The ‘Summer of Love’ in San Francisco back in 1967 was a defining moment in western popular culture and this summer there will be a series of creative celebrations across Portsmouth for this 50th anniversary. There will be a series of talks, exhibitions, performances, film screenings, live music and other events that will shine a spotlight on the history and legacy of the sixties counterculture.
One such creative event for the Summer of Love celebrations is the current exhibition at Portsmouth Guildhall. The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) at the University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth Cultural Trust (PCT) invited CCI students to submit a proposal to showcase new creative work as part of their ongoing exhibition programme to enrich the visual and cultural experience of visitors to the Guildhall. The selected student for this exhibition was Caroline Misselbrook, a MA Illustration student at the School of Art and Design.
In this series of illustrations, Caroline gives a new lease of life to the birds from her father’s egg collection, which he started as a child in the 1950’s during walks in the Westwood Local Nature Reserve and along Weston Shore in Southampton. While organising the box Caroline found a complete copy of the Daily Express from 1961 underneath the sawdust. Adverts and articles form part of the watercolour and ink illustrations and highlight the juxtaposition of animals that continued to live happily around us while we focused on our materialistic lifestyles and had unhealthy expectations of men and women. It was this post war culture in the U.S, Canada and Europe that eventually lead to hippies or ‘flower children’ during the Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967, rejecting these consumerist values and turning to art, religious or meditative practice and politics.
The exhibition is located in the Freda Swain Lounge at Portsmouth Guildhall and runs until the 21st of June, Monday-Friday, 9am -5pm, Saturday 10am -2pm (although closed to the public from Monday 24th – Friday 28th April).
You can see more of Caroline’s work HERE and be sure to keep your eyes peel for more Summer of Love events throughout this summer in Portsmouth.