New street art brings colour and flair to Guildhall Square

A collaboration between Southampton City Council Highways and Cultural Services, Go! Southampton and John Hansard Gallery

Street art outside John Hansard Gallery and NST

Balfour Beatty Living Places have installed new street art on Guildhall Square in the heart of Southampton’s Cultural Quarter this week.

The street art project is the result of a collaboration between Southampton City Council Highways and Cultural Services, Go! Southampton and John Hansard Gallery.

The art was created by pupils from Southampton schools that took part in a competition run by John Hansard Gallery and the city council earlier this year. Six winning designs were selected from a shortlist of hundreds of submitted entries from talented young artists in Southampton.

The competition was launched in 2018, inviting children from Southampton aged 5-11-years-old to help design the public artwork and leave a lasting impact on the city. Featuring the six winning entries, the new street art installation brings colour and excitement to Southampton’s city centre.

The designs now decorate Above Bar Street in front of John Hansard Gallery, City Eye and NST City on Guildhall Square.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture at Southampton City Council, said:

"This is a great project and an amazing example of how art can be used to transform our public spaces, reminding through traffic this is shared space for people and families to use and enjoy. There were some fantastic applications but a huge congratulations to the winners from our local schools, whose art will now be at the heart of our thriving cultural quarter. I look forward to continuing to work with partners to use culture to find creative solutions and improve our open spaces."

Woodrow Kernohan, Director of John Hansard Gallery, said:

"It’s been a real pleasure to work in partnership with children from across Southampton, Southampton City Council’s Highways and Cultural Services team, and Go! Southampton to create this vibrant series of Street Art designs for Guildhall Square and Above Bar Street. Education and learning are at the heart of John Hansard Gallery and it is wonderful to see the children’s amazing artworks come to life and enliven the city centre."

Jess Harrison, Art Lead at Oakwood Primary School, said:

"The competition and exhibition has been an inspiring way to see children of Southampton engaging in abstract and contemporary art, as well as what they see around their city. We have received entries from children across 26 Southampton primary schools, some of which took on the project in their classrooms."