Stuart Linfield, 33, a local Portsmouth Illustrator, has recently released a new T shirt which has sparked the attention of many. The Seaside town themed alternative design is hot off the printer and the image is the first in what will be a series of nautical themed designs, which will be released later in the year.
Last Thursday and Friday saw My Dog Sighs run workshops linking Free Art Friday with a new web app Democracy Street at Make and Craft Cafe in Fratton. We featured Democracy Street recently (read HERE), a web app conceived and developed in Portsmouth that nationally allows people to discover the streets around them and the people through the ages that had the roads and streets named after them.
My Dog Sighs delivered two workshops that drew upon the popular Free Art Friday principles to artwork plus looked at how artwork can be site specific in inspiration as well as where it could be dropped off for people to view and take home. The participants of the workshop had a go at creating their own Everyman artwork with quotes and song lyrics that related to them, the streets they lived on and more. Democracy Street beta was used by everyone to help research their lyrics and also for places to place their finished work. The workshops really showed where creativity and new technology can work together in new, practical situations, with one inspiring the other.
At the end of the workshops people went out and dropped their artwork on the streets and then added photos of the work to Democracy Street, with the images now viewable on the web app when people access the maps and roads in the local area. Democracy Street will soon be out of beta and officially launched very soon.
Daniel J Cook a.k.a Scruffyhightops, 32 from Portsmouth is a local man who has contributed much to the local art culture. Working in animation, film, art and illustration he has just held his first exhibition at the Kings Theatre in Southsea.
Being part of the Portsmouth Creative Movement (PCM), Daniel has often described himself to fellow PCM goers as a ‘Pop Culture Blender’. He admits that this passion came to be after years of growing up with Star Wars, Star Trek and video games, all of which encouraged a highly imaginative and creative nature.
Daniel’s art work could be described as momentary in that he does what he feels or what comes to him at that moment in time. He tells us ‘ If I felt like drawing Godzilla then I just would. I don’t really have a prebuilt agenda or a signature image.’
A big inspiration in local music also inspired Daniel and he has recently worked on a project with Pilot Promotions called ‘The Dug Out Sessions’. They took three bands, SomaHigh, Electric Arms and The underground Pilots and filmed short sessions, collaborating them into a final piece of short films.
Daniel is up to all sorts this year and will be working on lots of local projects which can all be found on his social media. He can also be spotted at the infamous Southsea based Doodle Club where he admits he spends much time enjoying drawing nonsense and catching up with other local creative personalities. He can also be bumped into this year at London Super Comic Con, as well as the same event in San Diego and the MCM expo.
Daniel was also behind the UFO hoax that made it’s way onto Buzzfeed and say’s his proudest moments have been when he met William Shatner and Lance Guest and when a piece of his artwork was signed by Stan Lee, one of his heroes.
Amazing how time flies, it doesn’t seem that long ago that we heard about the formation of FoodCycle Portsmouth, a community organisation combining volunteers, surplus food, and spare kitchen spaces to create nutritious meals for people at risk from food poverty and social isolation. It is great to hear that FoodCycle Portsmouth celebrated its 1st year anniversary this Tuesday with lots of guests and live music from the Pompey Pluckers at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea.
The guests were treated to a delicious 3 course meal of cheese and bean quesadilla, veg pie with roasties, and a hot cross bun pudding. However, the food wasn’t the only talking point last night as people got up from their seats to enjoy the music and celebrate. The Pompey Pluckers, armed with their Hawaiian shirts & Ukuleles, have partnered with many different charities and it is easy to see why they’re so popular after their exciting and electric performance on Tuesday night. Their accompaniment to dinner was the perfect way to celebrate a very successful year of volunteering and tasty community meals at FoodCycle Portsmouth.
Since launching in March 2014, FoodCycle Portsmouth have served over 1,697 community meals using 2,689.9kgs of surplus food donated by local supermarkets. This has been achieved through the hard-work and generosity of our volunteers, who have put in over 1,200 hours of their own time. FoodCycle Portsmouth have had a very eventful year, with the highlight being the opening of a Thursday meal in Somerstown which is slowly and gaining new guests. All of these great achievements could never have been dreamt of without the outstanding and tireless work of our fantastic volunteers who continue to cook delicious community meals week in and week out.
The Groundling’s Theatre tonight hosted it’s first of 4 productions of Hedda Gabler, a play written by the Norwegian writer, Henrick Ibsen. The story is considered to be one of the great and dramatic stories in playwright history and this quaint theatre setting in the elder part of Portsmouth only embellishes this.
