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The Clock Face Exhibition at the Coastguard Studio

On 22nd August The Coastguard Studio will open its latest exhibition The Clock Face Exhibition.

Wesley Brown has assembled a team of local creative talent to deliver an exhibition capturing the essence of time in all its glory. The artists involved include Wesley Brown himself as well as Kirsty Herring, Oliver Nelson, Bruce Spruce, Elliot Cranston, Mark Poyner and Stefano Pollina.

Wesley describes the use of time as the theme for the exhibition, “Capturing time is the essence of all photography; every photo is simply a moment we have managed to capture and store, something that we can use to remember it visually forever more. It really allowed me to open up the exhibition to a whole range of concepts”.

As well as the exhibition there will be music courtesy of InDeep Music. Doors open on the night at 6pm and it is looking like To stay up to date with the exhibition visit the Facebook Event page HERE.

Kirsty Herring
By Kirsty-Herring
Stefano Pollina
By Stefano Pollina
Wesley Brown
By Wesley Brown
Clock Face Exhibition

Strong Island Recordings At The Southsea Bandstand

This Saturday Strong Island Recordings takeover the Southsea Bandstand with one of the loudest line-ups the bandstand has seen yet.

An afternoon of space rock/psychedelia, post-punk and dreampop is on offer with Southsea cult legends and Cardinal Fuzz signings You’re Smiling Now But we’ll All Turn Into Demons headlining the day plus gnarly noise rock meets garage rock and post-punk Southsea favourites, Red Seals, psychedelic doom-rock outfit Unknown Soldiers who are like being dropped into the middle of  a sun baked desert during a spaghetti western plus Jimmy Stuart of Strong Island Recordings’ Is Bliss who is an immense talent.

The day kicks off from around 12.30pm so head down early.  In the event it rains off we will be heading to The Edge of the Wedge, if in doubt keep an eye on the Strong Island Recordings Twitter page @StrongIslandRec. More details of the event can be found here.



amp sir

Sofar Sounds Presents… Rex Domino

Earlier this month Rex Domino stole the show at the Blissfields Spoken Word event curated by yours truly.

Last week the local Hip Hop, Beat Poetry and Spoken Word artist was again showing off his talents by performing at Sofar Sounds in Oxford. Rex performed his poem “Sinew” and describes the poem is based on a frantic middle class mother. Check it out for yourself below.

You can follow Rex Domino on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @RexDomino_. If you like what you hear then you can get your hands on some of his previous work at www.rexdomino.bandcamp.com.

Art Space | Open Garden

The Garden has come a long way since it was started by Art Space Portsmouth artists Jane Kilford and Adrian Mundy in 2008, turning an area of unused tarmac into a thriving oasis in the heart of the city.

With help from volunteers from the local community and Art Space artists and thanks to donations of plants and pots from various sources the garden has gone on to win multiple awards from Portsmouth in Bloom and the RHS South/South-East in Bloom. Fingers crossed there may be more to follow in this years Portsmouth in Bloom awards which are to be announced soon.

The garden is going to be opening the gates for their annual Open Garden on Saturday 1st August between 1pm-4pm. You will be able to look around the garden, purchase yourself some plants and sit and relax with a nice cuppa and cake. Entry is free… but donations are gratefully received.

You can find the garden at Art Space, 27 Brougham Road, Southsea, PO5 4PA. If you would like to know more then check out their Facebook page HERE.

Art Space

Strong Island At Bestival 2015

We are thrilled to announce that Strong Island have been invited by Rob Da Bank and his team to cross the Solent and cover this years Bestival! Since it’s humble beginnings of 2004 we have been venturing over to enjoy the festival so to be covering it up close is really exciting.

Keep an eye out on Strong Island over the next six weeks where we will be previewing some of our favourite delights that will be going on over the weekend. Just some of the musical highlights include Underworld, Tame Impala, The Jacksons, Jungle, Jurassic 5, Little Dragon, Lianne La Havas, Missy Elliot and the Chemical Brothers. Portsmouth will be playing a part too with performances from Batala, Kassassin Street and Rex Domino.

Find out how you can get yourself tickets on the Bestival website – www.bestival.net. Roll on September!

Bestival 2015

Bestival 2015

Strong Island Calendar 2016 #SIC2016

If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit for our 2016 calendar then you can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2016.

There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth. We would love to see more submissions from all over Portsmouth not just our favourite Southsea landmarks so please share this with friends who you think might be interested in getting involved.

Strong Island Calendar Poster 2016

‘Dice’ Kickstarter Campaign

Local boys Lee Purslow and Rikki Parsons have just launched their Kickstarter campaign to open ‘Dice’, Portsmouth’s first ever board game café.

Inspired by the rise in board game cafes in Canada and America, but more recently in the England with ‘Thirsty Meeples’ in Oxford, and ‘Draughts’ in Hackney. They want to open a place to relax with your friends or family, eat good food, drink fresh coffee and challenge each other across the table.

Lee and Rikki have invested a large amount of private capital but admit “we need some extra funding to make sure we can create our full vision. We will not be personally drawing any money out of the café, so all of your funding will go directly into making Dice the best it can be. We will use this funding to renovate the venue to the required standard, grow the board game library and purchase the necessary equipment to offer a full food and drinks menu.”

If you are not aware of what Kickstarter is, it is a global crowdfunding platform which launched in 2009. The aim of a Kickstarter campaign is to raise money for a project which could be anything from a film, games, music, art, design and technology. The project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected.

Check out the link below to find out more about the the project and the full range of rewards available for anyone who wants to get involved. With donation rewards starting at just £5 please get involved and help make this original project happen!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1382631007/dice-portsmouths-first-board-game-cafe/description

Dice

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dice logo

Democratic Beach Paintings by Andrew Holmes Preview Event Thursday 23rd July at Jack House Gallery

Jack House Gallery will be holding a preview event on the evening of Thursday 23rd July for ‘Democratic Beach’, a series of paintings by artist Andrew Holmes. This exhibition is the third in the gallery, there’s still time to catch 16 Greenwich Printmakers, a wonderful selection of prints in a range subjects and media by the very best printmaking collective in town as well as Richard Colson’s spirited and evocative oil paintings on the fine art of fencing. These two shows continue until 1st August.

“Whether bright sunlight or overcast, the rich starkness of the figures’ forms silhouettes against the warm, pale sea and this is the most important image I hold in my emotional and visual memory. After returning to the studio in London and working from scribbles made on the beach, I wanted the drawings and paintings to reflect these figures and scenes as I saw them.” – Andrew Holmes.

Andrew Holmes will be here in the gallery on Thursday evening when his show opens from 6:30pm until 8:30pm and if you can’t make it the exhibition runs from Friday 24th July through to the 5th September.

Find out more at the Jack House Gallery website:

www.jackhousegallery.com

'Democratic Beach' Paintings by Andrew Holmes

Jack House Gallery

Photos from Saturday’s Photography Walkshop at Hilsea Lines & Foxes Forest

Saturday was our third photography walkshop of the summer, with a group of Southsea & Portsmouth photographers meeting up at Hilsea Lines & Foxes Forest to explore the lakes, woodland and the old bastions. We had photographers of all abilities come along and for many it was their first time exploring this part of the city. In the (what felt like very quick) two hours we had photos of butterflies, birds, trees plus some of the inside and outside views of the old bastion structures.

Our next photoghraphy walkshop is on the 8th of August and we’ll be exploring the harbour edge of Eastney from the ferry point down to where the entrance of the harbour meets the Solent. Find out more about this walkshop and the others planned for the rest of the summer and book online HERE.

Below are some photos from Saturday, check our Facebook page for more and our Flickr for photos from all three of the past walkshops.


















Southsea Sangha at Portsmouth Yoga

Southsea Sangha is a peer led Buddhist meditation group, based at Portsmouth Yoga Studio, Albert Rd, and is organised and founded by volunteer Meditation Teacher, Daniel Sutton-Johanson and Yoga Teacher Lucy Barlow. The group, run entirely on a Dana (Generosity) basis, began meeting with just a few practitioners once a month in May 2014, and has grown exponentially since. After meeting the costs of each meeting, any surplus dana is donated to local homeless and rape crisis charities. Having recently celebrated their 1st birthday and having hosted several international Dharma Teachers, they now have news of another evening event with international teachers and details of a new weekly, open access meditation group for anyone interested in learning more about or developing their own meditation practice.

