Local creative Sam Brooks (who recently participated in our Tricorn Artist Series) was, like many of us, at Victorious Festival this year and captured some of the sights of the festival and has produced a series of animated GIFs. animated GIFs have been around for almost 20 years but as bandwidth increases to dramatically grow they are no longer clunky MySpace-like flashing colours…and can now be refined, thought provoking, fascinating frozen moments in time.
This Saturday was Strong Island’s 6th birthday and unlike previous years we had a quiet one for a change. For the last 4 years we’ve had charity raffle birthday parties that have raised a significant amount of money for three local charities but due to a few reasons we decided this year we sadly just didn’t have the time required to organise the party and work with the 50+ local artists, designers and businesses who all step up and show incredible support & generosity by donating for the raffle.
This summer has been Strong Island’s busiest yet, with our Creative Cargo project launched this month including the publication of a 96 page book, being the official media partners for Portsmouth’s two music festivals Victorious & Southsea Fest, preparing an upcoming art event (to be announced this week), hosting a stage at Southsea Fest and working with hundreds of people of all ages and abilities in a series of photography and filmmaking workshops. All that…plus the biggest thing to happen to Strong Island in all those 6 years…which we’ll let you know about this weekend.
So for this year we would like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout the six years: our volunteer writers, people who have bought and represented the tees, mugs and more from Strong Island Clothing Co, our calendar contributors, everyone who has ever come to one of our exhibitions, events, parties and music nights, every person who has sent us leads for articles, allowed us to interview them, connected us with people to work with, contributed to our art projects, donated to our raffles, brewed Strong Island ales, worked with us to release their music, volunteered time and energy to what we do AND most of all to everyone who visits this website and hopefully becomes inspired to get involved in the arts and culture of this special city. A special thank you to all our friends and family too, who provide the understanding and support that makes us able to dedicate so much time to Strong Island and make many of the things we do possible. Thank you!
If you would like to donate to our three charities we always donate the money raised from the birthday raffles you can do so here:
Charlie is back with the 23rd episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:
Hello and welcome back. Yes, after a little sabbatical, I’m back with the show the critics are calling distinctly average to middling. This week I’m joined by my very good friend Mr Jim Lines. He chose the theme this week, which is songs from the films of Martin Scorsese. Apologies must be made to both Jim, and you the listener for the atrocious quality of Jim’s microphone, it wasn’t discovered until we’d completely wrapped up and it would have been cheating to redo the whole show, after a little while you get used to it so we decided to just go with this take.
Hope you enjoy it! Thanks Jim.
Cheers, Charlie x
01) Money Chant – Robbie Robertson featuring Matthew McConaughey (Wolf Of Wall Street)
02) Be My Baby – The Ronettes (Mean Streets)
03) My Sweet Lord – George Harrison (Living In The Material World)
04) Chelsea Morning – Joni Mitchell (After Hours)
05) Janie Jones – The Clash (Bringing Out The Dead)
06) Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing – Stevie Wonder (Bringing Out The Dead)
07) Howard Hughes – Leadbelly (The Aviator)
08) Up On Cripple Creek (live) – The Band (The Last Waltz)
09) A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Procol Harum (New York Stories)
10) Then He Kissed Me – The Crystals (Goodfellas)
11) Tombstone Blues – Bob Dylan (No Direction Home)
12) Taxi Driver (Theme) – Bernard Herrmann (Taxi Driver)
13) Sail On, Sailor – The Beach Boys (The Departed)
14) Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters (Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues : A Musical Journey)
15) Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones (Casino)
Listen to the podcast episode below, or you can listen, subscribe and download it from iTunes. You can also find the latest Strong Island Sounds podcast episode on the Strong Island homepage under the comments section too.
It took us two years of searching for just the right manufacturer but finally this summer we we’re able to release the ‘Down the Hatch’ Strong Island enamel mug at Victorious Festival. Built from scratch in Gdansk, Poland by a company steeped in enamelware heritage, we have been able to work with the manufacturer on the two colour, three point design (front, back and base) as well as carefully selecting the paint colours inside & out, including the hand-painted mug handle. Not your every day mug and rough, rugged and ready to be used out camping, sailing, cycle touring and at home. Every mug comes carefully boxed in Southsea with a handstamped tag plus Down the Hatch sticker, pin badge and beermat.
