Strong Island Co.

Southsea Skatepark Birthday Weekend

This weekend sees Southsea Skatepark celebrate their birthday with a weekend of competitions and fun activities for BMX, skateboarding and more. The skatepark is one of the oldest in the UK and this weekend will see some events that celebrate this heritage such as the vintage BMX crew in attendance and, for the first time, a race to see who can get to the end of the Snakerun the fastest. NOT easy. There will also be the always popular Bored of Southsea Game of SKATE plus best trick on the box, longest ollie, highest bunnyhop and even slalom too.

Strong Island Clothing Co will be holding a mini ramp competition with a bunch of prizes for the winners plus a prize for the best trick. This and the Game of SKATE will be happening on Sunday afternoon.

The weekender runs on both Saturday and Sunday and is FREE for spectators and normal entrance fee if you want to skate or ride. See you there!

Southsea Skatepark Birthday Weekend

Mark Webb, Jack Watts and Troy Hayward at the Southsea Skatepark

Southsea Skatepark by Josh Knill

Southsea Skatepark by Hampshire Aerial Photos

Strong Island Photo of The Year Competition Week 2 Winner and Runners Ups

Just like our great first week, for week two we saw lots of submissions come through Instagram, Twitter and email for the Strong Island Photo of the Year Competition (using the hashtag #SIPhotoComp2015 on Twitter and Instagram). The photos captured the city of Portsmouth from many different locations and perspectives, at day and night. We’re happy to announce the second weekly winning photo and photographer, ‘Garrison Church’ by Tony Benham.

Garrison Church by Tony Benham
Garrison Church by Tony Benham.

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 days until next week’s winner.

Below are some of the runners up for this week. A huge thank you to everyone who submitted! 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 Monday. To enter simply email, Tweet or Instagram your photo that was taken in, on or around Portsmouth.

Sarah Holiday
Photo by Sarah Holiday.

Ray Palmer
Photo by Ray Palmer.

Christopher Greening
Photo by Christopher Greening.

Hayley Reeves
Photo by Hayley Reeves.

Howard Hurd
Photo by Howard Hurd.

Salvatore Alessandro
Photo by Salvatore Alessandro.

Gemma Bradshaw
Photo by Gemma Bradshaw.

Danielle Gridley
Photo by Danielle Gridley.

Chris Grant
Photo by Chris Grant.

Billie Cawte
Photo by Billie Cawte.

Alyson Pearson
Photo by Alyson Pearson.

Video for New Kassassin Street Song ‘To Be Young’ by Jack Daly and James Sharp

Kassassin Street are crushing it at the moment with sold out shows here and there and everywhere and the new song ‘To Be Young’ quite rightly getting a lot of love with DJs and blogs. Eddy Temple Morris at XFM made the new single his Best Record In The World This Week recently and the song hit the UK Viral Top 50 chart on Spotify.

The new video for To Be Young is produced by Southsea’s own Jack Daly and James Sharp, both serious young talents in stills and film. Great to see these guys produce an awesome film for a song sure to be going places up and out the city. Serious props to all involved and stoked to see a lot of Strong Island friends in there too.

Kassassin Street - To Be Young

Today Have A Hard Choice Exhibition Tour With Rosalinda Hardiman

The Portsmouth City Museum‘s hugely successful A Hard Choice exhibition continues with many different talks, tours and displays over the coming months. Today you can join Collections Manager Rosalinda Hardiman for an introductory tour of the exhibition A Hard Choice. On the tour you can learn some of the stories behind the objects on show and Rosalinda’s reasons for selecting them for the exhibition.

The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and is free. Give the City Museum a call 02392 834744 to book or ask at Reception.

Rosalinda Hardiman

Portsmouth City Museum

Depiction5 New Exhibition at Atelier in Castle Road

Pete Codling’s studio and gallery Alelier, located in Castle Road Southsea, will be host to a new group portrait exhibition entitled Depiction5. The exhibition draws together original artwork by five of Portsmouth’s leading contemporary figurative artists including:

Pete Codling
Colin Merrin
Clif White
Karl Rudziak
Agata Wojcieszkiewicz

There is a private view on the 17th and then the exhibition is open daily from midday to 6:30pm.

