Strong Island Co.

Art, Craft & Design

The Clock Face Exhibition at the Coastguard Studio

On 22nd August The Coastguard Studio will open its latest exhibition The Clock Face Exhibition.

Wesley Brown has assembled a team of local creative talent to deliver an exhibition capturing the essence of time in all its glory. The artists involved include Wesley Brown himself as well as Kirsty Herring, Oliver Nelson, Bruce Spruce, Elliot Cranston, Mark Poyner and Stefano Pollina.

Wesley describes the use of time as the theme for the exhibition, “Capturing time is the essence of all photography; every photo is simply a moment we have managed to capture and store, something that we can use to remember it visually forever more. It really allowed me to open up the exhibition to a whole range of concepts”.

As well as the exhibition there will be music courtesy of InDeep Music. Doors open on the night at 6pm and it is looking like To stay up to date with the exhibition visit the Facebook Event page HERE.

Kirsty Herring
By Kirsty-Herring
Stefano Pollina
By Stefano Pollina
Wesley Brown
By Wesley Brown
Clock Face Exhibition

Art Space | Open Garden

The Garden has come a long way since it was started by Art Space Portsmouth artists Jane Kilford and Adrian Mundy in 2008, turning an area of unused tarmac into a thriving oasis in the heart of the city.

With help from volunteers from the local community and Art Space artists and thanks to donations of plants and pots from various sources the garden has gone on to win multiple awards from Portsmouth in Bloom and the RHS South/South-East in Bloom. Fingers crossed there may be more to follow in this years Portsmouth in Bloom awards which are to be announced soon.

The garden is going to be opening the gates for their annual Open Garden on Saturday 1st August between 1pm-4pm. You will be able to look around the garden, purchase yourself some plants and sit and relax with a nice cuppa and cake. Entry is free… but donations are gratefully received.

You can find the garden at Art Space, 27 Brougham Road, Southsea, PO5 4PA. If you would like to know more then check out their Facebook page HERE.

Art Space

Democratic Beach Paintings by Andrew Holmes Preview Event Thursday 23rd July at Jack House Gallery

Jack House Gallery will be holding a preview event on the evening of Thursday 23rd July for ‘Democratic Beach’, a series of paintings by artist Andrew Holmes. This exhibition is the third in the gallery, there’s still time to catch 16 Greenwich Printmakers, a wonderful selection of prints in a range subjects and media by the very best printmaking collective in town as well as Richard Colson’s spirited and evocative oil paintings on the fine art of fencing. These two shows continue until 1st August.

“Whether bright sunlight or overcast, the rich starkness of the figures’ forms silhouettes against the warm, pale sea and this is the most important image I hold in my emotional and visual memory. After returning to the studio in London and working from scribbles made on the beach, I wanted the drawings and paintings to reflect these figures and scenes as I saw them.” – Andrew Holmes.

Andrew Holmes will be here in the gallery on Thursday evening when his show opens from 6:30pm until 8:30pm and if you can’t make it the exhibition runs from Friday 24th July through to the 5th September.

Find out more at the Jack House Gallery website:

www.jackhousegallery.com

'Democratic Beach' Paintings by Andrew Holmes

Jack House Gallery

One Eyed Dog Mural by Jack Mitchell

Many of you will have seen the One Eyed Dog has undergone a facelift recently. The brilliant new mural comes courtesy of local boy Jack Mitchell.

After graduating from the University of Brighton and several stints at small companies in London Jack returned to Southsea and joined premier design outfit ilovedust. After a year spent travelling the world Jack returned and is now the senior designer based in the Brighton branch of ilovedust.

I love the mural and how detailed it is, you can spend a long time surveying all of the awesome (and slightly random) images. Jack describes “I really wanted to design something striking and that will stand out.” The pressure was on to make it good because Jack lives nearby and will be passing it on a daily basis. Jack stated that he “created small scenes featuring characters and local landmarks to highlight the quirky nature of the pub and some of the colourful ‘shanters’ in and around the Southsea scene.”

If you like what you see then you can follow Jack on Instagram @jack_mitchell1 and on Facebook at Jack Mitchell Design and Illustration.

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

The photos come courtesy of Howard Hurd, you can find more of his work on Instagram and Twitter @HowardHurd.