This run of enamel mugs in limited to just 100 and due to the really strong demand at Victorious (we are now down to the last 20 or so) it has taken a little while to get them online but as of now the mugs are available in Shop Ahoy HERE for £14 plus P&P.
This design is also available on an extra special Down the Hatch navy pocket tee too.
Thank you for being patient and thank you as always for your incredible support!
We’ve kept a keen eye on local photographer Andrew Hayward’s work since he graduated from the University of Portsmouth including his Secret Dockyard photography project and the Secret Dockyard exhibition through to his new project focusing on petrol stages located on A roads taken after dark.
Andrew’s images within this commissioned collection capture serene and haunting visions of petrol stations, glowing like beacons of hope for the weary traveller. For those who pass through them silently in the night, they are a sanctuary amongst the isolation of the night-time drive. Every driver and passenger on road trips can connect with this vision.
Andrew’s inspiration for this project was ignited on a family holiday to Devon, where a lot of travelling through the darkness was broken up by the safe haven and goods these petrol stations have to offer. Embarking on this project he was influenced by the work of American artist Ed Rushca, who photographed petrol stations along Route 66 during the mid 20th Century.
Andrew has spent his entire life living in Portsmouth, studying photography at the city’s university where he found an even deeper love for traditional methods of photography with colour and black and white film. More specifically he works with large format 5 x 4” film and sometimes 10 x 8” finding it important to use increasingly niche and finite materials for creating his work.
aspex Guildhall will be home to this new exhibition of work by Andrew Paul Hayward with the aspex Guildhall gallery space to be opening with an artist preview on Wednesday 20th August from 6-8pm, the exhibition will then run until 19th October, open from Monday to Friday from 9am – 6pm, Saturdays from 10am – 4pm.
If you were lucky you may have even picked up a print of a piece of work from the exhibition as Andrew dropped 10 prints around Portsmouth as part of Free Art Friday last week, well done if you were lucky enough to find one.
To see more of Andrew’s work and find out more about the exhibition visit Andrew’s website:
Local creatives Tom West and Georgina Giles have been running through August a series of events to promote artists using the space on the prom to sell their work. These Southsea Night Markets take place every Friday in August, 4pm to 8pm and have stalls from lots of local artists, designers, crafters, photographers and more.
To find out more information visit HERE.
Poster below for the event is by Kendal James, photos from previous events are by Matt Cleveland.
Beginning back in 2011, we try and work on a major arts based project/exhibition every year, previous projects have included the Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower, The PRIMARY Photography Exhibition and The Creating Balance Project. The Strong Island main arts project for 2014 is the Creative Cargo project, which has the key aim of promoting the creative sector in the city of Portsmouth on a national and international level. The creative sector in the UK is one of the fastest growing in the economy and locally is going from strength to strength with local artists, designers, photographers, curators, agencies, organisations and businesses creating art, products and projects that packs a serious punch. We wanted to let the rest of the UK know just how creative, innovative, successful and inspiring the people and businesses that call Portsmouth home can be and Creative Cargo is how we aim to do so.
At the heart of the Creative Cargo project are ten vintage steamer cases that each will contain a curated selection of objects and products from these creative individuals and organisations in Portsmouth. Theses cases will be launched at a VIP event in London in September with each case destined to either be given to a person of national cultural influence or passed on to editors of national and international newspapers and websites focusing on culture, arts & design. A case will also be kept within Portsmouth to tour at key locations within the city to celebrate the creative sector locally.
We have the vintage shipping cases BUT we need to restore them and make them also representative of the city so will re-line them with textiles and paper designed and sourced locally. We need volunteers this week who would like to help us make these steamer cases look not only beautiful but also in their own way showcases that not only hold the project’s artwork and objects but are also works of local art themselves. We’re running the restoration from 11am to 6pm on Wednesday 13th August to Saturday 16th August at the Strong Island HQ Studio at 53 Albert Road and would love to have local people (skilled in textiles or furniture or just enthusiastic!) take part in the project, even if it is just an hour. With the cases restored we can then photograph them for the project website and the press pack to go to national and international press, websites & blogs. We are also producing a project book which will be full of the photography of the cases and which will be given to all the VIPs at the launch event…so everyone helping will not only have our huge appreciation and props but will also directly help this project make a positive difference in promoting the creativity in their city.
