The premiere of a £34,000 student project investigating the history of the Portsmouth accent will take place at an art gallery in Gunwharf Quays this month.
Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Havant & South Downs College (HSDC) English and Media students have been working with film production company Millstream Productions to make a short documentary film tracing the history of the city’s accent and dialect.
The documentary forms part of an exhibition at the city’s leading contemporary art gallery Aspex, that will also feature an interactive Portsmouth accent installation created by renowned artists Heinrich and Palmer.
The students have been working with the artists to produce a photobooth-style exhibit that will give visitors the opportunity to experience what it is to be a proper Pompey speaker.
The opening night, on Thursday October 18th from 6pm to 8pm, will feature a screening of the film, a poetry performance from former HSDC student and Portsmouth poet laureate Joe McQuilken and a live appearance by Leigh Park rapper Parv, who will be performing his latest single ‘Squinny’.
Lecturer Steve Murray said: “The students have learned a lot about real life projects through working with professional filmmakers and visual artists.
“They have been mentored by Dan Musty, from Millstream Productions, who has taught them how to research, write and produce an engaging and visually appealing documentary film that focuses on what the Portsmouth accent and dialect means to the people of the city and beyond.
“The launch evening at Aspex will be an ideal way to celebrate their achievements and showcase their work to a broader audience. Our students should be proud of what they have achieved, and this experience will no doubt stand them in good stead as they forge their own careers in the years ahead.”
Aspex’s Learning & Participation Manager, Daniela Skinner, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this exhibition, giving our visitors the opportunity to experience these new artworks and discover more about our city’s vernacular.”
The exhibition runs until 25 November 2018. Members of the public can visit the gallery from Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 4pm.