Strong Island Co.

Grayson Perry: Who Are You?

Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry‘s new series ‘Who Are You?’ began on Channel 4 last night. As well as sculpture, Grayson is best known for his brightly coloured ceramic vases which feature caricatures of his subjects. There are also prominent autobiographical themes to much of his work. You can often find images of Claire, his female alter-ego.

Grayson was born in Essex but back in 1982 he graduated with a BA in Fine Art from what was then Portsmouth Polytechnic and is now Portsmouth University.

In the first episode Grayson works with former politician Chris Huhne; X-Factor contestant Rylan Clark; Kayleigh, a 27-year-old white single mother of five who has recently converted to Islam; and Jazz, who was born a girl but has embarked on a course of male hormones to begin his life as a man. Grayson produces portraits using various different forms of art including tapestries, sculpture and pottery which are featured in the National Portrait Gallery.

I personally love portrait photography, a simple photographs of a subject with a plain background, focusing all the attention on the subject. Grayson’s project is not quite as simple as this, he is going deeper, looking into our personal identities and the persona’s we attempt to portray. I found this an insightful and an interesting take on people who have been going through a transition to find their own identity.

I’m sure episode one will be repeated, however you can find it HERE on 4oD.

Grayson Perry

The UK Festival Awards 2014

The annual UK Festival Awards have opened their voting so you can support your favourite events from last summer. The south coast has been well represented with nominations for local festivals Bestival, Blissfields, Mutiny and Victorious.

The teams behind them will be looking for your support and you can place your votes HERE. When you are done voting you can enter an amazing competition where you can win 2 VIP tickets to every festival that wins an award and a new iPad mini!

The UK Festival Awards 2014

Just watching those videos is getting me excited for next summer already! You can get yourself an early bird ticket for next years Victorious event on 29th and 30th August 2015 for just £18 HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014 from Strong Island Media on Vimeo.

Community Fusion | Portsmouth Green Business Award Winners 2014

The Venus Awards, formed in 2009 to recognise, reward and celebrate local working women in business. CEO/Co-Founder Jenna Boyson of Community Fusion recently became winner of the 2014 Green Business Award for the Portsmouth region for the charity’s shop Made With Hartt.

In December 2013 with the support of Healthy Planet and Cascades Shopping Centre the charity launched the project ‘Made with Hartt…’. This shop is mainly volunteer run, teaching new skills in retail and craft, leadership and responsibility. Items are sold from local community members and the focus is on being green with upcycling and recycling always on the agenda. The shop aims to be interactive and fun with a community heart.

As well as all the handmade gifts, arts, crafts and collections the shop gives away free books and hold free story time sessions for children. The Healthy Planet initiative ‘Books for Free’ run by Community Fusion in Portsmouth give away donated books, thus preventing them going to landfill or being pulped. On average the Books for Free programme give away 300,000 books a year nationally.

Jenna looked her glamours in her dress made completely of recycled material, in the form of kitchen roll, decorated with ink from a used printer cartridge by Dumpster Design. The dress was talked about all evening long, on line and even the kitchen roll company got in touch and joined in the celebrations!

Jenna Boyson describes her feelings on the night “What an amazing achievement and an amazing dress! The shop has not even been open for a year and already seen huge support and now an award. The Venus Awards was an exciting time and the first awards we have been invited to. I went all out and wore a dress created by Dumpster Design made of kitchen roll… I wanted to show that you really can craft extraordinary things from everyday items! This is not only fantastic for Community Fusion though but all credit goes to our stockists, volunteers and supporters. Time, energy and recourses are donated by so many people locally – without this support our shop would not even exist! Endless thanks to all who are involved.”

Congratulations to Jenna and everyone involved in Community Fusion. I encourage you to follow Community Fusion to stay up to date with all of their many projects. For more information check out their Facebook and Twitter @CommunityFusion.

Jenna Boyson Community Fusion

Jenna Boyson Community Fusion
Photos by Charlotte Griffiths Photography

Dockers, Rockers and Blockers

On 25th October the Portsmouth Roller Wenches present another double header at Havant Leisure Centre with the A team facing Brighton Rockers Roller Derby and then, if that wasn’t enough, the B-team will take on the deadly Killa Hurtz.

Doors open at 1.30pm. with the first bout beginning at 2pm. Tickets are £7 in advance or £8 on the door and under 15 year olds are FREE! You can pick up your tickets HERE.

