THE first anniversary of the announcement of the Bibby Stockholm barge has been commemorated with artwork - referring to the asylum seeker vessel as "Dorset's shame".

An artwork featuring a map of Dorset locations has been adapted to include the Bibby Stockholm at Portland as an 'unwelcome local landmark'.

On April 3, 2023, the UK government announced that 500 asylum seekers would be housed on a barge at Portland Port while they await the outcome of Home Office decisions on their cases. Ministers said it would offer better value for money for taxpayers than putting asylum seekers in hotels.

READ MORE: Dorset's Portland Port to house asylum seekers on barge

It wasn't until July 18 that the barge arrived and August 7 when asylum seekers first moved in.

They were then taken off the barge for two months after Legionella bacteria was found in the water supply.

They returned on October 19 and numbers have steadily increased on the vessel in the months that followed.

It is now thought to be housing around 400 asylum seekers.

To mark the passing of one year since it was revealed that the Bibby Stockholm barge would be used to accommodate asylum-seekers in Britain, Berlin-based artist Katherine Kannon and Dorset solicitor Nigel Turner have worked together to adapt Katherine’s poster of Dorset landmarks.

The artwork now includes the barge, shown just off Portland and labelled “Dorset’s shame”.

Dorset Echo: Among landmarks in Dorset, the artwork now includes the Bibby Stockholm and is labelled Dorset's shameAmong landmarks in Dorset, the artwork now includes the Bibby Stockholm and is labelled Dorset's shame (Image: Katherine Kannon/ Nigel Turner)

In a move reminiscent of the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, the aim is to sell the posters to mark this anniversary and raise funds for displaying the Dorset print on three billboards around Weymouth and Portland.

Mr Turner decided to contact Katherine Kannon after feeling incensed by the cost of the Bibby Stockholm and its use as a place to house asylum seekers.

Nigel Turner said: “When I first saw Katherine’s original Dorset poster, I was struck by the fact that Portland was front and centre of the image.

"It seemed right to adapt the poster to highlight the Bibby Stockholm as an unwelcome local landmark.

"I think the Bibby Stockholm project is wrong on many levels, but mainly because it is politically motivated and ignores the legitimate interests of asylum seekers.

"I dealt extensively with Dorset Council last year on this case, and my impression is that they gave up the fight before it started, despite having voted against the barge in July 2023.”

High-quality A3 prints of the copyrighted artwork can be purchased for £30, including P&P, by contacting 

All proceeds will go to support the Three Billboards campaign.

In December 2023, an Albanian asylum seeker, Leonard Farruku died on board the barge, having reportedly taken his own life.

Two legal challenges have also been brought to the high court, questioning the legality of the Portland barge.

Carrlayn Parkes, The Mayor of Portland, brought the cases in a personal capacity, first against the Home Office in October, which was rejected.

She then challenged Dorset Council at the High Court, with a verdict still yet to be reached.