Dan and Lucy

Visiting Dharma Teachers

On Sunday, August 9th, 6-8pm, Southsea Sangha host dharma teachers Thanissara and Kittisaro, who both trained in the Forest School of Ajahn Chah practicing as monastics for 15 & 12 years respectively. Thanissara, is a staunch environmental activist, feminist and racial rights activist, and is involved in a number of initiatives, including recently speaking at The White House on issues of racism & climate change, The Peoples Climate March in New York, and the Buddhist Climate Action Network in galvanizing the Buddhist community, as a strong ethical and engaged force for a sustainable planet. Among the many places they visit, both teach at Spirit Rock in the U.S and are familiar faces at Gaia House Retreat Centre in Devon.

Than and Kitt

Due to huge attendance at their last teacher event with Martin Aylward earlier this year, advance booking is now required. Tickets are £10 and can be purchased online HERE. For a limited number of low income concessions please contact southseasangha@gmail.com.

New Weekly Meditation Groups

The aim of Southsea Sangha is to create a safe and supported environment for all who come to practice or are simply curious about meditation. The Sangha are super pleased to announce that in addition to their main 2hr meeting with Daniel on the last Sunday of every month, which involves guided meditation, dharma talks and some Q&A, they are now able to provide shorter 1hr group meditation meetings, every Sunday from 6-7pm. The teachings and meditation practices shared by Daniel are influenced by the Vipassana (insight) tradition and all levels of experience are welcome. These new weekly Sunday classes, facilitated by other Sangha members, are more informal and consist of a 30 minute meditation session and a chance to chat and meet other members of your community.

Portsmouth Yoga

By sticking to the core teaching of the Buddha, other cultural traditions and “add ons” that often come to be associated with Buddhism or religious practices are set aside and Southea Sangha welcomes people from all racial, economic, sexual, social, political and religious backgrounds and preferences. Daniel said “I believe this Sangha has a chance to adopt the lessons from our American cousins at Against the Steam Buddhist Meditation Society, and express the teachings and practice of getting your arse on the cushion and going against the habitual chatter and tendencies of the mind and body, in a way people outside the conventional spiritual community can relate to.”

Just Sit

House of Burlesque

With a busy weekend in store on the seafront it would be easy to forget that this Saturday the Kings Theatre welcomes masterful Joe Black and a cast of delightful friends to entertain us.

His guests include…
Eliza Delite – Winner of the International crown at the World Burlesque Games 2014 and winner of the British female crown at the World Burlesque Games 2012! Classy, elegant and nothing short of decadent!
Fancy Chance – Burlesque terrorist and cabaret clown! Winner of Alternative Miss World 2009!
Frank Sanazi – Ubermeister of lounge and extremist crooner who puts the fun back into fundamental! Uneasy listening and Blitzrieg comedy! We’re gonna have one heil of a gas!
Delores Deluxe – Magician, conjurer, illusionist and instructional magic audiobook enthusiast!
Lolo Brow – Drag king, drag queen, lizard lady, burlesque shuffler and all round sauce pot!
Lilly Snatchdragon – Direct from Thailand! Massage specialist and burlesque from the far east!
Chi Chi Revolver – Hula hooping! Face pulling! Circus girl extraordinaire!
Terms Of Unnervement – Resident double act. A duo specialising in clown, burlesque and absurdity!
and your host…
Joe Black – Gin addled ringmaster. Facilitator of good times and the man on all the local authorities speed dial!

Tickets are available from £10.50 and are available from the Kings Theatre website – www.kingsportsmouth.co.uk.

Eliza Delite
Eliza Delite by Charis Talbot Photography.

House of Burlesque

Jerry Williams ‘Cold Beer’

Local singer songwriter Jerry Williams has just premiered her latest music video titled ‘Cold Beer’. This is the first track to be taken from the Portsmouth Guide Award winners upcoming EP of the same name, which is due for release on 21st August.

The nineteen year old uses her life growing up in Portsmouth and her relationships with boys as inspiration for a large part of her music. In this track Jerry recounts a string of unsuccessful dates. In the video you will recognise local venues such as the Meat and Barrel, Clarence Pier, Lucile’s Creperie, Tiger Tiger, Chambers, Pie & Vinyl and the Garage Lounge.

If you like what you hear then you can follow Jerry on Facebook, Twitter @JerryWMusic, YouTube and Instagram @jerrywilliamsmusic. If you are going to Victorious Festival next month then you’ll be able to catch Jerry on the main stage.

Jerry Williams

One Eyed Dog Mural by Jack Mitchell

Many of you will have seen the One Eyed Dog has undergone a facelift recently. The brilliant new mural comes courtesy of local boy Jack Mitchell.

After graduating from the University of Brighton and several stints at small companies in London Jack returned to Southsea and joined premier design outfit ilovedust. After a year spent travelling the world Jack returned and is now the senior designer based in the Brighton branch of ilovedust.

I love the mural and how detailed it is, you can spend a long time surveying all of the awesome (and slightly random) images. Jack describes “I really wanted to design something striking and that will stand out.” The pressure was on to make it good because Jack lives nearby and will be passing it on a daily basis. Jack stated that he “created small scenes featuring characters and local landmarks to highlight the quirky nature of the pub and some of the colourful ‘shanters’ in and around the Southsea scene.”

If you like what you see then you can follow Jack on Instagram @jack_mitchell1 and on Facebook at Jack Mitchell Design and Illustration.

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

The photos come courtesy of Howard Hurd, you can find more of his work on Instagram and Twitter @HowardHurd.

I WAS THERE! Musical Heritage Project With Portsmouth Guildhall

As part of Portsmouth Guildhall‘s 125th birthday celebrations the Portsmouth Cultural Trust & Strong Island, with the support of Arts Council England, will be running the I WAS THERE! project throughout August, with the aim to collect as many memories of special musical performances at the Guildhall, past and present, as possible. Were you in the audience at that unique show with your favourite band, on stage for the first time, or perhaps part of the team that made it all happen? We’d love to hear about it.

As well as collecting memories we’ll be asking people to send in photos of themselves with treasured mementos from these special moments experienced at Portsmouth Guildhall. It might be a drumstick, guitar pick, set list, poster, ticket, album, photo or even something more unusual! These photos can be sent in via email or social media (see details below) or you can be photographed at special I WAS THERE open days at the Guildhall throughout August. We’ll also be filming short interviews too for a film project.

We will be sharing the memories you have sent us plus your photos and interviews with everyone via social media, building a picture of all of the special experiences at Portsmouth Guildhall throughout its long musical history. You will also be invited to the resulting screening and live performance event as one of our special guests.

Strong Island will be at the Guildhall to receive any contributions between 1pm and 5pm on the following days:
Sunday 9th and Saturday 15th, 22nd and 29th of August.

Please send your memories & photo contributions to paul@strong-island.co.uk or to
the Guildhall’s Twitter @portsmouthghall & Facebook, using #IWasThereGuildhall

Find out more at: www.portsmouthguildhall.org.uk

Since the first official announcement of the I WAS THERE project in Saturday’s The News (as part of their comprehensive coverage of the 125th celebrations) we have already had some great memories come in! Keep your eyes peeled for I WAS THERE flyers from the Guildhall, Strong Island Co and lots of other locations around Portsmouth.

I WAS THERE! Musical Heritage Project With Portsmouth Guildhall

Summer Work Experience with Sam and Imogen at Strong Island

Over the last couple of weeks two young people who have been undertaking their summer work experience with Strong Island. Sam is studying at Horndean Technology College and Imogen is studying at Highbury College and both have spent time working with us. Sam has been on a two week placement with Strong Island Media working with us on film & photography projects and Imogen has been working in Strong Island Co looking at all things related to fashion design through to merchandising and marketing. A huge thank you to both Sam and Imogen for all their help!

Sam & Imogen
Sam & Imogen.

