17th - 19th November 2022


Our Kind Of Wonderful

Artist: Roo Abrook and Thomas Buckley

Location: St Mary’s Church - outside park area, Fratton Road

All three days, 5pm-9pm

‘Our kind of wonderful’ is a fun collection of ‘face in hole’ boards often seen at the funfair or the end of the pier. The boards will consist of four figures illustrated by Roo in her collage style. Magical lights produced by Thomas Buckley will adorn the boards and the participant can photograph their face as one of the characters or even try all four figures.

The characters chosen are all connected to Portsmouth. Research from the Records Office, talking to the Friends of Highland Rd Cemetery and conversing on Bygone Memories of Portsmouth Facebook page gave inspiration to paint ‘Hannah’ (1723-1792) a woman who took her brother-in-laws name and dressed as a man to travel as a marine on boats leaving Portsmouth dockyards. Another is ‘Nora’ (1865-1953) a suffragette who walked the Pilgrim-age to London and made many positive changes for women in Portsmouth. ‘Alice’ (1861-1913) a fascinating woman who travelled the world, she was a keen horsewoman and known for riding zebras. Her grave is in Highland Rd, Southsea. ‘Susie’ (circa 1960-1985) is a cheeky monkey who rode on the front of a bicycle with her owner from Hunter Rd in Southsea.

Inspiration was also taken from researching the Sailors zoo on Whale Island (1832-1939).

Artist Bio:

Roo is a multi-media artist whose work mainly focuses on portraiture often working from Victorian and Edwardian photo cards, within her work she investigates and poses self-reflecting questions about the subject matter of beauty, youth and time.

Roo works with Antique found papers contrasting with contemporary neon colours, bringing old discarded images and materials back to life often playing with timelines. “I am continually developing these timelines by investigating beauty, time, youth and ageing”.

The composition of her modern portraits portray an overall feeling of natural strength and beauty mixed with the fragility of the brief and ever changing life that we all share.

Roo has exhibited regularly at Art fairs in London, Singapore and Hong Kong and works on projects in interior and exterior spaces creating large murals and collages.


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