Depiction5 New Exhibition at Atelier

New Painting by Collin Merrin for Depiction5
New Painting by Colin Merrin for Depiction5.

Strong Island Photo of The Year Competition Week 1 Winner and Runners Ups

With the first week’s submissions for the Strong Island Photo of the Year Competition all collected from email, Twitter and Instagram (using the hashtag #SIPhotoComp2015) we’re happy to announce the very first weekly winning photo and photographer, ‘Sunglasses Spinnaker’ by Alessandro Salvatore, an amateur photographer based in Southsea.

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 week’s winner was chosen because it showed an innovative new way to capture a familiar landmark of Portsmouth, capturing the city lights at night in a reflection. This image will now become our Strong Island Facebook header image for the next 7 days until next week’s winner.

'Sunglasses Spinnaker' by Alessandro Salvatore
‘Sunglasses Spinnaker’ by Alessandro Salvatore.

Below are just some of the 200+ photos we received in the first week. A huge thank you to everyone who submitted! 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 Monday. To enter simply email, Tweet or Instagram your photo that was taken in, on or around Portsmouth.

Photo by Tony Benham.

Photo by Paul-Stanley.

Photo by Zac-Austin.

Photo by Tom Jacobs.

Photo by Stefano Pollina.

Photo by Rhys Geehan.

Photo by Liam Ritson.

Photo by Kate Smith.

Photo by Johnny Black.

Photo by Jamie Thorpe.

Photo by James Henderson.

Photo by Hayley Reeves.

Photo by Gemma White.

Photo by Christopher Greening.

Photo by Chris Grant.

Photo by catspaws_22 (on Instagram).

Photo by Catherine Taylor.

Photo by Billie Cawte.

Rock Shots – 50 Years of Music Photography in Portsmouth

Access All Areas: The Portsmouth Music Experience at Portsmouth Guildhall are hosting 50 years of music photography in Portsmouth from 15th April – 20th September. This photography exhibition will contain images of local, national & international bands, covering punk, rock ‘n’ roll, indie and everything in-between. Photography has been provided by the following Portsmouth Photographers: Bob Aylott, Oana Damir, Joe Watson, Steve Whale, Nigel Grundy, Paul Windsor, Tom Langford, Terry Aldridge & Robbie Robertson.

Admission is free!

Rock Shots

The Strong Island Photo of the Year Competition 2015

Throughout 2013 we ran a photography competition open to everyone where each week a photo selected from the weekly submissions was chosen as the Strong Island Facebook header image and placed on our Facebook page for a week. We had some incredible images from all over the city, from landmarks such as South Parade Pier to the Spinnaker Tower, to the stormy waves of the sea, the Warrior at night…so many incredible photos we were privileged to share. At the end of the year we asked you, the Strong Islanders, to pick your favourite from all the weekly winning images, and by tallying up all the Facebook likes the winner of the Strong Island Photo of the Year was the below photo of South Parade Pier by Catherine Taylor. Many of the the photos that came in were also submitted to our very successful Strong Island Calendar for 2014 too.

This year we’re running the Strong Island Photo of the Year competition, and again welcome any submissions sent to us in a variety of easy ways. The first is to email the photo to us at Just include your name, the photo submissions, link to your website/Flickr/etc and let us know if you would like them also submitted to the calendar too. You can also submit images on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #SIPhotoComp2015 and we’ll keep an eye on any photos added. You can also tag us in to those tweets and photos too but be sure to use the hashtag so we know you’re entering them. The photos can be of anything, anywhere, as long as it is within the city. You can enter as many images as you like each week and they don’t have to have been taken that week they are submitted. By submitting the photos you’re giving us permission to share them (obviously) but we’ll only share them in relation to this competiton and we’ll ensure we credit you and link back to your website, Flickr, etc. Make sure you only submit photos you yourself took and have creative ownership/copyright of.

