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:
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
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.
As you are no doubt aware, today is exactly 100 years since the outbreak of the Great War, as part of the events remembering this centenary in Portsmouth there is Declaration of War, starting this afternoon and running until late at Portsmouth Guildhall Square.
From 6.30pm to 9pm the Big Screen will be showing live coverage of the commemorations from the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Belgium, where British, Commonwealth and German soldiers are buried alongside each other. Poems and testimonies will be read by serving British and German soldiers as musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic perform together to mark the occasion with British and German music.
At 9pm, the Big Screen will be showcasing the Portsmouth Festivities ‘FACES’ film, depicting life in Portsmouth on the eve of the First World War, retold by current residents of the city through the diaries and letters of residents from a century ago.
From 10pm a narrator will guide the audience through the events that led to the outbreak of the First World War and the impact on the city and the residents who lived here. Themed readings, music, extracts from war diaries and poetry will help to retell the story and provide a context to the event.
From 10.30pm a candlelight vigil will be held as a moment for the current residents of Portsmouth to reflect on the events a hundred years ago and to pay their respect to the lost generation that never returned. The candles will then be extinguished as part of the nationwide ‘Lights Out’ initiative whereby we will be joining in with other villages, towns, cities and communities across the UK in marking the Centenary by the lights being turned off and candles being extinguished. A single candle will remain lit as a focus for reflection.
At 11pm the Declaration of War transcript will be read out, signalling that war has been declared. The remaining candle is extinguished to reflect the famous words of Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary: ‘The Lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime’. War Bells are rung out across the city and Royal Navy vessels sound a siren ringing in the war. A bugler will play the Last Post followed by a two minutes silence.
Reflecting the events that happened in London on the outbreak of the war, the National Anthem will be played. At first there was much excitement at the prospect of a war with thousands signing up across the country, many from Portsmouth. The evening reflects this with uplifting music of the period.
At 11.20pm a telegram was sent to forces across the British Empire confirming that Britain and her Empire were now at war: ‘WAR. GERMANY. ACT’. The tone of the event takes a more sombre tone as the true picture of war becomes uncovered, portrayed through some of the poetry of the First World War: ‘Dulce et decorum est’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘In Flanders Field’ by John McCrae, whilst a WW1 Ambulance enters the square symbolising the true cost of the war that follows. The evening ends with the famous poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon, followed by the bugler playing the Last Post and the names of those who were killed, continue to be shown on the Big Screens.
Throughout the evening, a particular focus for the event will be remembering Portsmouth’s sons who were killed during the First World War. This event is dedicated to the 5,988 who didn’t come back to our city, their home. Their names will be shown on the Big Screen during the event as the residents of Portsmouth, today, pay respect to them, of yesterday – a lost generation. Members of the public will also be invited to write a personal message on a cut-out of a First World War soldier.
This is a free event and no tickets are required. Bring a chair, a blanket and wear warm clothes.
Some fantastic news has been announced today by Portsmouth City Council that the ARTches project to turn the Hotwalls arches in Old Portsmouth into a collection of artist studios and exhibition space has received key funding totalling £1.75 million from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. As we have previously covered in the last few years (you can read our previous articles, dating back to 2010, and opinion on the project HERE) the ARTches project will revitalise an area that despite being one of the highest footfalls in the city with locals and visitors throughout the year has been chronically underused and for many years closed off. The Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower in 2011 with many thousands of visitors in just two weeks showed that this area has fantastic potential.
Many cities and town across the south and the UK have projects and areas that actively aim to support and develop creativity in their local area by providing low cost artist studios, acting as stepping stones in the career progress of the creative industries including art, craft, jewellery, etc. Local examples include Making Space in Leigh Park, The Arches in Southampton and, The Sorting Office in Eastleigh. These projects provide a sustainable model of supporting artists with studio facilities, exhibition space, business and marketing support and more. Sadly despite Portsmouth’s active and fast growing creative sector we do not have such a local resource to benefit not just local artists, crafters, photographers, jewellers and more but also bringing in income in to the local economy. The creative industries are the fastest growing sector in the UK economy, generating £8 million an hour that generates direct and indirect employment for many, the ARTches project will be a key driver in developing this sector in Portsmouth in the future, with PCC estimating over 23 jobs to be created as a result of the funding and 82 positions indirectly.