We asked Sam and Imogen to share what they have been up to in their own words.

Sam

My name is Sam and I’m a photography and music student from Horndean. I’ve done two weeks of work experience with Paul at Strong Island.

My first day, I was actually dropped in at the deep end, assisting Paul teach a load of students that where my age from Chichester High School for Boys. This meant I had to use my photography skills right from the start. This was a good learning curve for me, being one of the people stood at the front of the class for once. The Wednesday of my first week I had the opportunity to go on the unopened HMS M.33 in the historic dockyard to sort out some filming which will go ahead later this month. This chance wasn’t the sort of thing you get everyday and it was cool to see it before everyone else had the opportunity to. I also learnt how to prep for some filming and directing. Later on that Wednesday I went along to the last Strong Island Recordings gig at the Cellars in Eastney. Here I was able to do some music photography of Gang who are on the label, along with some other acts. I really enjoyed the tunes and got some really good photos!

Sam on Photo Workshop
Sam on Photo Workshop.

GSNG - Photo by Sam
GANG – Photo by Sam.

Tuesday and Wednesday of the second week we had a technology company come into the shop and I assisted with some product shoots. This really gave me an idea on how to set up and capture a photograph in the way they wanted, for example with a white background and reflections. This was also unreleased military and police technology which was, again, cool to get an exclusive on. At the end of the second week I got the chance to do some more freelance, independent photography down by Canoe Lake and on Southsea Seafront. I found the opportunity to do relaxed work like this helped inspire me. You can see some of the results below!

Sam Photographing Products
Sam Photographing Products.

I did have a few days that were helping around the shop, doing anything from helping in the storeroom to putting up exhibitions from photo workshops. I’ve also been doing various photo shoots in store of 22 new designs we got in store. This meant that some of my photography has been featured on their social media. I also wrote 5 or 6 articles on the Strong Island website which gave me a chance to get closer to the culture scene in Portsmouth.

Last of all I’d like to say thanks to everyone at Strong Island for having me… it’s been a really good experience!

Photo by Sam
Photo by Sam.

Photo by Sam
Photo by Sam.

Photo by Sam
Photo by Sam.

Imogen

Being at Strong Island has been a really great experience, even in such a short amount of time they have given me the opportunity to do lots! I have had the chance to do stock checks, visual merchandising, work the till/serve customers, update the website, learn how to work bits on Adobe Illustrator and was even able to put together my own research including mood boards and sketches for new products ideas. Strong Island hasn’t only been brilliant in providing me with interesting experience, but they’ve also been fantastic in welcoming me to the store and I’ve felt like part of the team since day 1 with the lovely Lara and Paul. Not only were the people absolutely great but the store is such a nice place to be, and the amazing interior decor just tops it off!

Imogen on Digital Design

Imogen & Lara

Imogen Product Design

My Dog Sigh’s Short Story Competition Winners

Earlier this year we invited everyone to take part in a short story competition. The theme of the story had to centre around one of My Dog Sighs tin can characters. I have been overwhelmed with the interest and the high number amount of entries that I received. It has taken much longer than I anticipated but with the help of Naomi Hewlett (Park Community School) and Angelo Tirotto (No Place Like Home author) we have managed to decide on the winners for each category.

Choosing the winner wasn’t an easy task but it was a lot of fun reading everyone’s interpretation on the tin can man theme. We will also be publishing some of the other entries over the summer so please keep an eye out on the website for those. We will run another short story competition next Autumn. Next time round we hope to recruit a panel of 4-5 judges so we can get through the entries a lot quicker. If you think you would like to be involved then don’t be shy, send us an email or get in touch on social media.

The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog Sighs.

I hope you agree with us and enjoy the stories as much as we did.

13 years and under (150 words)
Hannah Richardson – Year 7 at Milton Cross School

I am just a can…
dumped outside a garage,
left to rust in pain,
never to be used again.
I roam the streets in search of cover,
but no one wants me, not even my mother.
My tears fall down my old tin face,
as I stare away into space.
I hide in the shrubs,
to avoid humans coming from the clubs,
but they see me,
and kick me along the street till I plea.
They leave me, shrivelled up,
it’s just my luck
That tonight I was struck.
So I crawl across to my corner
the corner where I was left.
It’s not my fault,
it’s not I swear.
I didn’t ask for this torture;
this everlasting pain.
I cover myself in plants and leaves,
and cry myself to sleep,
hoping to see tomorrow…

14–18 years (300 words)
Peyton Owen – Year 10 at King Richards School.

There once was a homeless man called Harold. Despite his dire situation he always had a smile on his face.
Harold was different to a lot of other homeless people. He didn’t beg. He never asked for anything. Instead he made beautiful artwork to sell with an old paint set he’d found and any rubbish he could get his hands on. He’d then display them in the subway and sell them cheaply to anybody who wanted them. His most popular pieces were the tiny faces he’d paint onto old discarded tin cans.

He lived this way for years. On some days he’d make enough money for a hot meal and he’d be happy for the rest of the week. As time moved on he aged and became ill, his artwork became less regular, until one day it stopped altogether. When the community heard of his death they all came together to hold a service for him.

Everybody had known him, he’d been an unfortunate soul who had always made the best of his bad situation. For weeks after his death his graveside was littered with cans which people had painted in memory of him.

To this day, the town still remembered Harold; the homeless entrepreneur.

18 years and above (500 words)
Garry Davies

‘BANG BANG BANG! In my drawers baby’ As the B52’s famously didn’t sing. The buckshot peppered my tin hide like torrential rain on a corrugated roof, knocking me stone-cold sparko.

I came to my senses just in time to see the All Day Breakfast Gang ride out of town in a cloud of dust. My partner, the treacherous varmint Butch Gassidy had pumped me for information on our latest heist, then betrayed me and threw his lot in with the Breakfast Bandits. I felt rich tomato sauce raging through my veins and swore revenge on the two-timing son of a can.

I roused myself and stumbled to my feet, spotting my loyal steed, I flung myself upon the mechanical bull and with a cry of “Hi-Ho Silver Alloy!” I was off in grim pursuit of the bean-based outlaws.
A few miles out of town, I came to a fork in the road with a mini frankfurter impaled in its prongs. A crude ketchup arrow, pointed towards Green Valley Gulch.

Silver, responding to my command obediently bucked down the track towards the Valley.
The sun was setting as I spotted the bandits camp, and in a scene reminiscent of Blazing Saddles they were sitting around a campfire, laughing and joking how they had made a fool of the Baked Bean Kid. At the head of the campfire sat the low down Butch Gassidy and judging from their relaxed manner and noisy bowel movements, the overpowering stench told me it was very High Noon.

Crouching behind my hidden vantage point, I gripped my trusty Tinchester Repeater and took aim.

Unleashing my 57 varieties of hell, the outlaws scattered and ran for cover into a shabby outbuilding marked: “Green Valley Recycling Centre.”
I followed at a distance and found them cowering in a battered metal truck.
With my eyes growing accustomed to the gloom, I saw the truck was sitting on an old dusty conveyor belt. A lightbulb popped above my head and I knew, cans gotta do what a cans gotta do.

In a flash, I ripped off my ring pull and hurled it at the far wall where it hit its intended target. The big lever marked “Activate”.
With an awful clanking and grinding of gears, the belt burst into life and began rolling, taking Butch and the Breakfast possee ever closer to their deserved fate.
I rushed outside towards the exit, just in time to see the bandit’s less than triumphant transformation.

The once-feared outlaws stood sheepishly before me, resplendent in their shiny new glory…Butch Evaporated Milk and Grapefruit Segment Boys.

I handed them over to the Sheriff of Aldi and had myself a satisfied chuckle, content that the All Day Breakfast Gang’s notorious shelf life had now come to a sweet and sticky end.

I saddled up Silver and with a triumphant wave, noisily clanked off into the sunset.
So long, pardners…

My Dog Sighs TCM 3

Spring Onion – New Sushi and Asian Bites Store in Southsea

Over the road from Strong Island Co we’ve been seeing the progress of our new neighbour Spring Onion with anticipation. In the last few weeks the new sushi and asian bites store has been developing and over the last week or so the store has opened up to the public. Tomorrow sees the official opening of this fresh, tasty asian street food store which is fast becoming our favourite local lunch spot.