Poster by Sarah Ingram aka Coletta L. Damage.

Roller Wenches

‘The Other Side’ Exhibition TONIGHT

The Other Side is an exhibition brought to you by Hannah Kay Butcher. The exhibition opens tonight at the White Elephant on Cromwell Road. You can head down there from 7pm until 11pm. The Other Side documents life via reflections and shadows in moving images street photography and back projection.

For more information check out the Facebook Event page HERE.

Hannah Kay Butcher

Hannah Kay Butcher

Victorious Festival 2014

Strong Island Media have just released a short video focusing on the music at this summers Victorious Festival on the Vimeo page. Those of you with a keen eye will see local bands Blackfoot Circle, Kassassin Street, Jerry Williams, The Shutka Champions, The Southsea Alternative Choir and many more.

Victorious Festival 2014 from Strong Island Media on Vimeo.

If that brought back some amazing memories or you missed out then make sure you get yourself one of the early bird tickets for next years event on 29th and 30th August 2015. Early bird tickets are £18 and you can get your hands on some HERE.

You can read our review of Victorious HERE.

IG Grzegorz Kopacz 2
Photo by Grzegorz Kopacz

Make & The Craft Kitchen by Chantelle Wyatt

On Friday evening a large crowd gathered at 1 Cornwall Road, Portsmouth to celebrate the opening of ‘Make & The Craft Kitchen‘ and show their support for what is set to be a fabulous space for people of all ages to go along to and get creative.

Nikki Bates and Hesta Dalton have teamed up to offer a range of craft workshops and materials including an assortment of beautiful fabrics, trims, patterns, yarn, knitting needles and books to encourage people to get back to making wonderful tailor made things that they will love and enjoy.

Nikki and Hesta have been keen to create an environment where everyone can come and feel welcome, an environment where no matter what you can do or how good or bad you are at it, you can attend and learn new skills.

The ladies are always happy for new people to come in to chat or look around and are always willing to help get you inspired and motivated to get crafty.

The colourful warehouse type ‘Make’ is beautifully adorned and has even sparked the interest of local artists who have been keen to get involved and show their support. Leila Kemp aka My Name Is Leila, who is well known for her large scale paintings of bears in and around the city has contributed by releasing a new piece to the store that is hard to miss.

Another local artist, Roma May, contributed by spending over a day drawing on another wall, filling blank spaces with doodles of tea pots and gorgeous flowers.

Having local people help build a space like this adds to the community vibe and it is no doubt that it will be a huge success.

Words and photographs by Chantelle Wyatt

Make..

Make.

Make

Meat and Barrel

Plenty of you will have noticed the old Bamboo Bar on Palmerston Road has finally been taken over and being given a complete face lift. We are excited to update you that this will soon become the Meat and Barrel.

Meat and Barrel is brought to you by the team behind Little Johnny Russells, The Belle Isle, Portsmouth Beer Festival and not to forget Victorious Festival. So, expect to be treated to a fantastic looking venue, a great bar with plenty of craft beers, real ales, ciders and wines and a menu to satisfy even the most enthusiastic of carnivores not to mention plenty of tasty options for vegetarian friends too. There will even the British classic roasts available on Sundays.

I can’t wait until it opens in December! If you would like to follow the progress then you can find them on Facebook HERE or on Twitter @meatandbarrel.

Meat and Barrel Logo

Competition | Delight & The Astoria Present… Dan Le Sac

The team at Delight and The Astoria have brought us some awesome DJ’s over the past few years, next Monday they welcome one of my favourite DJ’s in the country Dan Le Sac.

Most of you will be well aware that he is one half of Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip who were one of the highlights at this summers Victorious Festival. Dan Le Sac also works as a remix producer, he has to date been commissioned to remix Biffy Clyro, Bat for Lashes, The Maccabees to name a few.

Fresh from a busy summer playing a final European tour with partner in crime Scroobius Pip, Dan Le Sac is coming to Portsmouth for a very special solo DJ set! Playing an eclectic set of funk, party bangers, soul and custom electronic beat Dan will also be supported by the Delight resident DJs over 2 floors!

The team have kindly donated a pair of tickets for one lucky winner. If you would like to win the tickets, then all you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answers to the following question by midnight this Sunday. The lucky winner will be contacted on Monday morning.

