Phlegm’s Finished Mural for LOOK UP Portsmouth Street Art Festival, 2023

Cartoonist and illustrator Phlegm is making a splash in Portsmouth with his monstrous wall painting for the LOOK UP Portsmouth Street art festival 9th-10th September.

Renowned for his self-published comics and books, as well as his creative street art worldwide, Phlegm’s latest exhibition, the exceptional ‘Mausoleum of the Giants’ in Sheffield, was a testament to his artistic prowess. His name ‘Phlegm’ comes from ancient Greek medicine’s four temperaments, with Phlegm being attributed to an apathetic and unemotional temperament.

You can find Phlegm’s awe-inspiring wall in Southsea, Hampshire’s coolest place to live, known for its countless eye-catching street art and graffiti, independent shops, bars, and restaurants. The bustling area is also home to the festival curator My Dog Sighs, with many eyes watching you as you explore the vibrant streets.

GS last visited Osbourne Road in Southsea for the My Dog Sighs “Inside” immersive exhibition at the old Grosvenor Casino. The hoardings of the abandoned building still showcase stunning street art created by local artists, such as Midge. The left frontage of the building has been lent to the creative mind of Phlegm to paint his mural for the LOOK UP Portsmouth festival.

Lately, Phlegm has been fully committed to creating detailed and delicate miniature engravings of his illustrations at his London home. Still, he downed tools to take the journey to Portsmouth to get involved with Portsmouth’s inaugural street art festival.

Phlegm’s creativity and attention to detail are truly inspiring. His initial idea was to create a merman-type character for the Southsea seafront wall, especially with the facade already having half its wall painted in a turquoise colour representing the sea.

The sea creature designed by Phlegm looks like a unique interpretation of the Merman Triton, a Greek sea god who has come to be associated with a class of creatures similar to mermaids of either gender, who served as followers of other sea deities.

I had the chance to observe Phlegm as he painted the hand-drawn scales of a sea creature. It was fascinating to see the artist at work.

Working in monochrome, it’s truly amazing to witness Phlegm’s fine technique, intricate detail, and natural creativity. Phlegm is a true master of his art, and his passion for what he does is evident in every stroke of the brush.

The mural features a storybook-like, long-limbed character holding Triton’s mystical trident, a symbol of his high royal status and his realm’s protection. Phlegm’s attention to detail is impressive, particularly in his use of fluted concrete detailing and the strategic placement of spiny fins to create a sense of dimension in the mural.

Phlegm’s mural royally takes pride at 18 Osborne Road. The majestic sea creature depicted in the mural is truly captivating, and it’s no surprise that the locals are smitten with it. The attention to detail in every inch of the mural is impressive, and you can easily get lost in studying it. If you prefer a more relaxed experience, you can sit back at the public house directly opposite and enjoy the mural’s beauty while enjoying a drink or two.

Phlegm left early due to other commitments and to continue with his hand-processed miniature engravings.

Watch Phlegm’s Instagram page for more news on this ancient and forgotten craft.

For more details on the LOOK UP Portsmouth Festival, visit the website, Instagram and Facebook for regular updates.



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