Each Friday we’ll post up our weekly winner on Facebook as our Facebook Header and also post up on Strong Island a selection of images we really liked from that week too. Each week the winner will win some Strong Island goodies. In December the final overall winner from all the weekly winners, after all your votes, will win a big pile of Strong Island goodness including a mug, tees, prints, etc and the image crowned Strong Island Photo of the Year 2015! Not just that, we’re also have an exhibition in Strong Island Co at the end of the year/start of 2016 of the best submitted images and the winning image.

You can start submitting your photos right now!

South Parade Pier by Catherine Taylor
South Parade Pier by Catherine Taylor, winner in 2013.

Line up for Victorious Festival Now Includes Johnny Marr, Ray Davies, Primal Scream, Super Furry Animals, Cast and More

Today saw the announcement by Victorious Festival of the next crop of bands and artists to perform at this summer’s festival on Southsea Common. Already down on the lineup were Basement Jaxx, The Flaming Lips, Tinie Tempah, Texas, The Magic Numbers and more but the big announcement today was the addition of The Kink’s Ray Davies, The Smiths’ Johnny Marr, Primal Scream, Super Furry Animals, Cast, Mystery Jets, Wytches and The Subways. This now makes the already epic lineup somewhat mind-blowing considering all of this will be happening down by the beach. Expect also this year to see a new Southsea Common stage plus continued improvement with the kids activities and area, silent disco, beer tent, kids area and so much more.

Early bird tickets now finished but tickets are still available at Hands down the biggest party this city has ever seen, right?

Primal Scream

Victorious Festival poster

Exclusive Interview with the Curators from Jack House Gallery: Rebecca Crow and Anna Burdick

I recently visited Jack House Gallery, Portsmouth’s newest gallery located in Old Portsmouth, to see the progress before the opening day tomorrow (4th April) and to catch up with Rebecca Crow and Anna Burdick, co-curators of the gallery. With the opening exhibition Amartey Golding: Drawings (a series of striking, large drawings with Ruby Tandoh as the muse) launching the gallery tomorrow, it was a great chance to find out more about this new gallery in the city. We’ll also have an exclusive interview with artist Amartey Golding next week.

Hi Rebecca, can you let us know the history behind Jack House Gallery?

I did my fine art degree in Portsmouth many, many years ago so I knew the place. Subsequently worked in London, my first job was the Fine Art Society and then worked for several other London galleries. Then I went to live in the Middle East, I worked in Bahrain,Muscat (Oman) and Dubai. I came back to London and I’ve just finished working for a gallery in Dubai where I met Amartey Golding.

In the mean time my husband (who comes from Portsmouth) and I bought Jack House in Old Portsmouth in 2009 and we were coming back every 2 to 3 weeks and then this shop next-door came up for sale. We were “Wow we’ve got to have it” because I’ve always wanted to own my own gallery. I’ve always worked for other people and sometimes sold work I haven’t particularly liked. If you’re lucky you work with a gallery owner that has a similar mind set to you or allows you to run with some ideas but it can be frustrating working with someone else’s ideas and tastes. So this was an opportunity, we’re close to the Cathedral, why not have a gallery in Portsmouth. There are people here who are interested in art which isn’t just seaside themed, the sort of art that you can see in places like London, Brighton or Bath. There are people who want to look at good contemporary art in a contemporary gallery. Not sky high prices too.

I love Portsmouth, I have got a thing about Portsmouth, it is an ideal city size, by the sea, close to London…Portsmouth has got everything I like about a city. Our opening day is 4th April and we’re working towards that.

How has the first exhibition come together?

Amartey, who I worked together with in Dubai at another gallery, we’ve remained in contact and friends. He fantastically agreed to exhibit for the first (solo) show. It is a big thing for an artist to commit to doing, in a completely unknown gallery. Gratifyingly we (myself and Anna Burdick, the gallery’s co-curator) have been in contact with a lot of artists and have been amazed at how good the response has been. Artists who are happy to show outside London, in a new space, all based on our ethos, ideas and website.

