Billboard Project – Southampton City Art Gallery

Billboard Project

Arts Council Collection has partnered with Southampton City Art Gallery and ‘a space’ arts to show the work of three Southampton based artists on digital billboards across the city. The artists were chosen by Turner-prize winning artist, Lubaina Himid CBE, and their stunning artworks draw on themes from the exhibition, Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City, also curated by Himid and currently on show at Southampton City Art Gallery. The three artists are Ellen Gillett, Sarah Filmer and Olana Light.

The artworks can be found on digital billboards at numerous locations across Southampton, including the City Centre, from April 2nd.




Join Lubaina Himid in conversation with Ellen Gillett, Sarah Filmer and Olana Light, the Southampton artists whose works are currently displayed on digital billboards around the city, at this unique event.

Click here to book your tickets…


Ellen Gillett

Home, 2023

Digital Photomontage

In Home, multiple images are interwoven and overlaid to convey the comforting sense of walking homeward through Southampton as night draws in. The interplay between the layered images suggests both a personal and a universal experience, the duality of the city, and the passage of time.

The technique of dividing and mixing multiple images draws inspiration from imagery for lenticular or trivision billboards and produces an eye-catching ambiguity. It is the basis for a new body of work exploiting the potential of combining multiple perspectives.

Ellen Gillett is a visual artist who creates animated and interactive installations that explore gesture and illusions of movement. Her practice involves drawing, stop-motion animation and digitally created video imagery.

She is Co-director and a founder of ZEST Collective, a group of emerging artists in Southampton who support each other and the local community through skills-sharing workshops, group exhibitions and the sourcing of external funding for projects and collaborative artworks.

Olana Light

Invisible Woman, Self Portrait Series, 2023

Mixed media and photography

Olana Light explores the connection between nature, women, and places, through a series of photographic self-portraits, wearing eco-based wearable sculpture, in public places at Above Bar Street, Watts Park, and East Park in Southampton.

“My work reflects the multiplicity of identity and the never-ending pursuit of belonging. Arising from the natural world, the mysterious woman creature yearns to shy away, looks back to blend with its natural environment, and becomes invisible to the human world. Exploring notions of ‘self’, and its connection with the female body and nature, my work offers new perceptions by challenging audiences to accept the absurdity of the ‘other’, to question their beliefs, and to interrogate their own sense of belonging.

I want to transform the relationship between society and nature, asking us to adjust our perception of how we use resources and to think deeply about the impact our lifestyle choices have on the planet. I want to inspire us to build an unimagined future world, to live in harmony with nature, and to make the world a better place for those around us and who come after us. I invite individuals to reconnect with nature using natural materials in my work and inspire us to become more conscious of our relationship with the Earth. I seek to create a dialogue for change: about nature and our relationship with it; about who we are; and about why art is and should be for everyone to access.

I want to make art accessible to the local communities and reach a wider audience who do not currently get involved in the arts, don’t visit exhibitions, and are ordinary people, and passers-by. By staging live performances on the streets, I want to remove barriers to going to galleries and make art accessible to everybody in the area.”

sarah filmer

‘not enough of us around the table, or in the game’, 2023

‘not enough of us around the table, or in the game’ depicts a football and table that has been covered in knitting by a group of Southampton residents, and which considers the experience of being a woman in the city.

“Discussion centred around the design of cities, in response to the work of ‘matrix’, in Found Cities, Lost Objects and how women have been severely under-represented in town planning decision-making. The group talked about how we live with the consequences of this, here in Southampton, on a daily basis. Two of the women who visited the exhibition with me are avid Saints supporters and we also talked about how the needs of women are not met as a supporter at football grounds, (both home and away), and how these things are (only) being slowly addressed today.”

The Knitters

victoria orba

tara doel

ali richardson

katie isham

jen cooke

moly mukherjee gupta

colin mcallister


photography: simon griggs

knit the walls

Having first launched in 2016, ’knit the walls’ is an ongoing public art co-creation project involving many of Southampton’s residents. Led by artist sarah filmer, the project invites participants and audiences to reconnect with stories, memories and alternative histories that are lost over time and unrecorded in books and archives, through creative practice.





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