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Curxes – Haunted Gold

Local band Curxes released the video for their upcoming single ‘Haunted Gold’ recently, the video involved weeks of painstaking scanning of glitter to create an incredible stop motion animation. Very creative, and the song is something special too.






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Features

New Film ‘A Plastic Ocean’ – Interview With David Jones

You might remember the name David Jones from the Creating Balance project, David is a highly skilled and experienced underwater photographer & filmer from Portsmouth and helped (with his team from Triton Scuba – located on Highland Road in Southsea) Strong Island place an Anglepoise lamp underwater (watch the video HERE). David has worked on numerous TV programmes and had photographs published all over the World but in recent years has been focusing on the organisation Plastic Oceans. Last week the film A Plastic Ocean was officially launched with a trailer and a series events in London including a visit to St. James Palace.

A Plastic Ocean is a new feature-length adventure documentary that brings to light the consequences of our global disposable lifestyle. In A Plastic Ocean an international team of adventurers & researchers embark on an expedition around the globe that delves into the unknown lurking beneath our seemingly pristine and remote waters. During its four-year production period, A Plastic Ocean was filmed in 20 locations around the world in beautiful and chilling detail to document the global effects of plastic pollution–and introduce workable technology and policy solutions that can, if implemented in time, change things for the better.

We asked David some questions on what he has been up to with Plastic Oceans and A Plastic Ocean.

As a diver and underwater cameraman & photographer, at what point did the issue of plastic debris in the seas come to your attention?
It was brought to my attention 6 years ago by the producer, Jo Ruxton. At that time everyone was talking about this ‘floating island’ 3 times the size of Spain in the Pacific. That is not accurate, but the problem is far worse as we will explain in the film.

Is this an issue that effects the UK waters,such as around Portsmouth?
You only have to walk along the beach in Southsea to see that we are affected. Every time I organise a beach clean we pick up huge amounts of rubbish. Plastic pollution is a global problem. There is only ‘one’ ocean, they are all interconnected. Plastic thrown into a river in Indonesia may one day end up on our beaches here. It is pernicious, pervasive and persistent. The problem is that 80% of the waste that is now in our oceans is plastic and it is entering the oceans at a rate of 8 million tonnes a year. We have to do something to stop that or we will all pay a huge price in the end. We use over 300 million tonnes of plastic a year – the weight of the entire human population, and half of it we throw away after using it once – it is staggeringly wasteful and we don’t have the waste management systems to deal with it. That has to change.

A Plastic Ocean - Sri Lanka plastic bottle
Sri Lanka plastic bottle, photo by David Jones.

You are part of Plastic Oceans, how did that come about?
I worked on the BBC series called Life several years ago and one of the film crew, Mike Pitts who was actually the DOP for the film, gave my name to Jo Ruxton who was looking for media crews to work on underwater filming projects. She then told me of the plastic pollution issue and that ended up taking up most of my time for the past 6 years – with the occasional little project for Strong Island every now and then of course!

How did you get involved with the new film ‘A Plastic Ocean’?
The film is a means to an end and I suppose that I was involved with the film before I eventually became more involved with trying to change the worlds attitudes to the way we use plastic. The ultimate aim is to resolve the environmental catastrophe that is slowly unfolding. The film provide the means to tell people about the problem and the impact it is having not only on the oceans environment but also human health.

A Plastic Ocean - Sri Lanka Blue Whale dives
Sri Lanka Blue Whale dives, photo by David Jones.

A Plastic Ocean - The helicopter and the submarine support vessel
The helicopter and the submarine support vessel, photo by David Jones.

How has the film come together?
It took two years to raise enough money so that we could start filming. We managed to bring along a few major sponsors but without the support of thousands of people over the last 6 years we would not have managed this. The first major shoot was in Sri Lanka – that was where we filmed the Blue Whales. Since then we have added to the sequences, travelling to each major continent. In all I think something like 20 different location were covered. 12 months ago we were joined by Co-Producer Adam Leipzig who also worked on March of the Penguins and Dead Poets Society. He has made a huge difference to the edit and has woven the footage into an adventure documentary – he told me the other day that this could be the next ‘Inconvenient Truth’! Lets hope so.

A Plastic Ocean - Mike de Grys checking the camera
Mike de Grys checking the camera, photo by David Jones.

Were you directly involved in much of the filming? Where did you go?
Yes, I was involved with a lot of the shoots mainly as the underwater supervisor and production stills photographer. These included shoots in Sri Lanka where we filmed the Blue Whales, Canada, Fiji, Germany, Italy and the Mediterranean. I also was cameraman for some slightly less glamorous shoots around recycling plants on the Manchester ship canal, as well as Bristol and Brunel University – well you can’t be lucky all the time.

How did the launch of the film go?
It was good. Sir David Attenborough has been a long time supporter of the film and features in it, filming at his house was one of my lifetime highlights I have to admit, but he called on the day and unfortunately couldn’t make it for the launch. Hopefully he will be able to come to the first film screening. Even though he couldn’t attend there were numerous members of the press, MPs, and representatives from numerous NGOs including Greenpeace and Prince Charles conservation organisation.