Spring Onion has a wide range of freshly made (daily in store) sushi, with a variety of nigiri and rolls all packed with clean flavours. salmon with avacado and spicy chicken sushi katsu are already favourites and looking forward to trying the many other options, with new options all the time. As well as sushi there are homemade curry, rice pots (awesome by the way) and so much more. All really reasonably priced, cleanly packaged and come with chopsticks and soy plus ginger & wasabi if you want it.

Be sure to check the store tomorrow when it officially opens, for more information visit the Spring Onion Facebook page.














America’s Cup Racing Week In Portsmouth

I think my first memories of the America’s Cup were from childhood, watching the news and being a little confused about stories of close races, steely eyed crews battling the southern ocean and controversial keel designs on these huge yachts on seas and oceans the other side of the World. Up until recently it still felt like it was an event that happened far from here, glimpsed on TV, racing in exotic locations on distant waters. With the news of the new Ben Ainslie Racing headquarters to be located and built in Portsmouth about a year or so ago, all of a sudden, this race, this event really started to capture my attention. Could the UK win the oldest international sporting trophy, with a team based in Portsmouth? Back in the waters where the race began?

Americas Cup

No longer will these elite teams sailing ‘formula one’ yachts built from cutting edge designs, technologies and materials feel so distant, as the 35th Americas Cup event began to arrive in the city over recent days in readiness for the racing long weekend next week. On Twitter it has been hard to miss the photos from local people of the Land Rover BAR AC45F flying on training sails in the Solent. In recent days our local team has been joined by New Zealand and other teams out on the Solent, with the 45 foot long catamarans flying at speeds of 40 mph all just 50 metres offshore. Our historic dockyard home to the yachts from all corners of the Earth and our city home to the first stage of the cup. Now the stages and stands are being built, the flags are up and in a matter of days the racing will begin! Check below for the detail list of all the America’s Cup events happening in the city.

We’re happy to also announce that Strong Island Clothing Co will be at the America’s Cup race village, be sure to drop by and say hello and check out the huge new summer range of tees. More details on this soon.

Americas Cup Flags in Southsea

Thursday 23rd July

The America’s Cup officially begins on Thursday 23rd July, with Southsea Common, Old Portsmouth and the Solent alive with activity all starting from 9am in the morning. You’ll be able to see the crew and craft prepare for the day’s racing in No. 1 Basin at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in the morning before the race village on Southsea Common opens at 11am. The day’s events are as follows:

  • - 9am to 11am: The race teams and boats get ready in the Naval Base – come and view in the Historic Dockyard
  • - 10am: Race Village opens on Southsea Common and the day
  • - 11am: The America’s Cup ‘trophy’ arrives in style
  • - 11:15am to 12:30pm: Moth racing and kitesurfing displays
  • - 12:30pm: The Official Parade of Sail leaves the Royal Navy base and escorts the race fleet out to the race course area in front of the race village on Southsea Common
  • - 12:45pm to 2:30pm Official Parade of Sail and exhibition sailing by the race teams
  • - 3pm: Skippers come ashore
  • - 3:15pm: Official press conference & presentation of skippers in Fanzone Arena
  • - 5pm: Day programme ends
  • - 6:30pm: Evening programme opens
  • - 7pm to 7:45pm: Official Opening Ceremony
  • - 8pm – 10pm: South Coast Proms concert featuring The Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines

Friday 24th July

Friday sees streaks of colour on both the Solent and the skies above, with the day dedicated to speed. See below planned activities for the day and evening:

  • - 9am to 11am: The race teams and boats get ready in the Naval Base – come and view in the Historic Dockyard
  • - 10am: Race Village opens on Southsea Common and the day
  • - 11am to 12pm: Moth racing and kitesurfing displays
  • - 12:10pm to 12:30pm: Red Arrows Aerial Display
  • - 12:30pm: The race boats leave the Royal Navy base and are escorted to the race course area in front of the race village on Southsea Common
  • - 12:45pm to 1:20pm: Race boats tuning up before practice racing with live MC commentary
  • - 1:30pm to 3pm: Practise starts and two practise races
  • - 3:15pm: Skippers come ashore
  • - 3:30pm: Media mixed zone with skippers in Fanzone Arena
  • - 5pm: Day programme ends
  • - 6:30pm: Evening programme opens
  • - 7:15pm to 9:30pm: South Coast Proms concert featuring The Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines

Saturday 25th July

On Saturday sailing gets serious and points are won or lost with the full official racing of the 35th America’s Cup kicking off. The evening also sees Portsmouth Live! with music on the big stage down on Southsea Common:

  • - 9am to 11am: The race teams and boats get ready in the Naval Base – come and view in the Historic Dockyard
  • - 10am: Race Village opens on Southsea Common and the day
  • - 10:30am: RNLI helicopter display
  • - 11am – 1230: Moth racing and kitesurfing displays
  • - 12pm: Red Bull Matador Aerial Display
  • - 12:30pm: The race boats leave the Royal Navy base and are escorted to the race course area in front of the race village on Southsea Common
  • - 12:45pm to 1:20pm: Race boats tuning up before racing with live MC commentary
  • - 1:30pm to 3pm: Two offical America’s Cup World Series Races
  • - 3:15pm: Skippers come ashore
  • - 3:30pm: Skippers in media mixed zone in Fanzone Arena
  • - 4pm: Blades Aerial Display
  • - 5pm: Day programme end
  • - 6pm: Evening programme open
  • - 7pm – 11pm: Portsmouth Live! Saturday day concert featuring Spandau Ballet, WetWetWet, McBusted and Carly Rae Jepsen

Super Sunday 26th July

Sunday is guaranteed to be ‘super’ – a fantastic finale to the event where the overall winner will be decided through what is sure to be some nail biting racing. As ever a full programme on entertainment on shore and on water and then an amazing prizegiving gala event to end it all. The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge are set to join huge crowds on Sunday to view the racing play a key part in the finale prizegiving event too. See below planned activities for the day and evening: See below planned activities for the day and evening:

  • - 9am to 11am: The race teams and boats get ready in the Naval Base – come and view in the Historic Dockyard
  • - 10am: Race Village opens on Southsea Common
  • - 10:30am: RNLI helicopter display
  • - 11am to 12:30pm: Moth racing and kitesurfing displays
  • - 12pm: Trig Aerial Display
  • - 12:30pm: The race boats leave the Royal Navy base and are escorted to the race course area in front of the race village on Southsea Common
  • - 12:45pm to 1:20pm: Race boats tuning up before racing with live MC commentary
  • - 1:30pm to 3pm: Two offical America’s Cup World Series races
  • - 3:15pm: Skippers come ashore
  • - 3:30pm: Skippers in media mixed zone in Fanzone Arena
  • - 4pm: All skippers and sailors to main stage in Waterfront Festival Arena
  • - 4:15pm to 5pm: Gala prizegiving event in main stage in Waterfront Festival Arena
  • - 6:30pm: Spitfire Aerial Display

These times are subject to change.

Tickets for the America’s Cup are still available HERE.

Waterfront Festival Arena – Free ticket required for day entry.
10am to 5pm Thursday/Friday/Saturday.
10am to 6pm Sunday.

Fanzone Arena – Paid ticket required for day entry.
10am to 6pm Thursday/Friday/Saturday.
10am to 6:30pm Sunday

Fanzone Arena tickets are on sale across all four days Thursday 23rd – Sunday, July 26, which will also give access to the Sunday prizegiving. All current Waterfront Festival Arena (free) ticket holders will also be able to watch the prize giving show.

Portsmouth Live! Music night – Paid ticket required for entry.

Portsmouth Live!

Blades

America's Cup World Series Naples 2013 - Race Day 3

Red Bull


Strong Island Photo of The Year Competition Week 14 Winner and Runners Up

There were so many great photographs submitted this past week (week 14) with lots of mixed weather, bringing in interesting skylines and rough seas with a bit of sunshine. It really was difficult to pick a winner! To submit photos yourself via Instagram & Twitter for the Strong Island Photo of the Year Competition use the hashtag #SIPhotoComp2015 and you can always email photos in too to contact@strong-island.co.uk.