Thrilling, enigmatic and destructive, Hedda Gabler is one of theatre’s most irresistible heroines. Returning from her honeymoon and already bored with her marriage, Hedda finds herself caught between the brilliant but dissolute Eilert Loevborg and the clutches of the predatory Judge Brack. A shocking path of destruction unfolds and there can only be one outcome.
Actors and actresses dominated the tiny stage with powerful characters and projected voices and captured onlookers full attention. The play is an absolute must see and your viewing not only supports this special performance but also a special theatre with an incredible and award winning Adult Drama School.
To purchase tickets, contact the box office and follow the whats on guide to the Groundlings on Facebook.
From 5th-6th March the Groundling’s Theatre in Portsmouth has hosted Crazy, Sexy, Cool. This riotous satire explores the teen politics of a friendship group, and the chaos and torment that can come with stardom at an early age. The play is about desire, fantasy and worship with a hilarious and horrifying showdown finish.
The Groundlings is proud to work with young actors and has built a fantastic relationship with Connections for this exciting project. The Youth Theatre Group will be performing not only here but also at the Salisbury Playhouse in April.
The Groundlings is one of the UK’s most impressive and dynamic Georgian theatres and was formally known as the Old Benny. It is committed to offering both adults and children the adaptability, flexibility and openness needed to sustain a career in the stage and screen industry through it’s drama school projects.
Going along to this theatre is nothing but exciting with its quirky interior, beautiful structure and incredible design. It is defiantly worth popping by for a production and upcoming events include superb plays such as, A Midsummer Nights Dream and Jane Eyre.
Portsmouth is full of incredible history and the Groundlings is a stunning example of this. Grab a ticket to an event and support your local theatre.
To hear about upcoming events follow the Groundlings on Facebook.
Democracy Street is a national interactive digital arts project designed to get broad public engagement and to encourage people to think about the role and importance democracy plays in our lives. Portsmouth based artist Jon Adams has been creating the project in collaboration with Si digital, who have developed a mobile application and accompanying website that everyone in the UK can use to find out about the history of our democracy and how it is hidden all around us in the names of our streets.
Drawing upon data from partners that include the National Portrait Gallery, The National Archives, History of Parliament Trust, and the Houses of Parliament themselves, it’s no coincidence that the project is released during a general election year – and is part of Parliament’s 2015 celebrations, centred on the 800 year anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.
Democracy Street is a national collaborative arts project commissioned by the Speaker’s Art Fund and Arts Council England. Use the collaborative mobile app to help develop an Interactive Map to highlight the importance democracy plays in our lives.
The app is truly interactive, people can upload photos and go on journeys of discovery that will be validated by the award of Digital Badges representative of different stages of your engagement and learning within the project. The content of the interactive map will then form the basis of further artwork to be generated by Jon, and displayed in a series of exhibitions across the UK running from November 2015.
The mobile app and website go live to the general public at a launch event hosted by John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, at the Houses of Parliament on March 26th. However, though the project is national, this is truly a Portsmouth based development drawing upon local talent to make it a reality.
Development Manager Joseph Cavalla has worked with Jon since the project’s inception, and together with Fratton Big Local they have engaged My Dog Sighs to run two Democracy Street themed ‘Free Art Friday’s’ taking place at Make and The Craft Kitchen in Fratton on March 12th and 13th. Head over to the Make website for more details and to book a place on one of the workshops, where you can beta test the app, contribute to the artwork, and get a preview of things to come on this incredible project.
You can find out more about Democracy Street on the website:
Collecting is something that goes way back to the early edges of the modern human psychology, a motivation to draw objects together that have a sense of meaning for the collector, that can illustrate aspects of an identity through representations of places and times past. Pretty much everyone has succumbed to the urge to collect at some stage in their life, be it stamps, stickers, shells, postcards, geology, fine art, sculpture and even aeroplane sick bags and My Little Pony. Beyond individuals, other groups create collections too, from small groups and trusts through to councils and right up to nation states. Portsmouth, like many other cities all over the UK and the World has its own collection of objects that represent its past, its culture and the people who have called it home.
The Portsmouth Collection began with the foundation of the Portsmouth museum service, established by order of the council back in 1892. The Victorians had a strong tradition of philanthropy which allowed the collection to grow from inception with people donating objects and art, the collection in essence owned by the then town (we became a city in 1927) and its people.
The collection was homed at The Market House & Guildhall on High Street in what is now Old Portsmouth, designed by Benjamin Bramble and opened on June 28th 1838. The building was the civic centre with council chambers plus an open market and even an early police station too. The building quickly ran out of space for city officials so the new Guildhall in Guildhall Square was opened in 1879. With this move the building became the city’s museum and home to the collection.
Market House and Guildhall by Calcott, published by Charpentier.