Also, if you have any textile or paper repeating designs/artwork that we could use to help restore these cases please get in touch too!
To find out more about volunteering or supplying possible artwork for lining the cases please email Kate at email@example.com.
If you can share this amongst your friends via Facebook & Twitter to get the word out it would really help!
We’ll have more details on the project soon. This project has been made possible with the support of Portsmouth City Council and Penny Mordaunt MP.
In the six years we have been writing articles we have featured the progression of aerial photography in and around Portsmouth and Southsea, with photos from kites, planes and helicopters. Recently small, affordable remote helicopter drones have enabled people to film and photograph the city, allowing amateurs and professionals to share views of landmarks and locations like never before. We spoke to James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos who works professionally with drones to find out more:
How did you get started in aerial photography?
Photography in general has always been a passion of mine but the aerial part was inspired by my father who was a Flight Engineer on Jumbo Jet’s. He’s now retired but flew over 6000 hours in the cockpit of a 747 and captured some breath-taking photos. Following in his footsteps, about 5 years ago I got my Private Pilot’s Licence, not quite a 747 but I would use every spare penny to jump in a light aircraft armed with my Nikon SLR and shoot some really stunning photos. I’d post them on social media and get hundreds of likes. It was then that I realised there was a demand for this kind of photoghraphy but I never really had the time or the money to pursue it. I continued aerial photography in this way as a hobby until last year when I attended a conference on aviation safety and one of the hot topics was about ‘drones’. During the conference I had a light bulb moment and as soon as I got home began researching different drones, licences and the process to becoming a professional drone operator. About a week later I took the plunge and bought myself a drone, strapped a camera to it and it all took off from there really (pun intended).
James landing at Lee-on-Solent in G-BKDH a Robin DR400 (Photo Courtesy of Ian Haskell)
James’ Dad (Paul Harvey) in April 1994 at work in the cockpit of a 747-136 before take off for the return leg to Heathrow from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Flight Engineer in the middle).
Can you detail what is involved in flying a drone? Also what sort of height, range, etc?
To fly a drone you require much of the same skills as you do to fly a manned aircraft, good hand eye coordination, good reactions and good eyesight! The one new skill that flying a drone requires is the ability to maintain orientation for a remote distant object. For example a drone flying away from you has the same left or right as you do, but when the drone is flying towards you everything is reversed and this can easily catch you out if you’re not concentrating. Luckily drones are highly sophisticated bits of kit with lots of sensors and gizmos that make things a lot easier, we use the remote control to adjust height, speed and direction just like a manned aircraft. But unlike a manned aircraft, if you get in any trouble you simply let go of the controls and the drone will hold its height and position using GPS satellites. Another nifty feature if you have any difficulty flying or perhaps you lose visual sight of it, all you have to do is hit the red switch on the remote control and the aircraft will autonomously fly back to you and land safely where it took off from.
James flying a Drone.
The use of drones is not yet fully integrated into the rest of the aviation world so current regulations prevent us from flying more than 400ft high (manned aircraft are not allowed to fly below 500ft so this ensures a safe buffer between the two). We must also remain within 0.5km from the pilot or within visual line of sight (whichever is closer).
What sort of camera equipment, lens, etc do you use?
My current camera of choice is the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition. This surprises many people, especially professional ‘ground’ photographers but when you compare it to a Digital SLR (for purpose of aerial photography) the GoPro comes out on top, everytime! The video quality is amazing, it shoots anything from 1080p HD all the way up to 4K (cinema quality), it can shoot video and take photos simultaneously and most importantly it’s small and light. Connected to the camera I have a 5.8GHz Video Transmitter which streams live footage from the aircraft down to me on the ground through an HD screen, this allows me to frame up shots and allows the customer to preview the footage.
My aircraft of choice is a DJI Phantom 2, this is the go to drone for many operators as it works straight out the box and only takes a few modifications and some soldering to get it photography ready.
James’ DJI Phantom 2 enjoying the sunset on the River Hamble.
Working commercially, what projects have you been involved with?
Using drones for aerial photography is a fairly new concept to the general public, we’ve been getting on fine without them for so many years so it’s not easy to convince people this is the future. Sometimes the word ‘drone’ doesn’t help because this often conjures up images of military drones with weapons but this is just something that will take time to get used to. Despite this I’ve been quite busy, mostly from home owners and estate agents. An aerial photo of a large property in all its surrounding is a real eye grabber. One of my first customers was for a lady in Brockenhurst who had an old aerial photo from years ago taken from a helicopter and she wanted an updated one. Back then the aerial photo would have cost hundreds but today we can use a UAV with the same results (if not better) for a fraction of the cost.