A Plastic Ocean - Divers carrying waste
Divers carrying waste, photo by David Jones.

What do you have coming up in regards to Plastic Oceans and the film?
At this moment I am just really glad we are nearly there – it has been a long hard journey. The film is in picture lock and is currently being colour graded in LA. Obviously the main emphasis at the moment is trying to get as many people as possible to watch the trailer. We are now looking for a distribution deal as the film was made for cinema and if the trailer has a couple of million views that will help. And then of course there is the first screening. The film has also been submitted to some film festivals so that will take a bit of work. Apart from that I am trying to squeeze in my day job when I can!

David Jones

David Jones.

Since the films launch last week it has been covered in national newspapers, shared by people like Julian Lennon and Chevy Chase, with the trailer getting at one point over 200 views per minute. A Plastic Ocean will be out later this year and is currently seeking worldwide distribution.

You can view the film trailer below and find out more about the film on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and at:

aplasticocean.film

A Plastic Ocean

Victorious Festival 2016

Victorious Festival have announced the first wave of acts to perform at this August’s festival. Portsmouth has always been very much an ‘indie city’ and the news that Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will be taking stage on Southsea Common is likely to excite most of Portsmouth. Joining Noel will be Manic Street Preachers and Mark Ronson.

Saturday night will see The Manic Street Preachers performance will coincide with the 20th anniversary of their triple platinum selling album Everything Must Go.

“We’re so excited to be announcing this line up. It’s taken a lot of hard work but we couldn’t be more pleased to be bringing Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and The Manics to Portsmouth. It’s going to be an incredible year for both Victorious and Portsmouth.” – Andy Marsh, Festival Director.

Also announced for the festival will be The Levellers, Ash, The Coral, Jack Savoretti, Space, Echo & the Bunnymen, Will Young, Selector and Emmy the Great. Of course you can expect a host of the best local acts performing at the festival.

If you need reminding of what you missed last year then check out the highlights from Strong Island Media.

The organisers are always looking to evolve and develop and have also announced that this year there will be a giant circus tent up in the kids’ arena as well as a whole host of free entertainment and activities for children and their families. It goes without saying that you will see Strong Island and many other local traders offering some of the finest food, booze, craft and clothing.

The festival will take place on Saturday 27th (my birthday!) and Sunday 28th of August. Don’t be surprised if they managed to beat last years figures which saw 100,000 spectators on Southsea Common over the weekend. If you would like to be there this year then you can get your hands on tickets from their website www.victoriousfestival.co.uk.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2016 Initial Line-Up

Victorious Festival by Todd Lawton
Photo by Todd Lawton
Victorious Festival 2015 by Jack Daly
Photo by by Jack Daly
Victorious Festival by Gavin Withey
Photo by Gavin Withey

Strong Island, Dumpster Design and Community Fusion Collab

We recently joined forces with Portsmouth-based Dumpster Design and Community Fusion to bring together local young creatives and volunteers to construct a stunning bespoke dress made entirely from out of date promotional materials. Community Fusion volunteers along with students from Havant College and Portsmouth Academy For Girls took part in the project.

Dumpster Design dresses are a powerful concept of wearable art created from unusable and surplus materials. The dress offers a positive way to support sustainability and repurpose materials in an eye catching and utterly unique way.

Dumpster Design’s founder and designer Daisy Harris-Burland described how “This has been a fantastic opportunity to work with Strong Island and Community Fusion to design, create and work with such a wonderful group of young volunteers.” The end result as modelled by our shop manager Lara is not only striking but also encompasses iconic aspects of the nautical Strong Island brand with over 300 origami boats and 200 anchor medallions intertwined in the design of the dress.

You can find the dress currently on display in store now so pop in and check it out yourself.

You can find out more about Dumpster Design over on their website www.dumpsterdesign.co.uk.

Lara

Lara 1

Photos by Aduroe Photography

Created Local – Instagram @JonathanPink

Welcome to the first of a new Strong Island feature where we are looking to celebrate some of our favourite Instagram photographers who have links with our city. The first of which is Jonathan Pink who you can follow yourself on Instagram as @JonathanPink.

Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth if no longer living here?

I haven’t always been local to Portsmouth, but always visited and taken a keen interest in the city, it’s history and connection to the sea. I moved to Southsea two years ago after regularly visiting the city, getting to know it’s quirks and scratching the surface of what it’s about. I’m a graphic designer and commute to my job out of the city, I live with my partner and Miniature Dachshund name Hugo.

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?

I always use my iPhone6 for my Instagram photography. For me, Instagram is that instant capture of a moment in my life and the things I see. The phone makes it quick, easy and accessible.

Can you tell us more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?

Being a graphic designer, I consider myself a creative thinker and have always enjoyed different expressions of this. Photography being one. I own a Canon digital SLR which I use occasionally or for specific shoots, events or days out. I’ve never been trained in photography, but have naturally picked up the functionality and use of a camera on my way, capturing a great shot is something which come s little more naturally being a designer.