This week’s winning image is a fantastic shot of a train going past a tower block down towards Gunwarf Quays, with a great contrasting sky and amazing detail, captured by Howard Hurd.


Photo by Howard Hurd

This weekly winner will now be entered into the finals of the competition which will happen in December where everyone can vote for their favourite weekly winning photos. This image will now become our Strong Island Facebook header image for the next 7(ish) days until next week’s winner.

Below are some of the runners up for this week. A huge thanks to everyone who submitted a photograph. Don’t worry if your photo didn’t win or make the shortlist… you can enter photos every week until the finals in December! You can now submit photos for this week’s weekly winner selection which will be chosen and shown next week. To enter simply email, Tweet or Instagram your photo that was taken in, on or around Portsmouth.


Photo by Jupward.


Photo by Grzegorz Kopacz.


Photo by Johnny Black.


Photo by Billie Cawte.


Photo by Sarah Holiday.


Photo by Johnny Valentine.


Photo by Ellis Hampton.

Creative Census Portsmouth Flyers Out in Southsea and Portsmouth

The Creative Census Portsmouth project is progressing well with lots of people submitting their information to the census, from freelancers through to large organisations getting involved. If you’re out and about in Portsmouth & Southsea you can grab flyers about the census from different shops, events and venues, the flyers have information on the project plus details on how to enter our prize draw.

To enter the prize draw simply complete the census (takes no more than a few minutes) and take a photo of yourself with the flyer with/in front of something/somewhere that inspires you, pop in the caption on Instagram or Twitter that you’ve taken the census and add the hashtag #CreativeCensusPortsmouth and at the end of each month we’ll be picking winners!

To find out more about the Creative Census Portsmouth project check the website below where you can also complete the census yourself. Not sure if you can submit your details? Check the website which explains the different types of jobs & activities that are covered too.

Below are some of the awesome places in Southsea and Portsmouth kindly sharing our flyers plus you can always grab some in Strong Island Co, we’re open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm.

www.creativecensus.co.uk


All About Tea


Belamys


Bread Addiction


Bureau of Change


Community Fusion


Gabrelle at Harbour White Gallery


Lou Bush at Make and the Craft Kitchen


Night Markets


Pie and Vinyl


Southsea Coffee Co


Teattray in the Sky

Fareham Shorts – Short Film Competition

Fareham Shorts, Fareham’s first International Short Film competition, brings together amazing judges from the world of art and film.

Filmmakers from Hampshire and beyond are getting the chance to have their work viewed by Internationally acclaimed judges this summer for the inaugural Fareham Shorts (Fareham International Short Film Competition) as part of Fareham Arts Festival curated by Live Art Local CIC.

Judges from the world of film, art and academia will be choosing their favourite films in four categories from a shortlist and the their overall film of the festival.

The full line-up of judges is Daisy Jacobs (BAFTA winner, Oscar nominee), Anna Cady (Award winning artist and filmmaker, Official Selection Sundance Film Festival for 30%), Ben Thompson (Principal Lecturer & Section Lead for Video, Film & Broadcasting and a cameraman, director and producer with many years experience), Aysegul Epengin (Chair of Portsmouth Film Society) and John Hayes (Director of Winchester Film and Art CIC and co-ordintor of Winchester short film festival).

Short listed films will be shown and awards handed out at a Gala Screening at Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham on Thursday 13th August, where members of the public can not only view the winning material but also question some of the filmmakers. You can purchase tickets for this very special evening via Ashcroft Arts Centre for £3.

The winning film will also be shown at REEL cinema Fareham before feature films for a period after.

This is a great opportunity for local filmmakers to get their work seen by esteemed industry experts and the general public. Submissions close at midnight on 20th July and you can enter via Film Freeway or HERE.

Ed Davis-Hofbauer, co-curator of Film at Fareham Arts Festival, said:

“It’s a great opportunity for filmmakers to get their work seen by professionals in the industry and a great chance for local people to see new and groundbreaking work by up and coming talent, bringing a little bit of movie magic to Fareham this summer.”

If you would like to find out more about Fareham Arts Festival and submit your film, or find how to buy tickets click HERE.


Danielle Gridley Photography Exhibition

This month Danielle Gridley has been exhibiting her photography in The Kings Theatre.

Danielle’s photography first came to my attention while compiling the Strong Island 2015 Calendar. Her moody shots of the Solent really stood out and had to be included.

Danielle describes “I’m not the sort of person that will sit and wait for ‘that perfect shot’, I see something that makes me smile and I want to capture it. I’m lucky to live in this beautiful location and love to see the same view change daily. I particularly like a gloomy sky and when waves crash over the promenade. I see all times of day as I’m often out walking with my dog, but by far my most favourite are sunrise and sunset.”

The exhibition runs until 18th July. To view the exhibition head down when the Kings Theatre is open to the public to take a look. The opening times can be found on their website www.kingsportsmouth.co.uk. You can follow Danielle on Twitter and Instagram @DanielleGridley

Danielle Gridley 1

Danielle Gridley 2

Danielle Gridley 3

Danielle Gridley

A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Matt Wingett, Author

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

You can read the first article, featuring Mark Waldron, Editor of the News, HERE.
You can also catch the second in the series, with Megan Barnes (a Photography Student) HERE.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Matt Wingett, a local Author with an interest in design and culture, at Portsmouth City Museum. After Matt had a look around the exhibition, he let us know what were his own Best in Show.

Hello Matt, can you start by telling us what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

Okay, it is called Teapot by Christopher Dresser. This teapot I absolutely adore because one of the things that I have thought about in best in show and one of the things that I do in museums generally is think, “Would I want that at home?” And that; I would love at home.
It’s delicate, and just look at the lines, it’s just absolutely gorgeous, with this beautiful squat curve that it’s got but this incredibly delicate spout and handle. The whole thing is just a really wonderful piece of aesthetic engineering, so I really enjoy it on that level. But it’s also got practicality, I love the fact that it’s something that will bring me comfort and that also is part of it’s appeal. It’s not only a visual thing but also it’s kinaesthetic. And also, pouring the water and hearing that, it is a complete sensual delight for me, especially with the bright chrome/silvered finish on it as well.


And could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about this image?

It’s this wonderful turner’s chair from around 1640. I absolutely love this, because it’s not only a chair, but a demonstration piece which was showing how good this turner was at his job. So, what you’ve got built into the chair is, for example, the ends of banisters, or little figures along the tops of the horizontals. However, there’s something else about this design that I really like apart from all the turning which takes a degree of skill to make. This guy was a great turner. So in 1640, working on a lathe, with a foot pedal I would guess, and that it quite an extraordinary piece. But, the other thing I like about it on a modern level is it’s square-ness, because that reminds me of is a 1970’s robot. Now, that’s something that it gives me (and nobody else probably is going to get that) but I love it for that kind of kookiness. My goodness what a thing to talk about… and what a thing to have in your house and to show off to people.




And what is the third and final exhibit and why do you like it?

Okay so we have a portrait of Miss Grace Canon. As soon as I saw this picture I fell in love with it. She has got the most calm and composed face, one that thinks straight but has a degree of humour in it. She looks like some who is confident, clear about what she wants to do, and that was immediately what I got. I also thought she was very elegant. The notes say that she was an early pioneer of motorcar racing, which makes that steely look in her eye all the more pertinent because this was a woman who liked adventure. She also lived in Southsea, so she’s got that local connection which I love, and the other side to that is she is one of the donors to this very museum!




if you could think of something, of your own, that you could donate to the museum and the city collection, what would it be?

I think it would be Portsmouth City library, which actually already belongs to the council. That building is actually a great example of brutalist architecture. It’s an extraordinarily well-designed and detailed building. So overall, I think that it isn’t recognised as being the real top-notch architectural achievement it should be.

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free the Easter and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

www.portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk

‘The Princess and the Fog’ by Lloyd Jones

Local lad and University of Portsmouth graduate Lloyd Jones has just had his first book published, titled ‘The Princess and the Fog‘.

