Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth's historic Round Tower becomes art gallery

Artist arranging work in Round Tower
Image caption It will be the first time the Round Tower has displayed art in its 500-year history

A 500-year-old round tower on the south coast is to become a contemporary art gallery for work by local people.

The historic brick tower in Old Portsmouth will showcase more than 30 artists in its first exhibition.

Strong Island, a community arts group which had the idea for the gallery, says the Round Tower is "by local people for local people".

The exhibition runs from Saturday to 3 May, after which the tower will continue to be an art space.

It will display work including photographs developed with fresh Southsea seawater and textiles woven with 100-year-old postcards.

The project is being run by Strong Island with the University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council.

Claire Sambrook, university lecturer and member of Strong Island, said: "The round tower is a landmark in Portsmouth and represents a unique piece of architectural heritage.

"We're incredibly lucky to have access to such an unusual building and to open it up to the people of Portsmouth for them to use and enjoy."

The council said the round tower has been seldom open but the art gallery will now make it accessible to the public.

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