The project’s planning permission decision previously proved to be controversial with petitions for and against the development but with the active support of English Heritage permission was granted and with this new funding plus £100,000 from PCC and the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) contribution of £40,000 the ARTches project is quickly becoming a reality. We’re looking forward to seeing more news on the project soon, including more details on the business plan, the artists to be engaged with for studio space, etc.
In the last few years Sweden’s Polar Skate Co have become one of the most influential small skate brands (with the likes of London’s Palace) in both Europe and the USA, in no small part to their all terrain ripping, lead by owner and pro Pontus Alv. The Polar team are visiting the UK in August with stops off at Oxford, Bristol, Bournemouth, Guildford, London and Southsea! David Stenstrom, Kevin Rodrigues, Paul Grund, Dane Brady, Michal Juras and Pontus Alv will be in Bored of Southsea from 5pm for a meet up with everyone before popping down to Southsea Skatepark from 6pm to 8pm. Prepare to see the vintage 70s park concrete get shredded. Remember if you want to come down and watch and not skate/ride visitors to the park can come along for free. Seriously recommended, this will be the first demo in Portsmouth for a year or two and not to be missed.
Check the poster artwork below for full details and have a watch of their latest promo below:
Do you fancy seeing a spot of theatre and supporting a fledgling director, all in the lovely setting of Rosie’s wine bar? Jennie Rawling, our strong island contributor for all things theatre and literature, is directing Michael Frayn’s play Here for the Southsea Shakespeare Actors (SSA), to be performed at Rosie’s wine bar tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday at 8pm.
The play follows the daily life of Cath and Phil, a young couple who move into a studio flat, as they bicker, banter and struggle to stay on the same page while creating their own little space. All this happens amidst the rather inconveniently-timed interruptions from the landlady living downstairs, Pat.
We spoke to Jennie about the rehearsal process, drama school, and how she feels to be directing to the public for the first time:
Why did you choose this play to direct? Isn’t the SSA a Shakespeare company?
Our main focus is Shakespeare (Southsea Shakespeare Actors – the name says it all!), but we also try to put on smaller, more contemporary productions throughout the year. It’s a good way of showcasing our work to people who may be normally put off by Shakespeare, and it gives our actors a chance to try something different.
I came across Here when I was looking for audition pieces for drama school – it didn’t have any big enough chunks that I could use as a monologue for Cath, but I loved the banter between the couple and thought I’d like to have a go at directing it. I love the way it exposes the minutae of daily live in a couple living together – I think there’s something everyone who’s ever lived with a partner will recognise in Cath and Phil’s to-ing and fro-ing.
This is your first time directing to the public – how does it feel?
A bit terrifying! I directed an in-house production for the Southsea Shakespeare Actors a few years ago but as that was just to company members and friends it was less scary. There’s so much more to think about when you’re directing to the public at an external venue, and more logistical issues to sort out. There’s also the company’s reputation to uphold!
Were there any challenges you faced along the way?
Yes! There are always challenges with any production, because you never have everything perfect (set, venue, timing, props, budget), so you just have to think around any problems and be creative. In the play there’s a scene where Cath and Phil are wearing identical jumpers, and at one point they’re both in the same jumper. So we needed to find two matching jumpers but in slightly different sizes – easy, right? Not so easy when you’re trying to buy big stretchy jumpers in the middle of June! After nearly garrotting Faye, who plays Cath, several times with one jumper, we finally found a pair of v-necks that fit the bill.
We also needed a threadbare toy dog – Theodore – which features heavily in the play. We managed to find one in a charity shop but he looked too pristine, so we were discussing how to mucky him up a bit and maybe tear an ear and I realised I just couldn’t do it. I guess the big kid in me couldn’t bear the thought of ‘hurting’ a soft toy haha. It’s become a bit of a joke – the others had to inflict the matting of fur with paint and toothpaste and coffee on him as I chickened out.
You can read a bit about Theodore and find out what we got up to in rehearsals on the SSA blog at ssaproductionblog.wordpress.com.
You’ll be going to drama school in September to do the MA Acting at East 15 acting school. Do you think you’ll return to directing once you’re a professional actor?
Definitely, if I have the opportunity to. I want to focus on acting, but I really enjoying the directing process as well. It’s a different kind of creativity, and I like the project management side of it. Plus you get the opportunity to work with some very talented actors and guide them through the process whilst trying to get the best out of them.
Here is showing at Rosie’s Vineyard, Elm Grove, 28th–30th July, 8pm. Tickets: £9 (£7 students and unwaged). Book online at ssa.ticketsource.co.uk, or for more information go to www.southseashakespeareactors.com.