Lloyd describes that “it is a picture book for children who are living with depression. Up until only fairly recently it wasn’t widely acknowledged that children even suffer from depression, making this one of the first books of its kind.”

On Friday Lloyd will be hosting a Book Launch event at Cafe Parisien on Lord Montgomery Way. I’ve attached a flyer with some of the details. There’ll be copies of the book available to buy and have signed, as well as paintings and zines I’ve made in the past to do with mental health issues.

You can get your hands on a copy of the book online for £10.99 on Amazon.

princess and the fog

princess and the fog

Strong Island and Hampshire Police Cycle Security Event

Last Saturday we hosted hosted a cycle security event in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary.

Portsmouth as a city possesses a high number of bicycle enthusiasts. Whether you are using your bike to commute to work, racing or just getting from A to B. Sadly bicycle theft is a relatively easy crime to commit. With their increased usage over the summer months we need to do as much as we can to deter criminals and assist the Police in recovering the bike if the worst is to happen and your bike is stolen.

It was great to see the event was so well attended with twenty seven bikes being registered and security marked as well as four D Locks sold in just two hours! PCSO Dan Taylor arrived at 10am and explained that he was bringing three colleagues with him later on. I thought that seemed a little excessive however I was proved wrong, as for most of the morning there was a queue of people waiting to be seen. Because of the success of the event we will look to hold other events in the near future so please keep your eye out on Strong Island for more information.

You can follow the good work of the Southsea Neighbourhood Policing Team on Twitter @PompeyPolice.

Cycle Marking Event July 2015

Cycle Marking Event July 2015

Cycle Marking Event July 2015

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Strong Island Clothing Co.

Departments

Creative Census

Do you work in the Creative Industries in Portsmouth? We are running the Creative Census project throughout the summer of 2015 with the aim to measure the creative temperature of the city. Please take a minute to complete the census questions and please share with the hashtag #CreativeCensusPortsmouth. You can enter the census and find out all the details at:

www.creativecensus.co.uk

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Features

My Dog Sigh’s Short Story Competition Winners

Earlier this year we invited everyone to take part in a short story competition. The theme of the story had to centre around one of My Dog Sighs tin can characters. I have been overwhelmed with the interest and the high number amount of entries that I received. It has taken much longer than I anticipated but with the help of Naomi Hewlett (Park Community School) and Angelo Tirotto (No Place Like Home author) we have managed to decide on the winners for each category.

Choosing the winner wasn’t an easy task but it was a lot of fun reading everyone’s interpretation on the tin can man theme. We will also be publishing some of the other entries over the summer so please keep an eye out on the website for those. We will run another short story competition next Autumn. Next time round we hope to recruit a panel of 4-5 judges so we can get through the entries a lot quicker. If you think you would like to be involved then don’t be shy, send us an email or get in touch on social media.

The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog Sighs.

I hope you agree with us and enjoy the stories as much as we did.

13 years and under (150 words)
Hannah Richardson – Year 7 at Milton Cross School

I am just a can…
dumped outside a garage,
left to rust in pain,
never to be used again.
I roam the streets in search of cover,
but no one wants me, not even my mother.
My tears fall down my old tin face,
as I stare away into space.
I hide in the shrubs,
to avoid humans coming from the clubs,
but they see me,
and kick me along the street till I plea.
They leave me, shrivelled up,
it’s just my luck
That tonight I was struck.
So I crawl across to my corner
the corner where I was left.
It’s not my fault,
it’s not I swear.
I didn’t ask for this torture;
this everlasting pain.
I cover myself in plants and leaves,
and cry myself to sleep,
hoping to see tomorrow…

14–18 years (300 words)
Peyton Owen – Year 10 at King Richards School.

There once was a homeless man called Harold. Despite his dire situation he always had a smile on his face.
Harold was different to a lot of other homeless people. He didn’t beg. He never asked for anything. Instead he made beautiful artwork to sell with an old paint set he’d found and any rubbish he could get his hands on. He’d then display them in the subway and sell them cheaply to anybody who wanted them. His most popular pieces were the tiny faces he’d paint onto old discarded tin cans.

He lived this way for years. On some days he’d make enough money for a hot meal and he’d be happy for the rest of the week. As time moved on he aged and became ill, his artwork became less regular, until one day it stopped altogether. When the community heard of his death they all came together to hold a service for him.

Everybody had known him, he’d been an unfortunate soul who had always made the best of his bad situation. For weeks after his death his graveside was littered with cans which people had painted in memory of him.

To this day, the town still remembered Harold; the homeless entrepreneur.

18 years and above (500 words)
Garry Davies

‘BANG BANG BANG! In my drawers baby’ As the B52’s famously didn’t sing. The buckshot peppered my tin hide like torrential rain on a corrugated roof, knocking me stone-cold sparko.

I came to my senses just in time to see the All Day Breakfast Gang ride out of town in a cloud of dust. My partner, the treacherous varmint Butch Gassidy had pumped me for information on our latest heist, then betrayed me and threw his lot in with the Breakfast Bandits. I felt rich tomato sauce raging through my veins and swore revenge on the two-timing son of a can.

I roused myself and stumbled to my feet, spotting my loyal steed, I flung myself upon the mechanical bull and with a cry of “Hi-Ho Silver Alloy!” I was off in grim pursuit of the bean-based outlaws.
A few miles out of town, I came to a fork in the road with a mini frankfurter impaled in its prongs. A crude ketchup arrow, pointed towards Green Valley Gulch.

Silver, responding to my command obediently bucked down the track towards the Valley.
The sun was setting as I spotted the bandits camp, and in a scene reminiscent of Blazing Saddles they were sitting around a campfire, laughing and joking how they had made a fool of the Baked Bean Kid. At the head of the campfire sat the low down Butch Gassidy and judging from their relaxed manner and noisy bowel movements, the overpowering stench told me it was very High Noon.

Crouching behind my hidden vantage point, I gripped my trusty Tinchester Repeater and took aim.

Unleashing my 57 varieties of hell, the outlaws scattered and ran for cover into a shabby outbuilding marked: “Green Valley Recycling Centre.”
I followed at a distance and found them cowering in a battered metal truck.
With my eyes growing accustomed to the gloom, I saw the truck was sitting on an old dusty conveyor belt. A lightbulb popped above my head and I knew, cans gotta do what a cans gotta do.

In a flash, I ripped off my ring pull and hurled it at the far wall where it hit its intended target. The big lever marked “Activate”.
With an awful clanking and grinding of gears, the belt burst into life and began rolling, taking Butch and the Breakfast possee ever closer to their deserved fate.
I rushed outside towards the exit, just in time to see the bandit’s less than triumphant transformation.

The once-feared outlaws stood sheepishly before me, resplendent in their shiny new glory…Butch Evaporated Milk and Grapefruit Segment Boys.

I handed them over to the Sheriff of Aldi and had myself a satisfied chuckle, content that the All Day Breakfast Gang’s notorious shelf life had now come to a sweet and sticky end.

I saddled up Silver and with a triumphant wave, noisily clanked off into the sunset.
So long, pardners…

My Dog Sighs TCM 3

Fareham Shorts – Short Film Competition

Fareham Shorts, Fareham’s first International Short Film competition, brings together amazing judges from the world of art and film.

Filmmakers from Hampshire and beyond are getting the chance to have their work viewed by Internationally acclaimed judges this summer for the inaugural Fareham Shorts (Fareham International Short Film Competition) as part of Fareham Arts Festival curated by Live Art Local CIC.

Judges from the world of film, art and academia will be choosing their favourite films in four categories from a shortlist and the their overall film of the festival.

The full line-up of judges is Daisy Jacobs (BAFTA winner, Oscar nominee), Anna Cady (Award winning artist and filmmaker, Official Selection Sundance Film Festival for 30%), Ben Thompson (Principal Lecturer & Section Lead for Video, Film & Broadcasting and a cameraman, director and producer with many years experience), Aysegul Epengin (Chair of Portsmouth Film Society) and John Hayes (Director of Winchester Film and Art CIC and co-ordintor of Winchester short film festival).

