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Solent's Showcase Gallery's latest community exhibition will be a collaboration between Ordnance Survey and local artist, Nathan Evans that will transform the gallery into a space that allows the public to put themselves on a map of Southampton.

9th January 2019
Art and designResearch

Solent’s Showcase Gallery’s latest community exhibition will be a collaboration between Ordnance Survey and local artist, Nathan Evans that will transform the gallery into a space that allows the public to put themselves on a map of Southampton.

Running from 18 January to 30 March 2019, Make Your Mark is an opportunity for people to share thoughts, memories and stories of Southampton on a giant map of the city. The participatory mapping project hopes to uncover a different side of Southampton, told by the voices that are often overlooked.

“Southampton is the largest city in Hampshire, home to over 200,000 residents and a major port. The aim of the Make Your Mark exhibition is to put the hidden gems of Southampton into the spotlight, scratch the surface and find a host of experiences and hidden histories,” says Kate Maple, Gallery Curator at Solent University’s Showcase Gallery.  

“We hope over the next three months, Make Your Mark will change the way people think about a place and the city itself, by unveiling the smallest, most non-descript spaces – bringing to life the people and stories who inhabit them,” Kate continues.  

It is hoped visitors to the exhibition will be the map makers, and that the it will evolve over the course of the show. Local artists, groups and schools will also share their creative mapping ideas in a changing display throughout the exhibition. 

David Henderson, Ordnance Survey Director, says: “If a picture says a thousand words, then what about the visual strength of a map? Maps communicate enormous amounts of information and can help people understand complex themes very quickly.

“As an organisation, we are very interested in the relationship people have with a location, and sharing memories and storytelling has a big part to play in that. One of our datasets, Fintan, contains more than half a million local nicknames for places on the coast of Great Britain. It is used by the Maritime and Coastguard agency, and each day it helps saves lives. We are delighted to be a part of this exhibition and hope it will offer residents and visitors to Southampton a different view of the city.”

“The Gallery has been in discussions with Ordnance Survey, whose head office is situated in Nursling. Their expertise has been key in how to represent Southampton as a walkthrough map and by providing maps for the schools and community workshops,” says Kate Maple.

Part oral history, part folklore, part personal homage, Make Your Mark will rethink what Southampton means to its citizens, drawing on its hidden experiences, its contemporary social geography and its future.   

Staff of the Showcase Gallery and students will help local artist and Solent University Associate Lecturer, Nathan Evans, draw and paint the map onto the gallery floor, ready for the public to visit and fill in with their personal stories. 

The Showcase Gallery’s latest interactive and community based exhibition follows the success of the award-winning Small Faces and Stand Together exhibitions.  

To ‘make your mark’ on the map, join the Showcase Gallery for a special opening on 17 January from 6-8pm or come to gallery between Tuesday – Saturday 11-4pm from 18 January to 30 March 2019 to get involved. During February half-term, activities will be free for all ages.  

Get in touch: F: @SolentShowcase T: @SolentShowcase I: @solent_showcase_gallery