My Dog Sigh’s Short Story Competition Winners

Earlier this year we invited everyone to take part in a short story competition. The theme of the story had to centre around one of My Dog Sighs tin can characters. I have been overwhelmed with the interest and the high number amount of entries that I received. It has taken much longer than I anticipated but with the help of Naomi Hewlett (Park Community School) and Angelo Tirotto (No Place Like Home author) we have managed to decide on the winners for each category.

Choosing the winner wasn’t an easy task but it was a lot of fun reading everyone’s interpretation on the tin can man theme. We will also be publishing some of the other entries over the summer so please keep an eye out on the website for those. We will run another short story competition next Autumn. Next time round we hope to recruit a panel of 4-5 judges so we can get through the entries a lot quicker. If you think you would like to be involved then don’t be shy, send us an email or get in touch on social media.

The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog Sighs.

I hope you agree with us and enjoy the stories as much as we did.

13 years and under (150 words)
Hannah Richardson – Year 7 at Milton Cross School

I am just a can…
dumped outside a garage,
left to rust in pain,
never to be used again.
I roam the streets in search of cover,
but no one wants me, not even my mother.
My tears fall down my old tin face,
as I stare away into space.
I hide in the shrubs,
to avoid humans coming from the clubs,
but they see me,
and kick me along the street till I plea.
They leave me, shrivelled up,
it’s just my luck
That tonight I was struck.
So I crawl across to my corner
the corner where I was left.
It’s not my fault,
it’s not I swear.
I didn’t ask for this torture;
this everlasting pain.
I cover myself in plants and leaves,
and cry myself to sleep,
hoping to see tomorrow…

14–18 years (300 words)
Peyton Owen – Year 10 at King Richards School.

There once was a homeless man called Harold. Despite his dire situation he always had a smile on his face.
Harold was different to a lot of other homeless people. He didn’t beg. He never asked for anything. Instead he made beautiful artwork to sell with an old paint set he’d found and any rubbish he could get his hands on. He’d then display them in the subway and sell them cheaply to anybody who wanted them. His most popular pieces were the tiny faces he’d paint onto old discarded tin cans.

He lived this way for years. On some days he’d make enough money for a hot meal and he’d be happy for the rest of the week. As time moved on he aged and became ill, his artwork became less regular, until one day it stopped altogether. When the community heard of his death they all came together to hold a service for him.

Everybody had known him, he’d been an unfortunate soul who had always made the best of his bad situation. For weeks after his death his graveside was littered with cans which people had painted in memory of him.

To this day, the town still remembered Harold; the homeless entrepreneur.

18 years and above (500 words)
Garry Davies

‘BANG BANG BANG! In my drawers baby’ As the B52’s famously didn’t sing. The buckshot peppered my tin hide like torrential rain on a corrugated roof, knocking me stone-cold sparko.

I came to my senses just in time to see the All Day Breakfast Gang ride out of town in a cloud of dust. My partner, the treacherous varmint Butch Gassidy had pumped me for information on our latest heist, then betrayed me and threw his lot in with the Breakfast Bandits. I felt rich tomato sauce raging through my veins and swore revenge on the two-timing son of a can.

I roused myself and stumbled to my feet, spotting my loyal steed, I flung myself upon the mechanical bull and with a cry of “Hi-Ho Silver Alloy!” I was off in grim pursuit of the bean-based outlaws.
A few miles out of town, I came to a fork in the road with a mini frankfurter impaled in its prongs. A crude ketchup arrow, pointed towards Green Valley Gulch.

Silver, responding to my command obediently bucked down the track towards the Valley.
The sun was setting as I spotted the bandits camp, and in a scene reminiscent of Blazing Saddles they were sitting around a campfire, laughing and joking how they had made a fool of the Baked Bean Kid. At the head of the campfire sat the low down Butch Gassidy and judging from their relaxed manner and noisy bowel movements, the overpowering stench told me it was very High Noon.

Crouching behind my hidden vantage point, I gripped my trusty Tinchester Repeater and took aim.

Unleashing my 57 varieties of hell, the outlaws scattered and ran for cover into a shabby outbuilding marked: “Green Valley Recycling Centre.”
I followed at a distance and found them cowering in a battered metal truck.
With my eyes growing accustomed to the gloom, I saw the truck was sitting on an old dusty conveyor belt. A lightbulb popped above my head and I knew, cans gotta do what a cans gotta do.