Short listed films will be shown and awards handed out at a Gala Screening at Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham on Thursday 13th August, where members of the public can not only view the winning material but also question some of the filmmakers. You can purchase tickets for this very special evening via Ashcroft Arts Centre for £3.

The winning film will also be shown at REEL cinema Fareham before feature films for a period after.

This is a great opportunity for local filmmakers to get their work seen by esteemed industry experts and the general public. Submissions close at midnight on 20th July and you can enter via Film Freeway or HERE.

Ed Davis-Hofbauer, co-curator of Film at Fareham Arts Festival, said:

“It’s a great opportunity for filmmakers to get their work seen by professionals in the industry and a great chance for local people to see new and groundbreaking work by up and coming talent, bringing a little bit of movie magic to Fareham this summer.”

If you would like to find out more about Fareham Arts Festival and submit your film, or find how to buy tickets click HERE.


A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Matt Wingett, Author

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

You can read the first article, featuring Mark Waldron, Editor of the News, HERE.
You can also catch the second in the series, with Megan Barnes (a Photography Student) HERE.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Matt Wingett, a local Author with an interest in design and culture, at Portsmouth City Museum. After Matt had a look around the exhibition, he let us know what were his own Best in Show.

Hello Matt, can you start by telling us what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

Okay, it is called Teapot by Christopher Dresser. This teapot I absolutely adore because one of the things that I have thought about in best in show and one of the things that I do in museums generally is think, “Would I want that at home?” And that; I would love at home.
It’s delicate, and just look at the lines, it’s just absolutely gorgeous, with this beautiful squat curve that it’s got but this incredibly delicate spout and handle. The whole thing is just a really wonderful piece of aesthetic engineering, so I really enjoy it on that level. But it’s also got practicality, I love the fact that it’s something that will bring me comfort and that also is part of it’s appeal. It’s not only a visual thing but also it’s kinaesthetic. And also, pouring the water and hearing that, it is a complete sensual delight for me, especially with the bright chrome/silvered finish on it as well.


And could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about this image?

It’s this wonderful turner’s chair from around 1640. I absolutely love this, because it’s not only a chair, but a demonstration piece which was showing how good this turner was at his job. So, what you’ve got built into the chair is, for example, the ends of banisters, or little figures along the tops of the horizontals. However, there’s something else about this design that I really like apart from all the turning which takes a degree of skill to make. This guy was a great turner. So in 1640, working on a lathe, with a foot pedal I would guess, and that it quite an extraordinary piece. But, the other thing I like about it on a modern level is it’s square-ness, because that reminds me of is a 1970’s robot. Now, that’s something that it gives me (and nobody else probably is going to get that) but I love it for that kind of kookiness. My goodness what a thing to talk about… and what a thing to have in your house and to show off to people.




And what is the third and final exhibit and why do you like it?

Okay so we have a portrait of Miss Grace Canon. As soon as I saw this picture I fell in love with it. She has got the most calm and composed face, one that thinks straight but has a degree of humour in it. She looks like some who is confident, clear about what she wants to do, and that was immediately what I got. I also thought she was very elegant. The notes say that she was an early pioneer of motorcar racing, which makes that steely look in her eye all the more pertinent because this was a woman who liked adventure. She also lived in Southsea, so she’s got that local connection which I love, and the other side to that is she is one of the donors to this very museum!




if you could think of something, of your own, that you could donate to the museum and the city collection, what would it be?

I think it would be Portsmouth City library, which actually already belongs to the council. That building is actually a great example of brutalist architecture. It’s an extraordinarily well-designed and detailed building. So overall, I think that it isn’t recognised as being the real top-notch architectural achievement it should be.

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free the Easter and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

www.portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk

Blissfields Review 2015

It has taken a few days to process the whole of last weekend, but now the majority of Blissfields festival is slowly coming back to me. We were blessed with glorious sunshine, high temperatures all weekend. On Friday night we even witnessed a lightening storm aluminate the night skies without a drop of rain following behind, proving that it really never rains at Blissfields.

I arrived on site Thursday afternoon with some of Portsmouth’s finest. Some lovely faces from Blissfields past were on hand to greet me and that fellowship and community spirit can be felt all over the festival.

Another local band Popobawa were the first band booked for the festival so it was only appropriate that they officially opened the festival on Thursday lunchtime. This was the first time I’d seen Popobawa since they played their first ever live show together as a band at the Road To Blissfields 2014. They didn’t win on the night but were booked for this years event on the strength of their debut live performance.

Portsmouth was well represented over the weekend with performances on the Thursday evening from ska and reggae band Bigtopp who had the large crowd dancing and even demanding an encore which the band enthusiastically delivered. Big Child Man Child continued with the dancing theme and even surprised the crowd with dancers of their own to entertain the audience.

On Thursday night two large tents turned up next to mine belonging to Brighton based band Mok. They all seemed like a nice bunch so I went to check out their set in the Now and Den tent. They put on a top show performance with a style that I wouldn’t know how to describe, Lee from the band explained to me they like to think of it as New Wave Rap. It’s always nice to come back from a festival and finding new musical gems. Hopefully they will come join us in Portsmouth in the near future!

The Larch Stage had familiar faces taking over on the Friday with Floella Grace, Sam McCarthy, Luke Ferre, The Boy I Used To Be and our Strong Island Recording’s Curxes performing. It was great to hear Sam’s rendition of ‘Deep Blue Sea’ which he admits was inspired by our tee of the same name. Floella opened the Larch Stage and put on a mesmerising performance. Later on in the day she met her namesake and fellow singer songwriter Flo Morrissey who had on a lovely performance opening the Singularity (Main) Stage.

Flo Morrisey and Floella Grace
The Flo’s – Photo by Si Gross.

Later on the Singularity Stage Blissifelds veterans the Dub Pistols were greeted by the kind of boisterous crowd we have come to expect during their performances and they loved the Pistols typical high energy performance. For me the main stage was the place to be for Friday evening because of performances from Ghostpoet, Public Service Broadcasting and the Horrors who headlined the evening with a cracking performance and an equally impressive lightshow.

For me Friday night was a late one spent at the Blisscotheque with the lovely press team who took a rare moment off work to let their hair down.

Most of the festival goers were up and about nice and early, mainly because by 7am most tents were already turning into mini saunas! The previous evening I was blown away by the Original Fry Up Material‘s burgers, so I thought that I would try their breakfast muffins and I was not disappointed, they were equally awesome and just what I needed to prepare myself for the day. This van was certainly the culinary highlight of the weekend, keep an eye out for them at a festival near you.

After spending some time with friends relaxing in the craft area I witnessed Cosmo Sheldrake work his magic on the Singularity Stage. I was lucky enough to meet him afterwards, they say never meet your heroes but on this occasion that expression was proved wrong, what a nice guy! During his set you would struggle to find someone in the crowd who wasn’t tapping their foot or nodding their head to Cosmo’s infectious tunes.

Local highlights of the day were the boys from the Kassassin Street who battled through technical difficulties to wow the crowd with signature anthems ‘Centre Straight Atom’ and ‘To Be Young’. They were followed by Isle of Wight band Plastic Mermaids who succinctly proved why they are the most exciting band on the planet at this precise moment in time!

While everyone was being wowed by the Plastic Mermaids in the Now and Den Stage, Grandmaster Flash was playing some classic Hip-Hop on the Singularity Stage. He was followed by DJ Will Chump who continued the hits playing with great aplomb after suffering a nightmare journey getting to the festival. The perfect way for me to end the festival was with Glass Animals and John Grant. Glass Animals are a band I’ve only recently been introduced to and in my opinion their new album ‘Zaba’ is one of the best the year so far. If you are a fan of the xx and Friendly Fires then I suggest you get involved!

Over the weekend I was asked to curate the Spoken Word event in the A-Z Tent. If I am honest I knew very little about spoken word at first but the more I researched and the more I spoke to those involved the bigger fan I became. I would like to thank Selby, Craft D, Rex Domino, Blizzard, Roya Shadamand, Toby Campion, Spike Zephaniah Stephenson and the A-Z stage team for helping to make the event a huge success. Special mention has to go to Rex Domino, the general consensus of the audience was that he was arguably the strongest performance of the whole festival and if that isn’t a statement to do Portsmouth proud I don’t know what is.