Other projects I’ve got coming up include an aerial survey of some flood attenuation in Newbury for a well-known infrastructure and construction company and I will also be providing aerial photos and videos of Wickham Festival.
Do you use the drone for fun too? What locations do you like to shoot?
Oh yes, I take every opportunity to fly! If I’m going somewhere I think might have some aerial potential I’ll always pack my equipment. My favourite locations for aerial work are the English heritage and historical sites dotted around the country. They are such great landmarks to view from the air.
What is your favourite local location?
My all-time favourite location so far has to be Southsea Castle, it was one of the first aerial videos I took and I loved every minute, despite getting up at 4:30am to get the sun rise! I remember I had a massive smile on my face the whole time I was chopping and shaping it into a video. The site is truly wonderful from the air and has so much character. I also run a social group (Portsmouth Happy Hour) and recently 70 of us went to the Southsea Castle for their weekly summer champagne night and it was such a great night, if you haven’t experienced it I thoroughly recommend it.
How do you see this type of photography developing in the future?
The future for aerial photography is very bright! Drones are getting cheaper and the technology is advancing at a scary rate, there is already technology on the market that can make your drone completely autonomous and hands off, i.e. you can plan a flight program on your laptop hit enter and the drone will takeoff, fly the route, circle and photograph landmarks and land autonomously. This has great potential for aerial photography but also opens up other uses such as aerial surveillance for security purposes. I have no doubt that aerial photography using drones will increase significantly over the coming years (the House of Lords has even recognised it’s increasing popularity and begun an inquiry into them). I do see them being a common sight in some key areas though; Fire Brigades will use aerial drones armed with thermal imaging cameras to help assist firefighters to efficiently and safely fight fires, Power Companies will use drones to perform regular safety inspection of pylons and electricity cables, News Reporters will use drones to obtain footage of natural disasters or other hazardous scenarios, Police will use them track criminals or find missing persons…the list is endless and it’s a really exciting time to be a Drone pilot.
See the photos from Southsea and Southsea Common (including the set up of the Southsea Show) below and to find out more about Hampshire Aerial Photos and see more of James’ work visit: www.hampshireaerialphotos.co.uk
Last week’s Southsea Comedy Festival was a huge success, bringing international and national stand up comedy stars to Southsea Common and audiences packed with local people. Local photographer and friend of Strong Island Matt Ankers was in the big tent and backstage with his camera to capture the atmosphere of this new event and major highlight of the summer calendar in the city. You can read our review of the festival by Stu HERE.
The Omega Printmakers have released details of their printmaking and screen printing courses they will be running in the Autumn at the Omega Centre. Classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays with Mary Stephens, details of the courses are below:
These lively and informative classes offer the opportunity to learn and explore a variety of printmaking techniques. Working with both relief and intaglio processes, this course will provide a firm foundation on which to build your printmaking practice. Classes are small to ensure individual attention from the tutor and to enable students to develop their own styles, approaches and ideas.
Learn how to create screen prints using a variety of water-based methods including stencils and photo emulsion. These popular classes will provide an opportunity to learn basic techniques or to continue developing your work. Experienced students are welcome to continue individual printmaking projects within these sessions. Classes are small and suitable for all abilities.
Monday class starts on 15th September 2014
Screen Printing 10am-1pm
Autumn term 15th September – 10th November (Half term 27th October)
Cost £155 per eight week course.
Wednesday classes start on 17th September 2014
Screen Printing 10am-1pm
Autumn term 17th September – 12th November (Half term 29th October)
Cost £155 per eight week course.
If you would like to print all day on Wednesday you can book both courses for the special rate of £260. You may wish to use this opportunity to learn in one session and continue your practice in the other. Basic materials will be provided and extra materials will be available at reasonable prices.
Mary Stephens is an experienced printmaking tutor as well as a practicing artist. She has an M.A. in Printmaking and is a founder member and facilitator of Omega Printmakers.
To book in advance or if you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Classes will take place in the well equipped print rooms at The Omega Centre Omega Street Portsmouth PO5 4LP.