Natalia Michalska and Majid Dhana

Natalia Michalska and Majid Dhana

19 Sep - 29 Oct

We are delighted to be hosting the six week residency of artists Natalia Michalska and Majid Dhana, as part of Journeys Festival International, Portsmouth.

Journeys Festival International celebrates the creative talent of exceptional refugee and asylum seeker artists and shares the refugee experience through great art and culture. The Festival is produced by leading arts development agency, ArtReach (

Dhana and Michalska will be collaborating with their established community network, developing new work for Look Up - an outdoor exhibition installed on the exterior of prominent buildings across Portsmouth.

Look Up provides a unique opportunity for artists engaging with refugee and asylum seeker themes to have their work shown in one of the most visible strands of Journeys Festival International.

The residency will conclude with an exhibition in our Learning Space running 19 October - 29 November, revealing the artist’s creative process whilst in residence. Read more about the exhibition here.

Majid and Natalia first came to work together through their love of spoken word and performance. They have since collaborated to create a successful series of workshops engaging with the local refugee and asylum seeker community.

About the artists

Majid Dhana

Zimbabwean artist and poet Majid Dhana has worked with the British Red Cross in Portsmouth for nearly four years, building relationships with the refugee and asylum seeker community and enabling their stories to be heard through a creative output. Working with support groups like the Young Refugee Project, Majid has developed an artistic practice that puts the struggles and strengths of these communities at its core.

Natalia Michalska

Originally from Poland, Natalia Michalska worked to develop her artistic practice in Munich, before settling in Portsmouth in 2014. Since then Natalia has worked with many of the area’s most vibrant cultural institutions including Aspex Gallery, University of Portsmouth, and Live Art Local. Her practice focuses on storytelling and human relationships on a global level.

Journeys Festival Portsmouth runs from 19 - 29 October, with events taking a place across the whole city. See for details of upcoming events.

Join the conversation by using the hashtag #JFIPorts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Related Events

19 October

#ThirdThursdays Artist Event: Journeys Festival International, Portsmouth - Launch

Aspex, Gunwharf Quays


21 October 2017

Family Saturdays

Aspex, Gunwharf Quays

Artists Majid and Natalia will be leading our free weekly arts workshops, from 11am - 1pm.


Monday 23 October // 5:00 – 6:30pm

Communicating Journeys Art Walk

Hosted by Natalia Michalska and Young Producer Jennifer Tipton, the Art Walk will give you an insight into the process of portrait making and the stories of refugees involved with the project, as you walk around each of the artworks install sites. The Communicating Journeys Art Walk will end at The Container Project at Portsmouth Cathedral for an artist talk Africa to Diaspora with Aspex’sExhibition & Gallery Manager Tony Spencer.

Location Start: Portsmouth & Southsea Train Station


Wednesday 25 October

Aspex Mobile Learning Studio - Offsite Workshop

Commercial Road

The Aspex Mobile Learning Studio is travelling to the centre of Portsmouth, with free arts activities led by artists Majid and Natalia.


Sunday 29 October // 1:00 - 2:30pm

Walk with Words Art Walk

Hosted by Majid Dhana and Young Producer Jennifer Tipton this Art Walk explores the words and poetry of Majid Dhana, with the artist’s personal responses to the Look Up portraits and the stories behind them. The Walk with Words Art Walk will end at Aspex for an In Conversation with Exhibition & Gallery Manager Tony Spencer and the Look Up artists.

Location Start: Portsmouth & Southsea Train Station


Sunday 29th October // 3:00 – 4:00pm

In Conversation with Tony Spencer

Exhibition & Gallery Manager Tony Spencer discusses the Look Up exhibition with artists Majid and Natalia.