Last of all I wanted say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making Blissfields the best small festival on the festival circuit! Now I will be resting for a few days before I start getting excited and beginning the Strong Island build up to Victorious and Bestival.

Dub Pistols Blissfields
The Dub Pistols
Ghostpoet Blissfields
Ghostpoet
Horrors Blissfields
The Horrors
Blissfields Craft Area
Blissfields Craft Area
Grand Master Flash Blissfields
Grandmaster Flash
Glass Animals Blissfields
Glass Animals and the above photos by Tony Jupp

A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Megan Barnes, a local photography student with an interest in art and history, at Portsmouth City Museum. After Megan had a walk around the exhibition, she let us know what were her own Best in Show.

Hi Megan, can you let us know what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

It is the souvenir clock of the coronation of King George, and I just love the craftsmanship of it. It’s completely different to all the others that are on display (in the community case) and I like the fact that they’ve kept it bronze, which is nice, and it keeps it natural. It just caught my eye completely, separately from the others, and the woodwork ones are lovely, but I really think it gives a real feel to it because of the materials. It gives it that powerful feel. I mean, it’s a strong material that has been used and the symbolisation of the coronation complies with that in a way.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (2)

So could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about this image?

This is called a Pier to Pier race. I love black and white photography anyway; it gives such a strong image compared to other photos, and I just love the story behind this, because the whole picture captures how big this event was. The fact that she had to fight to get her place and then came second as a disabled swimmer, I think is brilliant anyway, but I just love the people in it and it makes me laugh, because you wouldn’t get that, say down Southsea, nowadays. It’s also weird to see it that busy, because you don’t get that. And I think that’s because Southsea gets forgotten, even though it’s such a beautiful place, I mean I have family down there and we visit there a lot, but it does; it gets forgotten.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (3)

And can you explain to us what your third choice is and what you liked about it?

This image, of a child with a dog and a squirrel, caught my eye because I love paintings, especially old-fashioned ones. I think they’re just stunning and with the materials they had back then and what they achieved, but this one I just love the girl’s face and the little dog in the corner. But the story of the frame and how it took a long time to find the correct frame for it; how early she (the curator) had to get up and go to London to make sure she got her place to get this framed show that actually it’s a marvellous piece. I just love looking at it, the colours, it just hasn’t lost any of it’s originality, and considering how old it is I just think it’s stunning.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (4)

Finally, what thing would you personally consider donating to the city collection?

So, this only started a couple of years ago, but my family and I go camping every year and we go to Swanage. They have a carnival type week and a masquerade night, and I’ve been collecting quite a few of their masks that they have on sale, so I have about 6 of them now. I think that would be what I would put forward because they’re stunning; they’re just so pretty.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (1)

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free the Easter and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

www.portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk

Strong Island and Hampshire Police Cycle Security Event

Portsmouth as a city possesses a high number of bicycle enthusiasts. Whether you are using your bike to commute to work, racing or just getting from A to B. Sadly bicycle theft is a relatively easy crime to commit. With their increased usage over the summer months we need to do as much as we can to deter criminals and assist the Police in recovering the bike if the worst is to happen and your bike is stolen.

In partnership with Hampshire Constabulary we are going to be hosting a free Cycle Marking event at Strong Island HQ on Saturday 11th July between 10am-midday.

Whatever type of bike you ride get yourself and your bike down to the store, you will find local Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be on hand to offer cycle security advice as well well as FREE cycle marking which can help identify your bike as yours if the worst were to happen and it was stolen.

Please share this event with friends, family and anyone you think would be interested. You can find out more information in the build up to the event on Facebook – www.facebook.com/events/703740506418243/.

Strong Island x Hampshire police

Archives

Southsea Show 1970

Image: eBay

Inside the Round Tower

The Round Tower in Old Portsmouth is an often visited landmark but few people get a look at what lies inside those walls. On Friday a few lucky members of The Solent Camera Club (on one of it’s Friday evening meets) were able to explore it’s cavernous interior including the brick arches, rusted cannons and stalactites.

Photos kindly supplied by Duncan Allan.

Tower

There’s Snow Day like a Snow Day

Tom Time Waster © just put a few more photos from last months snow day in Portsmouth. Cool photos as always, but I focused on the spills and slams. We saw some kids take proper slams that day. Lots of broken tailbones for sure. Good times.

Hidden Treasures

Steve Bomford gave us the heads up on this wonderful short film made up of old film footage, from the 50s to the 70s, filmed around Portsmouth and Southsea. If you like looking at some vintage Portsmouth and Southsea you will love this (really interesting to see the Guildhall before it was pedestrianised and the buildings were demolished for the council offices).

Holy Cody Batman

Cody needs no introductions, ever. The nicest guy you’ll ever meet with a heart of a gold and the skateboard mentality of an escaped mental patient.

If you need conformation of that statement then check this photo I grabbed from some site called Facebook. Off the clubhouse roof into the flat bank down Southsea Skatepark. Nuts…

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Shortly after I posted this insane photo of Cody going nuts down the skatepark, he sent a reply. Thought i’d post it up so people that know him can have a read.

“Thank u for the nice word. I just have to say thank you to all the peeps and friends that have help and shape me as a sk8er and as a human being. The love that i have been shown over the years is so big. The friend and peeps i have met and change my life and change my path to some thing good. I truly say it with my heart that i love you all and i hope to make more friends and to have more good time. Here a shout out to all the u.k sk8 scene and the southsea boys and girl sk8er or not, much love. and to the guys like strong island crew and bored sk8 for keeping the u.k. scene going. So if u up for a sk8 drink or chill u find me in southsea. 1 love bye cody x”

Big Rave Night

Clearly ‘that top group from Portsmouth The Parkas’ used to rave hard at the licensed bar The Drill Hall in Camberley back in ’67. Awesome stuff for sure.

Flyer Seen : Pompey Pop Pix

Local Photographer – David Jacobs

Based in Chichester but a constant visitor to Southsea, Portsmouth, Hayling and all of the Chichester harbour area, David Jacobs’ photos capture the warmth of the local light and and the inspiring natural views of the local landscape and coastline. To see more of David’s photos be sure to click ‘Read More’ below and check David’s Flickr.

Southsea

Hayling

Google Maps – Street View

Portsmouth now has street view enabled on Google Maps, giving an interesting perspective of the city. Good to see it was a nice, sunny day in Southsea when the car drove through. Sadly no Old Portsmouth though.

Created Local – Marc B.B

Local Light Artist & Photographer Marc B.B sent over these incredible light images taken around Portsmouth. Specialising in Night Photography, Light Painting, Long Exposures and so on Marcs pictures are created at a time when most people would be packing away their cameras and heading home. Portsmouth has a strong creative vibe, especially in the photography realm and being part of a group called ‘Portsmouth At Night’, Marc regularly meets up with like minded folk to go on weekly excursions in and around the city to photograph it, in the dark.

“Whilst some may find it a little bizarre, i think the images speak for themselves. Turning everyday objects, landmarks, even benches into works of art of their own is both exciting and a challenge. Some of my best work has been in collaberation with others and being able to pool resources and ideas has always been invaluable to me. I am always striving to find parts of the city that can be shown in a ‘good light’ as Portsmouth is such a great place to live.”

Be sure to check out Marcs website www.marcbb.co.uk for amazing photos, and if this style night photography interests you head over to Portsmouth at Night at www.portsmouthatnight.com. They meet up as a group every week somewhere in Portsmouth and simply take advantage of the night. Everyone is welcome to join, at all levels of competency. Night, night.

Brickwoods

The now defunct Brickwoods Brewery was Portsmouth’s largest local brewer before it’s final demise in 1983. Many old pubs (and many houses that are converted old pubs) still have tiles and signs with the old brewery’s name on so in a way, it still lives on, just in the city’s background. Keep your eyes peeled. You can find out more about the company here too.

I came across these amazing beermats via Google, some interesting designs. Notice the sun motif…

Brickwoods