The Spirit of Portsea was a sculpture proposed by Pete to mark the ‘matriarchal’ spirit and unique history of women in the Portsea community. Portsea is the community immediately surrounding the historic Dockyards of Portsmouth. It has a colourful history and retains a strong character in overall identity of the city. Women in particular have had a strong role in shaping a community where most of the men were involved in sea-fare, merchant, navy or military and often absent. A trait still evident to the artist when he worked there over a ten year period as Lead Artist of the new build community centre and he proposed it as a final sculptural feature on the entrance archway.
The artwork was first made in clay then cast. The wet clay work surface was covered in finger prints only by girls and ladies from Portsea giving a very personal and lasting gesture in acknowledgement of the communities history and future aspirations. The two pieces face each other as open books with the clay bust that was made cast into the surface in negative. A young and an old side challenge the passer by to ‘fill the mold’ as they walk past into the courtyard. 2.5m x 1m x 25cm. X2. 2010