Creative Connections Southampton

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Southampton City Art Gallery

26 May – 30 Sept 2023

Creative Connections Southampton has connected young people living in Southampton with a contemporary artist to explore the National Portrait Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery’s collections. Together, the young people and artist have created new collaborative responses to portraits of notable people from or connected to the city of Southampton.


Watch the journey of our Creative Connections Southampton exhibition, where students from Cantell School - Proud members of the Aspire Community Trust worked with the artist Pete Codling to create portraits inspired by the city of Southampton.

These exciting portraits join works from our Gallery's Collection and those from across Southampton City Art Gallery and Museum's collection in an exhibition celebrating the city of Southampton and the people that call it home.


Artist Pete Codling

Students from Cantell School - Proud member of the Aspire Community Trust worked with artist Pete Codling, a contemporary British Artist based in Portsmouth with a portfolio in charcoal drawing, public art and sculpture.

He trained at Portsmouth College of Art & Design (1986 -1991) and then at East London Polytechnic to complete his BA Fine Art in Sculpture, Wimbledon School of Art to study Site Specific Sculpture (1992 -93), transferring back to The University of Portsmouth to complete his Masters Degree in 1994.

He has had an established career as a sculptor and designer of public artworks, receiving commissions from Local Government and for Lottery-funded regeneration projects throughout the UK. Using ceramic, steel, concrete, bronze, resin, wood, stone and mosaic, he has created community projects commissioned to give local populations a sense of place, engagement, empowerment, and ownership.

A lifelong drawer, Pete formerly relied upon drawing as a method of investigating forms in 3D for sculpture, using drawing as a tool of fabrication and understanding rather than a medium in its own right. He has spent the last decade producing a large body of work on paper focused on narrative figurative drawing, inspired by his residencies and personal journey. His drawings have now attracted many exhibitions, awards and publications.

At 50, Portsmouth City Council gave him a ‘Life Time Achievement Award in 2020’ for his contribution to the city, alongside winning ‘Best Visual Artist’ in The Guide Awards. He won the London Biennale 2021, and is currently Artist in Residence at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Man with a beard standing at a canvas, holding a pen
Pete Codling artist by Chris Moorhouse 2022