THE unique relationship between Southampton and its port is to be captured on canvas as part of the city’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

This year marks half a century of Southampton having city status, and to celebrate, Associated British Ports (ABP) has for the first time in its history commissioned an artist in residence to immortalise the city’s links with the docks.

Lee Campbell, winner of the Painters Stainers Award, will be based at the port for several months, where she will produce artwork across a number of mediums, including oils, charcoal and graphite.

She will take inspiration from the city’s architecture, rich building materials and people as she produces a series of five exclusive pieces.

The project will culminate in the autumn with an exhibition at the port’s Ocean Terminal.

Lee said: “I’m very much looking forward to getting under the skin of Southampton over the coming months.

“It’s not just the docks that will provide my inspiration and I’m excited about getting into the city centre and surrounding areas to meet local people and see what they think links the port with its surroundings.

“The beauty of oil and charcoal over photography is that I can blend my interpretations with theirs to create something imaginative and thought-provoking.”

Nick Ridehalgh, ABP director Southampton, said: “There is a special relationship between the city of Southampton and its port.

“It’s not simply how the port supports 15,000 jobs, the vast majority of them for local people. Or that it generates £1 billion for the economy, again, most of that in the region.

“It’s the fact that the port is such an important part of the city and the local community.”