Q) What is Dan le Sac’s real name?

For more information check out the Facebook Event page HERE.

Dan Le Sac

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

Craft Emergency 2014 @ Aspex

Following on from last years first event Aspex welcome Thirteen artists from across the globe have now been selected for the group show of Craft Emergency 2014. You have some awesome sculptors, ceramic artists and jewellery makers just to name a few of the craft disciplines on show.

During the exhibition a winner will be chosen to receive the prize of a solo show in 2016, as well as working with the team at the gallery to produce an exhibition either in Aspex or offsite at another location within the city.

The selected artists involved are:

Chia Liang Lisa Kao
Angela Fung
Craig Fisher
Elizabeth Ashdown
Katy Jennings
Malene Hartmann Rasmussen
Olivia Walker
Paula Ortega
Sally Spinks
Kandy Diamond
Keith Varney
Luke Bishop
Lisa Pettibone

You can join the selectors on this Friday between 6-8pm for the Private View of Craft Emergency 2014, during which the winner will be announced. If you can’t get down there on Friday then fear not, the exhibition will run until 4th January 2015.

Craft Emergency

Chia Liang Lisa Kao
Chia Liang Lisa Kao
Lisa Pettibone
Lisa Pettibone
Olivia Walker
Olivia Walker
keith varney
Keith Varney

Angela Fung’s awesome paper sculpture she has created running through the gallery.

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Transport No. 1: Portsmouth Trolleybuses

With Portsmouth’s long history and particular geography it’s public transportation systems have been varied and have changed dramatically over the years. Over the next few weeks we are going to focus briefly on some of the more interesting ones, starting with the Portsmouth Trolleybuses.

The Portsmouth Trolleybus service provided by the Portsmouth Corporation was first introduced on the 4th August 1934 and covered most of the island and up to Cosham. The trolleybuses themselves were like normal double decker buses but were powered by overhead power cables like trams. The power lines for the trolleybuses criss-crossed overhead above the roads with routes and these wires became a constant in the city’s skyline, much like modern San Francisco and Vancouver.

The Guildhall (buildings in the distance are where the council buildings are now)

The trolleybus service continued until the 27th July 1963 and then sadly the wires torn down and almost all of the trolleybuses scrapped, today only two of the trolleybuses survive. No. 201, which was in Portsmouth’s transport museum before being moved, now lives on display in Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. No. 313 was the very last trolleybus to run but now is in fully restored working order and running at East Anglia Transport Museum (see it running here).

Ready for scrap (with the old airport in the background)

You can find out about all of the trolleybuses and see more photos here and watch below to see them in action with super8 footage from the 1950s and 1960s. Still looks strange seeing traffic through Guildhall Square.

P.S. Will the Portsmouth transport museum ever find a new home?

Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Following on from photos of The bandstand and Tennis Courts the other week, here’s another scan from Khalid.

Back before East Jet in the late 1940s, early 1950s people flocked to Southsea seafront. Check the beach huts near Canoe Lake. Dozens of them and the Paddling Pool which is now occupied by the Sealife Centre. Love the little train to the right of the picture. Click for a closer look.

Ben Schroeder Transfer

In the previous Ben Schroeder post I didn’t really describe the legendary trick very well, so I’ve dug out the photo! Ben frontside ollied out of the pool over the platform and in to the steep bank. Sick stuff.

Ben Schroeder, Transfer, Southsea (1991)

Southsea Ramblers Association – Watership Down

We burst the bubble again last weekend for a pretty epic ramble, or should I say hike. Taking the advice of the Guardian Newspaper we embarked on a 6 hour walk across the North Wessex Downs. Although the walk is a good 45 minute drive away it’s well worth the journey and the reward at the end is one of the finest pubs I’ve ever eaten at, the Roayl Oak. Check out my Flickr for the full set.

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Fog Lights!

I love fog, even more so at night time because all the street lights are on and it’s like this weird eerie zombie town. People appear out of no where and even cars creep up on you before you notice them in the deathly silence of the fog. I watched, or should I say waited, as the the Hovercraft came over from The Isle of Wight. I could hear the roar of the engines for five minutes till I could actually see the craft as it pulled on to shore. Spooky.

My little point and shoot isn’t much cop in low light fog but there are a few more over on my Flickr

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