What sort of art do you like?

I like art that tells stories, that you don’t necessarily know what is going on, but you ask questions.

That draws you in?

Yeah, it draws you in, and you can put your own interpretation on it. It has to be well made too, that is a very important thing. Art is about feeling good.

Amartey Golding - Women and flamingos

How do you see Jack House Gallery fitting in to the city’s art & cultural scene?

We are a commercial gallery, we will be exhibiting art but also have to be a business. My ideal situation would be that this area becomes more interesting for art, with things like the ARTches project down the road and hopefully that will be best for everybody if there was more to see. Ordinarily in a cathedral area you get that kind of hub of creative businesses, such as Bath, Canterbury or many other cathedral cities. I think Old Portsmouth is lacking in commercial businesses too, there is not enough going on over here and there is a danger of it becoming too residential.

This could be a place where more people feel they should come and visit. You can walk anywhere in Portsmouth, that is one of the great things about it. It would be lovely if people come to this area to go to the ARTches and then maybe come to Jack House Gallery and then we can send people down to them. It is all about working together. Aspex Gallery too, would be good to work together somehow.

Have you had anyone come by during the building process and comment on the new gallery opening?

Yes, while the work has been going on there has been so much curiosity. Feedback has been great!

Is there anyone in particular the gallery might be aimed at?

It is so important to get people in to the gallery, to get through the door, to break that spell, “Am I allowed in?”, which I hope we can. Working in a gallery you hear people ask “Can I come in?” and I don’t want that to happen, that forbidding white space, people hiding behind their desk, their computer…talking on the phone…no eye contact. I really don’t want that to happen, anyone can walk in, everyone is welcome. It would be great if younger people could walk in too (from the schools near by).

Will the gallery be doing anything more than exhibitions?

I would love it if we could something in the gallery space in the way of classes. That would be a temporary thing (relating to particular exhibitions) but it would be great to get local people in. This is something that is going to develop, definitely. Something I also really want to do at a certain point is to take exhibitions outside of Jack House Gallery to other exhibiting spaces. Not necessarily gallery spaces, but empty spaces. Maybe in other parts of the country.

Amartey Golding: Drawings at Jack House Gallery

What other exhibitions might you have lined up?

One of the things we are going to do is is have quite a broad range of work. The next exhibition is going to be entirely different to Amartey’s paintings, a massive group show of printmakers, the Greenwich Printmakers from London. A massive variety of work all really well made. Etchings, Linocuts, Lithos, priced with something for everybody. Everything fine art made.

There is always a question with a gallery, is there a balance of should a gallery represent artwork from the local area or should they be a means of bringing artwork in to a city that would not normally be available to it? How do you see Jack House Gallery working?

I would not call Jack House Gallery a ‘local art’ gallery because the (upcoming exhibitions) aren’t from here, but if the work is good and it comes from Portsmouth it could have its place in the gallery, for sure. I am not prepared to compromise on quality, because it is local. I’ve worked with artists in the Middle East, Syrians, Iranians, I would love to bring them over… primarily it is quality, art I enjoy, artists I enjoy working with… which is very important. I am a great believer in the gallery and artist relationship being a collaboration. Working with artists that perhaps enjoy developing something for the gallery.

Anna and I go out and about looking [for artists] as often as possible. Looking for artists and contacting them. So far all (for all the exhibitions) the artists are people we have contacted. We do have an open submission policy at the gallery, so anybody will be able to send us work to be looked at and considered.

The gallery will change every time. I want to surprise people, I hope I will surprise people and I hope that when people come to the first show and the next show people go, “oh, okay”, maybe they are unsure for the first or they may go, “this is more comfortable” for the next. The next show will be different again and again and again.

A creative journey?