@jonathanpink 2

@JonathanPink 4

@jonathanpink

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?

I take photographs for myself primarily, the instant enjoyment of finding, capturing and posting a photo of my everyday life. That said, my Instagram account is public, so there is a nature of enjoying other photography and them enjoying what I have taken.

Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?

Not coming from a city on the sea, I genuinely appreciate the shoreline, sea and walking our dog. The constant change in weather, seasons and activity makes this space an interesting one to live beside and take photographs of. From the summer sunsets, eerie fog, busy shipping lanes to the stormy solent. This space gives so much to me.

Are their any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?

Instagram photographers include the Isle of Wight based photographer Chad Powell (@isleofwightmilkyway), from New York Cubby Graham (@CubbyGraham) and locally based tattoo artist Louise Bush (@Lapin_Lou).

I generally enjoy a mixture of photographers, especially on Instagram. Those who inspire me, through their subject matter, style and general approach to life/photography and content different to my own.

@JonathanPink 6

@jonathanpink 1

@JonathanPink 5

@jonathanpink

Of course you can also find Strong Island on Instagram under @StrongIslandUK and @StrongIslandClothingCo.

Strong Island Recordings – Treacherous Tides Vol 2 Feat Kassassin Street, Wyldest, Violet Swells & More

On the 19th February Strong Island Recordings release the follow up to the first Treacherous Tides Compilation from 2013. The latest compilation features a collection of our favourite acts from Portsmouth to Turkey, Glasgow, Australia and New Zealand. The album includes tracks featuring all things from psychedelia to stunning dream-pop gems and will be available via digital and a limited run of cassettes.

Kicking off the compilation is Southsea favourites, Kassassin Street, with their immense wall of sound, festival ready, psych-pop meets new-wave anthem ‘Radio Silence’. It’s great to get the guys on a release of ours being from our hometown.

From the opposite side of the world, ‘Gravity Wins Again’ from Tasmanian outfit Violet Swells who draw comparisons with Tame Impala’s sunshine tinted, psychedelic-pop.

Wyldest have recorded an exclusive track for the compilation with their own take on A-Ha’s ‘Sun Always Shines On TV’ giving it a fine coat of their signature shimmering dream-pop sound which will available as a Bandcamp & cassette exclusive.

Love LUV’s ‘Sold My Love’ is infectious, joyous, garage-pop mirroring the 60’s revival. New Zealanders MOSES ‘Opium’ is perfectly titled. It’s a beautiful, sedate, stone jam delving between the kaleidoscope rainbow like realms of psychedelia and shoegaze.

Until recently Love Hippies & Gangsters was a one man project but now the four piece consisting of Yiğit Bülbül, Dan Hale, Mikel Acosta and Sam Enthoven. Their track ‘Through Your Mind’ is a shower of guitars and a throwback to 60’s and 70’s psychedelia.

Tin Foil Astronaut’s ‘Without A Sound’ is a nod to the current Australian psychedelic movement sounding like it’s came straight out of Kevin Parker’s studio in Perth. It’s a true sun-soaked, psych-pop banger.

Closing out the compilation is Life Model’s ‘Enough (To Know) finally getting a full release. Channeling Slowdive, MBV and Cocteau Twins, it’s a visceral yet euphoric and beautiful sonic journey.

You can pre-order and listen to the the compilation on Bandcamp and also pre-order the cassette over on our Music Glue pages (as well as find exclusive bundle deals on both) and the compilation will also be available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other digital and streaming outlets.

SIR Digi Square

I WAS THERE – FIVE SENSES Performance at Portsmouth Guildhall

As part of Portsmouth Guildhall’s 125th birthday in 2015 Strong Island ran the I WAS THERE! project, collecting memories from Portsmouth people of their favourite live music moments throughout Portsmouth Guildhall’s history. Following on from the memory collection part of the project and the film that was produced and recently screened at the Guildhall, FIVE SENSES is the final stage of the project.

Strong Island Media and Old Salt Theatre have worked together with a group of young actors and performers from Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth to take many of these collected memories and bring them to life in a brand new stage performance. I WAS THERE – FIVE SENSES will be premiered on stage at Portsmouth Guildhall at 7:30pm on Thursday 21st January, with free tickets available from Portsmouth Guildhall box office in advance. This intimate performance brings to life many of the submitted memories we collected for the I WAS THERE! project, with scenes taking inspiration from events that occurred on the very same stage. The I WAS THERE film will also be screen just before the performance begins.

We’re very excited to have worked with Portsmouth Guildhall and Old Salt Theatre, with this beingStrong Island’s first project involving theatre and live performance, we hope everyone can come along!

This event is FREE however you will need a ticket, to reserve a ticket please contact the Portsmouth Guildhall Box Office 02393 870200 or email: enquiries@portsmouthguildhall.org.uk

I WAS THERE - FIVE SENSES

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