In a flash, I ripped off my ring pull and hurled it at the far wall where it hit its intended target. The big lever marked “Activate”.
With an awful clanking and grinding of gears, the belt burst into life and began rolling, taking Butch and the Breakfast possee ever closer to their deserved fate.
I rushed outside towards the exit, just in time to see the bandit’s less than triumphant transformation.

The once-feared outlaws stood sheepishly before me, resplendent in their shiny new glory…Butch Evaporated Milk and Grapefruit Segment Boys.

I handed them over to the Sheriff of Aldi and had myself a satisfied chuckle, content that the All Day Breakfast Gang’s notorious shelf life had now come to a sweet and sticky end.

I saddled up Silver and with a triumphant wave, noisily clanked off into the sunset.
So long, pardners…

My Dog Sighs TCM 3

Creative Census Portsmouth Flyers Out in Southsea and Portsmouth

The Creative Census Portsmouth project is progressing well with lots of people submitting their information to the census, from freelancers through to large organisations getting involved. If you’re out and about in Portsmouth & Southsea you can grab flyers about the census from different shops, events and venues, the flyers have information on the project plus details on how to enter our prize draw.

To enter the prize draw simply complete the census (takes no more than a few minutes) and take a photo of yourself with the flyer with/in front of something/somewhere that inspires you, pop in the caption on Instagram or Twitter that you’ve taken the census and add the hashtag #CreativeCensusPortsmouth and at the end of each month we’ll be picking winners!

To find out more about the Creative Census Portsmouth project check the website below where you can also complete the census yourself. Not sure if you can submit your details? Check the website which explains the different types of jobs & activities that are covered too.

Below are some of the awesome places in Southsea and Portsmouth kindly sharing our flyers plus you can always grab some in Strong Island Co, we’re open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm.

www.creativecensus.co.uk


All About Tea


Belamys


Bread Addiction


Bureau of Change


Community Fusion


Gabrelle at Harbour White Gallery


Lou Bush at Make and the Craft Kitchen


Night Markets


Pie and Vinyl


Southsea Coffee Co


Teattray in the Sky

A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Matt Wingett, Author

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

You can read the first article, featuring Mark Waldron, Editor of the News, HERE.
You can also catch the second in the series, with Megan Barnes (a Photography Student) HERE.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Matt Wingett, a local Author with an interest in design and culture, at Portsmouth City Museum. After Matt had a look around the exhibition, he let us know what were his own Best in Show.

Hello Matt, can you start by telling us what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

Okay, it is called Teapot by Christopher Dresser. This teapot I absolutely adore because one of the things that I have thought about in best in show and one of the things that I do in museums generally is think, “Would I want that at home?” And that; I would love at home.
It’s delicate, and just look at the lines, it’s just absolutely gorgeous, with this beautiful squat curve that it’s got but this incredibly delicate spout and handle. The whole thing is just a really wonderful piece of aesthetic engineering, so I really enjoy it on that level. But it’s also got practicality, I love the fact that it’s something that will bring me comfort and that also is part of it’s appeal. It’s not only a visual thing but also it’s kinaesthetic. And also, pouring the water and hearing that, it is a complete sensual delight for me, especially with the bright chrome/silvered finish on it as well.


And could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about this image?

It’s this wonderful turner’s chair from around 1640. I absolutely love this, because it’s not only a chair, but a demonstration piece which was showing how good this turner was at his job. So, what you’ve got built into the chair is, for example, the ends of banisters, or little figures along the tops of the horizontals. However, there’s something else about this design that I really like apart from all the turning which takes a degree of skill to make. This guy was a great turner. So in 1640, working on a lathe, with a foot pedal I would guess, and that it quite an extraordinary piece. But, the other thing I like about it on a modern level is it’s square-ness, because that reminds me of is a 1970’s robot. Now, that’s something that it gives me (and nobody else probably is going to get that) but I love it for that kind of kookiness. My goodness what a thing to talk about… and what a thing to have in your house and to show off to people.




And what is the third and final exhibit and why do you like it?

Okay so we have a portrait of Miss Grace Canon. As soon as I saw this picture I fell in love with it. She has got the most calm and composed face, one that thinks straight but has a degree of humour in it. She looks like some who is confident, clear about what she wants to do, and that was immediately what I got. I also thought she was very elegant. The notes say that she was an early pioneer of motorcar racing, which makes that steely look in her eye all the more pertinent because this was a woman who liked adventure. She also lived in Southsea, so she’s got that local connection which I love, and the other side to that is she is one of the donors to this very museum!




if you could think of something, of your own, that you could donate to the museum and the city collection, what would it be?