Amartey Golding: Drawings at Jack House Gallery
Preparations for hanging the artwork at Jack House Gallery.

You’re a collector of art yourself, is that right?

Art is a luxury. A sofa for say £2000 and you can justify it by saying you can sit on it, etc. If things become tight financially, you think ‘I’m still going to buy my sofa, my washing machine, etc’ but a picture? It is a luxury. My feeling about art is you buy a picture this year you’ve still got it in 10 years, in 20 years, 30 years. It has still got its value. I don’t talk about investment art as it isn’t something that interests me but art keeps its value and your sofa doesn’t. The art also keeps giving. This is a big joke with my husband, he can see it when I see something I like. My heart starts racing. That is how much art excites me…and if you can communicate a bit of that to somebody…

Thanks Rebecca. Hi Anna, so how did you and Rebecca meet?

Well I met Rebecca about 10 years ago when we both worked at a little, commercial gallery but we had very touristy stuff and very commercial. We spent many hours spent thinking what better art we could exhibit and sell. We used to talk to each other and say “We aren’t going to sell this and that in our gallery in the future”, so we basically had these dream gallery. We got on really well and have been friends ever since. We’ve always talked about about the gallery and it has become more and more real over the years and now here it is.

So as co-curator, what is your role at Jack House Gallery?

I’m Rebecca’s creative partner with the gallery, I help with the branding, the website and I am involved in the selection of artists. Because I’m based in London I go and see the artist, check the work, etc. It is a real partnership, I do all the geek stuff!

What are your thoughts on the exhibition as you are just about to open?

Oh, I just think with the scale of the actual drawings is just beautiful, really beautiful. His lines are so precise, clear, confident. Even without the fact that it is someone familiar from the TV’s face, they are really beautiful pieces.

What are your thought on the future of the gallery from this open weekend?

We’re going to carry on after this exhibition to do a different show every 5-6 weeks, lots of variety, sometimes group shows, sometimes solo like this one. Then we’re also going to develop exhibitions off site, take the shows and put them in pop-up spaces in London and maybe up North. Plus maybe some gallery collaborations too. I am very excited about the future of Jack House Gallery, it is going to be really fun!

Jack House Gallery is at 121 High Street, Old Portsmouth, PO1 2HW. Find out more about Jack House Gallery at their website below our on their Facebook or Twitter.

Anna outside Jack House Gallery
Anna outside Jack House Gallery.

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Old Southsea Skate Photos

Check the Skate Library for the first of a growing list of old Southsea photos including this one of Lance Mountain grinding the Law Courts back in 1988 (photo by Tim Leighton-Boyce).

Local Photographer – Diana Goss

A familiar and friendly face around Albert Road, Diana Goss is a freelance creative portrait photographer with her own studio and whilst based in Southsea is often found all over Portsmouth as well as Bournemouth and Brighton too. Specialising in both Fashion and Boudoir work (see, and going by her website ( and Flickr obviously enjoys any type of people portraiture both in the studio and outside at such events as Goodwood Revival, music shows, weddings and even equine work. Not only that but you most likely have seen a few of her common props around town, a 1960’s Bentley, a 1955 Oldsmobile in red with red leather seats and a 1960’s red Pontiac!

Some of Diana’s work is available in Albert Road in Matt Sills’s Wallspace gallery (you may have also picked up a few free prints during the last Albert Road day) and if you’re interested in any commission work such as model shoots and portfolios, event photography or are interested in modelling for one of Diana’s photography projects give Diana a shout via email.

This is a cross processed film shot Diana took of the Wallspace Gallery with her namesake camera, a Lomo Diana and below that are a few more examples of her work:

XPRO Gallery

Local Photographer: Paul Thurlow

I’ve been following local photographer Paul Thurlow’s blog for a little while, always some wonderful photos from our little piece of coastline plus some incredible portrait and wedding photography too. Put what you’re doing to one side for a little while and have a look through Paul’s website and Flickr too, so many beautiful photos including HDR images too.

