The Hard Interchange, Portsmouth PO1 3EB
The Literacy Art cluster of We Shine highlight Portsmouth’s past and present diverse literary talent through specifically commissioned large scale public artworks. The aim is to celebrate Portsmouth’s rich history with the written word as well as re-invigorating residents and visitors’ engagement in the subject.
One of these public artworks the ‘Poetry Steps’ will inhabit the steps of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour station for the duration of the festival. The poem by Ashley John and commissioned especially for the festival explores the idea of home within our much-loved city through a contemporary text based installation.
Ashley is a collage artist from Portsmouth and has worked as a gallery technician across the South coast for over ten years. At the moment his creative work uses collage or text to explore current social and political issues. The collages repurpose found or discarded materials whilst text-based works frequently culminate as hand drawn poems; these are often placed publicly as a form of gentle disruption.
When not making solo work Ashley is also part of a collective of artists and curators who make up Stair/Slide/Space. Frequently exploring practice that is grounded in co-operation, friendship and conversation. They began with a studio space in Portsmouth in 2012 which acted as a testing ground for their shared practice. Now moving beyond the studio they develop site-based projects with groups and institutions.