I think it would be Portsmouth City library, which actually already belongs to the council. That building is actually a great example of brutalist architecture. It’s an extraordinarily well-designed and detailed building. So overall, I think that it isn’t recognised as being the real top-notch architectural achievement it should be.

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free the Easter and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

www.portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk

A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Megan Barnes, a local photography student with an interest in art and history, at Portsmouth City Museum. After Megan had a walk around the exhibition, she let us know what were her own Best in Show.

Hi Megan, can you let us know what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

It is the souvenir clock of the coronation of King George, and I just love the craftsmanship of it. It’s completely different to all the others that are on display (in the community case) and I like the fact that they’ve kept it bronze, which is nice, and it keeps it natural. It just caught my eye completely, separately from the others, and the woodwork ones are lovely, but I really think it gives a real feel to it because of the materials. It gives it that powerful feel. I mean, it’s a strong material that has been used and the symbolisation of the coronation complies with that in a way.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (2)

So could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about this image?

This is called a Pier to Pier race. I love black and white photography anyway; it gives such a strong image compared to other photos, and I just love the story behind this, because the whole picture captures how big this event was. The fact that she had to fight to get her place and then came second as a disabled swimmer, I think is brilliant anyway, but I just love the people in it and it makes me laugh, because you wouldn’t get that, say down Southsea, nowadays. It’s also weird to see it that busy, because you don’t get that. And I think that’s because Southsea gets forgotten, even though it’s such a beautiful place, I mean I have family down there and we visit there a lot, but it does; it gets forgotten.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (3)

And can you explain to us what your third choice is and what you liked about it?

This image, of a child with a dog and a squirrel, caught my eye because I love paintings, especially old-fashioned ones. I think they’re just stunning and with the materials they had back then and what they achieved, but this one I just love the girl’s face and the little dog in the corner. But the story of the frame and how it took a long time to find the correct frame for it; how early she (the curator) had to get up and go to London to make sure she got her place to get this framed show that actually it’s a marvellous piece. I just love looking at it, the colours, it just hasn’t lost any of it’s originality, and considering how old it is I just think it’s stunning.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (4)

Finally, what thing would you personally consider donating to the city collection?

So, this only started a couple of years ago, but my family and I go camping every year and we go to Swanage. They have a carnival type week and a masquerade night, and I’ve been collecting quite a few of their masks that they have on sale, so I have about 6 of them now. I think that would be what I would put forward because they’re stunning; they’re just so pretty.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (1)

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free the Easter and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

www.portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk

French Street Artists Oré and Artiste-Ouvrier In Portsmouth Over the next Two Weeks

All this week and through to the 16th of July Portsmouth will be home to two visiting street artists from France. French street artists and painters Oré and Artiste-Ouvrier will be exhibiting work, painting, creating artworks and working with young people from Pompey in the Community at various locations in Portsmouth on legacy art-installations.

This Artist Residency has been organised by the Kings Theatre Portsmouth’s Community Engagement Team (the second artists residency in as many months!), with some funding coming from individual Portsmouth City Councillors’ personal allowances, including Cllr Hugh Mason, Cllr Matthew Winnington and former Cllr Terry Hall.

Oré and Artiste-Ouvrier have been being painting murals and street art for many years. They have exhibited alongside Banksy, and their work has appeared in books, galleries and on the streets across cities in Europe and South America.

To see their work and them in action you can start by seeing the Oré exhibition opening tonight at No. 28 on Albert Road. You can also see the artists at work in their residency locations, at the Daisy Chain Festival and much more. Some key dates are below:

7th to 15th July: Oré and Artiste-Ouvrier Exhibition, No 28 Kings Theatre Portsmouth
7th to 10th July: Oré creating installation at HMS Warrior, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
7th to 15th July: Artiste-Ouvrier creating legacy pieces inspired by the city
11th July: Oré and Artiste-Ouvrier running events and activities at Daisy Chain Festival, Southsea
12th to 15th July: Oré running workshops with young people at Pompey in the Community

Oré

Oré

Artiste-Ouvrier

Artiste-Ouvrier

Created Local – Mica Peet

I think the first time I saw the illustration based prints and jewellery by Mica Peet was at a market a couple of years ago, or more. I really liked the mix of geometry and UK wildlife and bought a print and some other gifts and have been keeping an eye on all the new work on Mica’s Instagram and Etsy. It has been great to see this local university graduate and creative build an awesome design based business in Southsea.

