-op and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.  The focus of this jointly funded initiative is around encouraging people to take action to create and enhance wild spaces where they live. We are particularly interested in creating, improving, and connecting wild spaces in urban settings, peoples gardens, bits of neglected scrub land and local green spaces.

It is essential that we increase the space for wildlife and help make the natural world an important part of people’s lives. We have seen over the recent months how quickly nature can recover if allowed and how important it is to our own well-being.

My Dog Sighs and Andy Ames standing in front of wall mural depicting a stick man carrying balloons that are actually functional bird boxes.

© Andy Ames

In the last year Portsmouth individuals and communities have started to come together to take action. In Francis Avenue we are developing our first wild street with churches, pubs and businesses joining residents in making positive changes from adding in Bug hotels, bird boxes to planting pollinator plants. In Tamworth road residents are making similar additions alongside tree planting and adding pollinator plants into their local park. Portsmouth has a rich variety of wildlife spread across the city and by enhancing our local communities we will be able to better connect these spaces and help encourage our wildlife and nature to thrive.

Councillor Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment & Climate Change said "We are delighted to display this important message from a local and renowned artist at our Carers Centre. We're proud to support the Wilder Portsmouth project and the mural is a great reminder to us of the small things we can all do to make space for wildlife where we live." 

During lockdown, Wilder Portsmouth members adapted and continued their community engagement by placing tables outside their front doors and sharing excess soil, pots, and plants. As lockdown restrictions start to ease, Wilder Portsmouth is planning to look at more areas of the city and develop more Wilder streets and spaces. If you want to get involved in any way you can get in contact via  hiwwt.org.uk/wilder-portsmouth.