The LOOK UP Portsmouth Street Art Festival: A Spectacular Display of Creativity and Talent, 2023

The LOOK UP Portsmouth Street Art Festival, curated by world-renowned local artist My Dog Sighs in Portsmouth, has just wrapped up a spectacular event! The creativity and talent of nearly one hundred local and international street artists were on full display, and they did not disappoint.

The festival’s headliners included prominent artists such as The London Police, Hera, Phlegm, Kashink, Hayley Welsh, Cbloxx, INKIE and My Dog Sighs, and also local artists Roo Abrook, Snub23, Ashley David John, Mister Samo, Paul Monsters, Nol, Getting Up to Stuff, Alexandra Gallagher, Epod, Fark, Si Mitchell, Liam Bononi, Brave Arts. Midge, Caryn Koh, Ooberla, Pompey Banana Club, Mishfit, and many other artists captivated the audience with their exceptional skills.

It’s always great to see the local community come together in such a positive way, with residents and businesses generously offering up walls and equipment to support the artists. The interactive workshops at Pitt Street Skatepark, Creative Corner, and Pavement Chalking area allowed visitors of all ages and painters of all abilities to participate and learn from the pros. The festival was a testament to the ability of street art to bring communities together and inspire creativity.

Phlegm -The old casino, 18 Osbourne Road PO5 3LT

Phlegm was the first to complete his mural for LOOK UP Portsmouth. The Southsea seafront wall features a unique interpretation of the Merman Triton, a Greek sea god associated with mermaid-like creatures. The mural depicts a long-limbed character holding Triton’s mystical trident, symbolising his high royal status and the realm’s protection. Phlegm’s attention to detail is impressive, with the strategic placement of spiny fins and fluted concrete detailing creating a sense of dimension in the mural. The locals are smitten with the mural, located at 18 Osborne Road, where you can easily lose yourself in studying its impressive attention to detail. For a more relaxed experience, you can enjoy the mural’s intricacy while sipping a drink at the public house directly opposite. Read more about his mural here.

My Dog Sighs – The Astoria 37-39 Guildhall Walk PO1 2RY

Local artist My Dog Sighs, the mastermind behind the LOOK UP Portsmouth festival, painted his signature eye mural on the Astoria nightclub’s side before the festival began. This location had captured MDS’s fascination for quite some time, and he brought it to life with a stunning display of vibrant colours that depicted a fun, lively dance scene reflected within the eye. The bold and energetic design of the mural, adorned with bright colours, was a perfect representation of the LOOK UP festival’s spirit.

Hera of Herakut- Priory School, Fawcett Road, PO4 ODL

Hera of HERAKUT is an immensely talented artist who creates stunning visuals incorporating animals and humans. Her work is mainly humanitarian-based and focused on empowering children so it was no surprise her mural was found at Priory School. The mural for LOOK UP Portsmouth features a variety of wild animals and an inspirational message that encourages students to break free from the world’s constraints and become agents of change, inspiring others along the way. “SOME LOOK AT THE WORLD AND SEE BEYOND ITS GIVEN …RULES …THEY ARE THE GAME CHANGERS WHO INSPIRE OTHERS ALONG THEIR WAY.” Hera’s exceptional creative talent and remarkable ability to bring imaginary worlds to life serve as an inspiration to others. Read more about her mural here.

Hayley Welsh -1 Collins Road PO4 9NY

The artwork of Hayley Welsh is truly inspiring. Her mural in Collins Road depicts a furry creature in its cosy home, holding a paintbrush and gazing down at the viewer with a charming wide-eyed expression. This piece of art has a certain allure and depth, inviting viewers to reflect on themselves and their surroundings. Welsh’s message is thought-provoking and inspiring, reminding us that even when weathering life’s storms, home can always be found within ourselves. She writes, “HOME IS THE PORT AS YOUR STORM PASSES THROUGH. BUT REMEMBER YOUR HOME CAN BE FOUND IN YOU!” This stunning mural is a guiding light, reminding us of the power of self-reflection and the importance of finding comfort and solace within ourselves. Read more about her mural here.

The London Police – 139 Goldsmith Avenue PO4 8QZ

The London Police are the talented artistic duo Chaz Barrisson and Bob Gibson. Their journey began on the streets of Amsterdam in 1998, and since then, they have made a lasting impression on walls and galleries worldwide. TLP’s partnership is beautifully reflected in their artwork, exemplified by the playful and fun vision they brought to the SeaDog building in Portsmouth. Their exceptional skill and dedication shine through every intricate detail of their hand-drawn artwork, featuring iconic Lad characters and stunning portraiture illustrations.

CBLOXX-The Lady Hamilton, 21 The Hard PO1 3DT

Portsmouth is steeped in maritime history and boasts a rich cultural heritage. Visitors are drawn to the area by its many attractions, including the famous HMS Victory, Mary Rose, and HMS Warrior ships. These vessels are the city’s heart and represent its strong maritime identity while inspiring artists like CBLOXX. The bustling port area is always alive with activity, with constant arrivals and departures of ferries and cargo ships contributing to the lively atmosphere of the city. The mural is titled ‘Fate’ and can be found on the side wall of the Lady Hamilton.

The festival was a true celebration of artistic expression, with over one hundred talented artists displaying their paintings and inspiring community projects that were influenced by the power of graffiti and street art.

The event was a vibrant and colourful showcase of creativity, offering a unique opportunity to explore the diverse range of styles and techniques employed by the artists.

For anyone who missed out, fear not because a map of all the artwork locations is available online for visitors to view and download. So, what are you waiting for? Immerse yourself in the incredible creativity of these talented artists and let their artwork inspire you in Portsmouth’s open-air gallery.



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