“My design philosophy consists of juxtaposing my love of the beautiful natural world with an edgier, modern and idiosyncratic design aesthetic. My main focus is on how I can be innovative yet commercial with the strong use of my quirky illustrative style and how these translate into print designs to adorn the body and home”. – Mica

Check some of the latest prints and jewellery below and be sure to hit up the MicaPeet Etsy where you can buy these items and support a local creative.

Mica Peet (1)

Mica Peet (2)

Mica Peet (3)

Mica Peet (4)

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Archives

Seafront Lights: Adam Wintle

Southsea web designer and photographer Adam Wintle has recently been taking some really nice photos of the Southsea promenade lights and of the pier at night. Be sure to look through his Flickr for loads more great photos.

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Old Ships and The Point

Continuing from the HMS Vanguard photos from earlier this week, this one shot from above shows the scale of the ship and her guns, which are as big as the pubs! The second photo is of HMS Victorious passing out in the 50s, with the old power station in the background. Hard to believe such a huge, dominating landmark like that is now just a memory.

Click on the images to see larger versions. Photos are taken from the wonderful Portsmouth From The Air book by Anthony Triggs.

It’s going to be a Strong Movember – Closed at £725

Righto chaps, it’s time to clean shave your boat race and get that mighty moustache on the grow in support of Movember for The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. For 30 days of November you can help support and raise awareness through selflessly parading your top lip for charity.

You can sign up yourself, as I’m sure many of you already have, or you can join the Strong Island team and seek out sponsorship as a team. Through the Strong Island Movember page you can ask people to join the group, make donations, upload photos and post updates via the MoSpace page, Facebook and Twitter.

Head over to www.mobro.co/StrongIsland if you would like to get involved and grow a Strong Moustache to help raise awareness, or simply head over to www.uk.movember.com and sign up to personally raise money.

The funds raised in the UK support the number one and two male specific cancers – prostate and testicular cancer. The funds raised are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. Together, these channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.

Poster: Tristan Savage

Dockyards

The dockyards, taken on 18th July 1914. The dockyards and harbour are quiet as almost all the ships are anchored at Spithead ready for the Royal review by King George V.

Dockyard
(Click to see larger image)

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.

BBC Reel History Event

Portsmouth Film Society is taking part in the BBC series of events celebrating local history through archive film, in partnership with the Wessex Film and Sound Archive. Join PFS for a look back at Portsmouth and Southsea history on the big screen, with a talk from local artist Jez Stevens who will discuss his project “No Diving” on the Hilsea Lido, which uses footage from local amateur filmmakers taken at the Lido, and Portsmouth historian Dr. Dave Allen.
Date – Wednesday, November 16 · 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Omega Centre, Portsmouth.
Entry is £2 or free for full Portsmouth Film Society members.


No Diving film

For those of you that missed our post of Dave Allen’s lecture here it is below.

Amazing Vintage Naval Posters

I found these truly amazing posters on one of my many Flickr travels. All circa 1930s and all fantastic. Click the images for the direct links to Flickr.












Southsea Rock Gardens circa 1985

More random finds. It’s a shame to say I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Rock gardens looking this nice. Not sure how often upkeep fits into the Council agenda these days. Back in 1985 however it looks amazing. Click the photo for a bigger view.

Photo : Dom Walton

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 1

Jonathan & Matthew Ring recently released a book of archive Portsmouth photography that was taken by their grandparents over the years (find out more about the book HERE). As well as photographs they also found a load of footage filmed around the city and have just released their first episode of their Portsmouth on Film.

This episode has some great footage from the early 90s, including some from the Tour de France.

Inside the Round Tower

The Round Tower in Old Portsmouth is an often visited landmark but few people get a look at what lies inside those walls. On Friday a few lucky members of The Solent Camera Club (on one of it’s Friday evening meets) were able to explore it’s cavernous interior including the brick arches, rusted cannons and stalactites.

Photos kindly supplied by Duncan Allan.

Tower

Strong Island Clothing Co.

Departments