Chesil art project unveiled

An art project inspired by the Chesil Street area of Winchester has been unveiled.
Six large panels featuring the stories, memories and photographs of local people will be displayed on hoardings at the site of the extra-care housing development on the former Chesil Street surface car park.

The £4,000 community project called ‘We found it in Chesil’ was led by Salisbury-based artist Laurence Dube-Rushby and involved a wide range of local residents and groups.

These included pupils from All Saint’s School, young people and staff from the Chesil Theatre, residents at the St John’s charity, local businesses such as Chesil Rectory, Black Boy, Black Bottle and Sovereign Bathroom, local residents including the owner of Soke House who shared the history of the property and photographs of the historical features of the house, and local organisations such as Winchester City Mill, Winchester tour guides and the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Laurence Dube-Rushby said:

It was amazing to discover a wealth of historical facts related to the Street as well as personal stories. Chesil Street seems like a whole separate part of Winchester with a real identity attached to it. I have really enjoyed the time I spent here with all the wonderful business-owners, residents, young people and visitors. I hope they like the designs as much as I enjoyed making them.

Cllr Caroline Horrill, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, said:

It was a great pleasure to unveil the designs for the ‘We found it in Chesil’ community art project and to meet Laurence and the people who engaged with the project to make it a success.

The project was commissioned by Winchester City Council in March 2016 to run alongside the Chesil Extra-Care Scheme development that will provide 52 flats with a mix of one- and two-bedroom accommodation for elderly residents in Winchester. It follows a similar project called ‘A Postcard for Stanmore’ which proved a great success.

Each of the designs is approximately 1.9m high by 3m wide so that they can be seen by passing motorists as well as pedestrians.

The designs will be on display on the hoardings for around a year during the construction of the extra-care scheme. Anyone interested in displaying the artwork after that should contact Mark Maitland, Community Officer at Winchester City Council,

For more details of the art project and to see the finished designs visit Laurence’s Facebook page

The official unveiling of the finished project at the nearby Chesil Theatre on Friday 9 September was attended by the brothers and sister of Mr Harold Harris who made a very generous bequest to Winchester City Council which contributed to the cost of the extra-care scheme. Mr Harris receives a special mention in the information board which accompanies the designs for the project.