Created Local – Victoria Haynes

Friend of Strong Island, Charlie ‘Pet Sounds’ Waddington told me about a very talented work colleague of his the other day and kindly asked if she could send in some examples of her work. Damn straight she can. That’s what we’re all about here, you know that.

I’ll introduce Vicky with the little bio that sent me. “Right, erm. About me, I’m 28, married with a two-year-old little boy, and have lived in Portsmouth all my life. I work three days a week at Paul Smith, where I’m the visual merchandiser and a sales assistant. The rest of the time I spend looking after my son, seeing friends and family, drawing, crocheting, sewing, watching films, listening to music and reading – the dream is to eventually scratch a living from artwork and handmade goods, while living in an old house with the family and a cat or two. I’m socially awkward, and have a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, I’m not very cool and tend to like clothes that everyone else thinks are repulsive – my favourite shop in Portsmouth is Dead Mans Glory, closely followed by any charity shop. I am actually addicted to period dramas, and love anything from the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s.”

Vicky’s print artwork is hand drawn, scanned in to the computer, coloured in Illustrator and usually drawn from a photograph for accuracy. Patterns are then self generated and added after. Inspiration comes from old objects, cameras, typewriters and suchlike – anything from days gone by captures her imagination. Crochet has so far been limited to homewares and childrens hats, but she would love to start making more wearable items to sell.

Undoubtedly a girl of many, many talents, Vicky’s work is eclectic, fun, unique and fantastic. Please add your comments and thoughts at the bottom of the page.

Keep up to date with Vicky over at her Blog All the best for the future and I hope you get that old house. Vicky also has prints for sale in the Southsea Gallery on Albert Road. Pop down and grab one.

Created Local – Cat Vaughan

Cat from the Inksquatch collective has some of her prints available for purchase in The Southsea Gallery on Albert Road. They should be in and ready for sale this weekend, 3rd July. Some nice little illustrations as always. Go and grab a local bargain.

Vintage Old Portsmouth Photograph

We’ve not had a vintage photograph for quite a while on Strong Island, and this one is a winner. This photo of the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth was taken in 1958 by Mark Kauffman for LIFE Magazine. Click this LINK for a larger version.


Thanks to Jubru for sending this over.

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…


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”

Eastney Beam Engine House

If you love a bit of not often seen Portsmouth history, Eastney Beam Engine House is open to the public for free from 1pm to 5pm on every last weekend of the month. Hidden just off of Henderson Road in Eastney, the Victorian building contains two restored and working 150 horsepower ‘James Watt & Co’ Beam Engines powered by steam which were installed to operate water pumps in 1887. This new system proved very successful and is still the basis for today’s underground drainage system on Portsea Island.

Sadly due to essential building work you won’t be able to go inside the buildings this weekend, but there will be talks with staff and photos and artefacts.

Engine House

Created Local – David Thompson

The Hiscock Gallery on Stanley Street behind Waitrose has some interesting new vintage style prints in stock by local artist David Thompson. They are a series of digitally drawn images reflecting upon 1930 – 1950s style advertising posters, enhanced with modern techniques. A really nice simplistic approach highlighting the main features of the subject, yet still very technical and intricate in places. The front of The Victory is awesome.

All reproductions are genuine giclée prints, printed with pigment based inks on 180gms Canon Matte paper, fade resistant for 100+ years. These “Poster” Prints are all personally signed by the artist. Head on over to Davids Gallery and take a look for yourself. Nice stuff for sure.

Vintage Photography by Richard Baker

Richard Baker grew up in Portsmouth and Southsea with many happy memories, but limited funds. In the 1960s Richard was studying at The Portsmouth College of Art and was lucky enough to be able to print off some wonderful black & white photographs. 40 years later he dug them out from hibernation.

The series captures people in the city going about their daily lives. Shopping, resting, having fun. Great candid shots from a simpler time. Check out the huge Pick & Mix on display at Woolworths along with the rest of Richards photographs over at his Flickr.

Strong Island Clothing Co.