AN ARTIST’S latest exhibition is set to open next week, lamenting the decline in pubs.

The Hope is a recreation of a local boozer by Southampton artist Amy Scott-Pillow designed to get people talking.

But it’s also a homage to the dozens of lost pubs that have closed over the last few years - and a comment on the industry itself.

As reported, Southampton had 140 pubs and bars in 2010, but now has just 105.

The second highest number of pubs to have closed in south Hampshire is the New Forest, which has lost 30, from 145 to 115.

Now Amy, pictured, hopes her artistic intervention will start a debate about how social life is changing.

She said: “The culture of traditional pubs across England is a subject that is close to my family, but I as a young woman feel a disconnection to them. That’s the main reason for the work I make - I’m attempting to reconnect with members of my family who had strong ties to the local pubs in Southampton, including family members that passed away when I was young. The Hope sign has been at Winchester School of Art’s MA Contemporary Curation show and previously shown in K6 Gallery earlier this year is directly copied from an archived image of the sign that used to be outside the Ice House in the 50’s.”

The Chandler’s Ford artist, who grew up in Millbrook and has used local pub The Ice House as inspiration, added: “The Hope is a recreation of a pub. It is an artwork that is extending from the work I made for K6 Gallery at the beginning of this year.

“The artwork is a fusion of local history and my family history, it is a fictional pub with a bold name: ‘The Hope’.

“The event is hopefully going to be my testing ground for more events to host conversation around family, the pub, perhaps why we are losing so many family and independently owned pubs today, how our social class affects where we feel comfortable, but any topic of conversation is welcome. I want people to chat!

“It is an instillation and participatory artwork - but hopefully using those words won’t scare off the punters. Sometimes I think I’m just tricking these art spaces into letting me open a bar.”

The Hope will be at The Art House on Above Bar until September 28.