A TASTE of Japan has been brought to Portland ahead of the Olympic Games.

Japanese artists Masami Aihara and Takahiro Ishii are based at the Drill Hall on Portland using Portland stone as an outlet for their creative talent.

The artistic pair will spend three months creating micro-residencies, which they will put on show in an exhibition starting on Sunday, May 13.

Paul Crabtree and Hannah Sofaer worked with Portland Stone Quarry Trust (PSQT) to organise the Stone Island 2012 project, which has been awarded the London 2012Inspire mark.

Ms Sofaer said: “It is a project to bring different cultures and art work together ahead of the Olympics.

“We want to establish a centre for discovery and learning that brings together people from different backgrounds.

“It will carry on after the Games and it is all about bringing different artistic styles together.

“Both Masami Aihara and Takahiro Ishii have come to Portland to work with Portland stone and other artists will take part after that.

“It has been amazing to see what they have done with the stone. They have a really different take on how to work with it.

“The exhibition will highlight the work and ideas that they have developed using Portland stone.”

The artists have come to the UK as part of an international exchange of artist residencies between PSQT and the Japanese-based Youkobo Artspace.

Mr Crabtree added: “It is really about discovery and learning that brings together people from different backgrounds through the exchange of skills and knowledge as a model for regenerating the environment.”

As part of the Maritime Mix Cultural Olympiad by the sea events, residents and visitors are encouraged to get involved in projects like this and celebrate the forthcoming home Games.

It aims to create a programme of cultural work reflecting the diversity of creative talent to be found in the region and around the world to build momentum ahead of the Games.

Stone Island 2012 will offer a programme of music, drama, exhibitions, stone carving festivals and landscape interpretation walks of the sculpture environment, history and geology of Portland.

Masami Aihara and Takahiro Ishii’s work will be on display through to June 14.

Find out more about the Maritime Mix at maritimemix2012.com