During the blitz in 1941, the city suffered with a huge loss of life and much of the city damaged and broken. On one air raid on the city the museum was bombed, with much of the city collection destroyed. Around 750 objects were saved from the destruction but it is impossible to know how much of the collection was lost as well as what these objects were specifically because all records were destroyed too. Only a handful of paintings were saved and some still show signs of burn damage. These objects that survived (to this day cataloged with ’S’ numbers to signify salvage) were the basis for a new museum service in 1945 with the end of the war.
Market House and Guildhall after the bombing.
From 1945 the museum service looked to acquire material relating to the history of Portsmouth and the natural history of the local area but also aimed to collect decorative art and modern British art. Under the theme of ‘The History of British Taste’ a national appeal was launched for donations to the collection from both individuals and organisations.
‘Outskirts of Portsmouth Dockyard’ charcoal drawing by W.H. Clarkson.
The Portsmouth City Collection 70 years later is now both vast in size and scope. The collection contains archaeology, art, literary history, local history, military history and natural science with many of the objects donated or bequeathed to the city. The collection can be viewed at the city’s different museums including: Portsmouth City Museum, Charles Dickens’ Birthplace, The D-Day Museum, Southsea Castle, Cumberland House Natural History Museum & Eastney Beam Engine House. Even with all of these museums and exhibition spaces no more than approximately 15% of the City Collection is on display at any one time.
With our next article we’ll be exploring the role of a curator for the museum service. If you want to see some of the finest items on the collection be sure to visit the A Hard Choice exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum. Many items on show in this exhibition were acquired by Rosalinda Hardiman over the last 35 years during her curatorship.
This Sunday there is a free guided tour around the exhibition by Rosalinda from 3pm to 4pm. Find out about some of the stories behind the objects on show and Rosalinda’s reasons for choosing them. Pre-booking is advised.
Throughout this year you can find out more about the Portsmouth City Collection and the many works of art and objects in contains with a Twitter account, simply follow: @PortsCityCollec
We’re pleased to announce that this years’ Strong Island calendar is now completely sold out. In total, you’ve helped us raise £500 for our chosen charity this year, the Alzheimer’s Society, which will help fund the invaluable work they do supporting those with dementia alongside their families and carers. If you would like to make a personal donation to the Society, you can do so here and find out exactly how your donation will make a difference.
Massive thanks to all the photographers that submitted imagery; we received a record number of entries this year and the quality of submissions made for a difficult selection process. We couldn’t raise this money without your contributions.
Work on the 2016 calendar is already underway and if you’d like to enter images don’t forget to hashtag your Instagram and Twitter photographs with #sic2016 or email any high-resolution copies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year we worked with Ben Ainslie Racing on a community arts project to create a mural on their Portsmouth Harbour facing wall of the site of the new BAR headquarters. The project involved 6 schools from Ryde, Portsmouth & Leigh Park with over 80 pupils taking part painting ships, yachts and more on a sea mural over 100 feet wide. As well as the help of three local street artists the young people also had sailors from the BAR crew, trustees of the 1851 Trust plus the Minister of Portsmouth help out.
The event was to celebrate the launch of the 1851 Trust and tomorrow, as part of a longer visit to Portsmouth, the Duchess of Cambridge as head of the trust will visit the mural, meet many of the young artists and staff involved and may also add to the mural with Sir Ben Ainslie.
We’ll be there from 11am tomorrow, fingers crossed for painting weather…
Below are some photos from the past event plus a video made by BAR too.
Based in Chichester but a constant visitor to Southsea, Portsmouth, Hayling and all of the Chichester harbour area, David Jacobs’ photos capture the warmth of the local light and and the inspiring natural views of the local landscape and coastline. To see more of David’s photos be sure to click ‘Read More’ below and check David’s Flickr.
On 10th January 1941 during a heavy bombing attack on Portsmouth the Guildhall was hit by several incendiary bombs which heavily damaged the structure and the resulting fires quickly spread throughout the whole building, turning it in to just a shell. It took almost 15 years to rebuild the Guildhall in to what we have today, which was officially reopened by the Queen on the 8th June 1959. This photo from Stan Webb from a collection of photos collected by Portsmouth College shows how totally destroyed the building was, leaving just some of the frontage and most of the tower.
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.
I took these photos the other week when the ash cloud was at it’s worst, there are more over at Forever Circling. if you have any photos online taken around the island effected by the ash cloud please pop a link in the comments and we’ll post some up later this week.
Adam Wintle recently uploaded to his blog loads of photos from an old book about Portsmouth passed down to him by his dad. Some of the photos in the book are incredible, be sure to spend some time having a good look through, below are a few examples: