Strong Island MediaStrong IslandStrong Island Clothing Co

Created Local

Final Southsea Fest Line Up Including Pulled Apart By Horses, Ed Harcourt & DZ Deathrays

Southsea Fest have announced the latest and final line up to the already marvellous bill which already includes the likes of Laurel, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Mazes, Blessa, Menace Beach, Kagoule, Eliza & The Bear and many more including local favourites Rickyfitts and Kassassin Street. The one day, multi-venue urban festival spanning across the intimate setting of Albert Road has pulled absolutely no punches with its latest additions and it looks set to be the biggest and best Southsea Fest yet.

Headlining the Wedge is gnarly hardcore punk, Leeds exports, Pulled Apart by Horses regarded by many as one of the best live acts today with their twisted, amp melting, gut busting ferocious sets. Their last Southsea Fest outing, for those fortunate to catch them was regarded as stuff of legend and with them playing the Wedge this year you’re four times more likely to be able to get a glimpse of their carnage. Along with Pulled Apart By Horses, Brisbane duo DZ Deathrays head back to Southsea and will deliver a face-melting, riot like set of thrash ridden pop. Another huge coup for Southsea Fest and headlining the Kings Theatre is established singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt who shall be a perfect fit for the glorious, Edwardian setting. Also on the bill confirmed is Fat Cat Record’s Glaswegian duo Honeyblood who deliver, scuzzy, grunge tinged, indie pop. Bringing the doom psychedelia and stoner rock is GANG, the latest signings to Strong Island Recordings who are ready to inflict a sonic assault upon senses with ear pounding riffs and gnarling, wailing vocals. Heading back to Southsea Fest is the splendid Talons who create intense and epic instrumental, math-post hardcore rock coated in  magnificently building violin sections also coated in merciless riffs. There are numerous other additions as well as in which you can find below.

Tickets are just £18 for what represents an incredible value for money and can be purchased HERE.

Pulled Apart By Horses -Ed Harcourt – Famy – DZ Deathrays – Flyte - Fear of Men – Laurel – Curxes – Talons – Brontide - Blessa – Mazes – Castles – Eliza & The Bear 100 Ounces – Alpha Male Tea Party – Andy Oliveri – Bad Grammar - Battery Hens – Beautiful Boy – Big Fin – Big Sixes – Body Hound - Boy Jumps Ship – Brawlers – Break-Ups  - Dear Everyone - Deluxe Flamingos – Doe – Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux – Elephantantrum - Eloise Keating – Emperor Yes – Employed To Serve – Fairweather Band -FALLS – Fickle Friends – Flash Fires – Floella Grace – Fred Page - FURS – Gang – Goodtime Boys – Gossling – Happy Accidents – Happyness - Harker – Holy Kasper – Honeyblood – House of Thieves – Hunter And The Bear - Iced Out – Jesse Wylde & The Stallions – Jimmy Islip and the Ghosts w/ Sam Russo - Joythief – Kagoule – Kassassin Street – Layers – Life – Lillian Todd Jones - LOOKS – Love Park – Lu’Ami – Lucky One Dies First – Lyger - Martha – Matt Emery – Matt Jarvis – Meadowlark – Menace Beach - Michael A Grammar – Natasha North – Nothing But Thieves - Osca – Passport to Stockholm – Pawws – Pedro Donkey - Personal Best – Phoria – Pixel Fix – Popabawa – Prides – Pure Graft - Racing Glaciers – Raglans – Richie & The Remedy - RickyFitts – Rough Hands – SACHA – Saint Agnes - Sam Brothers –  Slaves – Spring King – Tangled Hair – Teef – The B of The Bang - The Boy I Used To Be – The Cadbury Sisters – The Cairos – The Lion & The Wolf -The Magic Gang – The Plastic Beats Band – The Prestige - The Proper Ornaments – The Ramona Flowers – The SLM - The Southsea Alternative Choir – ThisPlanet – Thought Forms - Tigercub – Tom Moody – Trampolene – Uncle Luc – Unknown Soldiers – Waylayers - We The Wild – Woahnows – Wildest Dreams

Southsea Fest 2014 Poster

Created Local with Aerial Photographer Chris Brunnen

Photographer Chris Brunnen is a local professional photographer who works commercially under CJB Photography and provides a wide range of photography services, including something a little different, Chris specialises in aerial photography. We spoke to Chris to find out more about how he got in to photography and in to this particular specialist field:

Hi Chris, how did you first get interested in photography?
I was introduced to photography when I was about 12 by Neil, my friend and neighbour. He was a few years older than me and was taking lessons at his school when he came home one day with an envelope of black & white prints he’d made and it completely amazed me. I couldn’t comprehend how it was done, I thought the process had to be done in a factory or by a huge company, I had no idea this was something that could be done at home in a darkened room. From that day, I remember the feeling so well, I was hooked, I wanted a camera. I begged my parents but they weren’t about to buy me an expensive piece of kit at that age so they gave me an old Box Brownie. Yes really, that was my first camera! Fortunately Neil’s mum worked in a chemist and knew how to load the camera but he would take the films to school to process them. We would set up scenes in the garden and photograph them, we even re-created the moon landing with Acton Man.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (2)

A few years later photography became an option in art lessons at my school and I started using the school’s 35mm cameras and lenses. I learned to process and print them myself and went on to take ‘O’ & ‘A’ Level exams, that introduced me to the practical, theory and history sides of the subject. I also studied art, technical drawing, physics and chemistry, all essential subjects in this field of work.

I went on to study Graphic Design at Art College. I’d originally intended to study Fine Art but I had a falling out with one of the lecturers on the pre-degree course…so I went to Graphics, a department next door to the photographic department where I ended up spending most of my time. The training as a designer I found very useful in photography, composition and layout are similar skills, again very useful background work to becoming a photographer. I find many people get too hung up on the camera, expecting to get great results from buying a big expensive piece of kit, they won’t, any more than buying a Stradivarius will make you a concert violinist. It takes more than that.

What got you in to taking aerial photos?
My first job was at a design & photography firm, I was behind a drawing board one day, behind the camera the next. As that firm grew I found I was spending more time taking photographs than designing and eventually left, with their backing, to set up my own photographic business, CJB Photography, in much bigger premises with a huge studio. Studio work has always been the main stay of my business but aerial photography is my USP.

What was your first experience of taking photos from the air?
A designer client of mine was working for IBM and needed aerial shots of their site at Havant and asked if I could do it…. I said yes. Fortunately they had a significant budget for the job so I hired a helicopter and off I went. While I was up I took a few other shots around Portsmouth and later showed them off to my clients. They met with a great deal of interest and since then, 1987, I’ve been flying virtually every month.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (2)
Rare colour aerial photo of Portsdown Park.

Can you describe your go-to camera kit for aerial photography? Any specialist equipment?
With aerial photography it’s all about resolution, the higher the better. Remember the first time you went on Google Earth, I’m betting you went straight to your house and zoomed in as close as you can. Aerial photos are the same and unique in the way they are viewed, make a big print and people just want to get closer, you don’t view portraits or landscapes like that, you’d step back to admire it. With that in mind I use a high res Canon with a wide ranging zoom and image stabiliser, your average DSLR isn’t going to cut it.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (3)
Southsea Show from some years ago.

On an aerial shoot are you able to take photos for yourself in the time in the air?
Most of my work is on commission but I do take advantage of my time in the air to build up my Aerial Photo Library, to be found on my web site, where there are now thousands of images for sale.

Any near misses?
The pilots and helicopters I use are all on an Air Operators Certificate for commercial flying and as such subject to strict maintenance schedules and safety regulations so ‘near misses’ don’t happen but I was in a heli with engine failure once, just as we were coming in to land at the airfield so the pilot set it down on the end of the runway, could’ve been worse I guess. Funny thing is, this wasn’t a working flight, I was being taken out to dinner at a hotel by the operator with their other regular clients. All a bit embarrassing for them really.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (4)
Close up view of the Spinnaker Tower.

What sort of clients do you work with and where do your photos end up being used/shown?
I’ve been involved with some amazing projects. The construction of McLaren’s HQ at Woking, St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton and recently the Thames Gateway Project. Most other jobs are more mundane but it still gets me up in a helicopter on a regular basis.

Which do you prefer, helicopter or aeroplane?
I don’t use fixed wing, although cheaper, they have wheels and wing struts that obscure the view and are much more unstable. There are some companies that use them but they really are inferior, sorry about the cliché but you get what you pay for.

You can see lots more of Chris’ photography on his website and Facebook page, which he often updates with aerial photos challenging people to guess the location. All photos with this interview are copyright of Chris Brunnen and used with kind permission.

www.cjbphotography.co.uk

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (5)
North End from the air.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (6)
Low tide in Langstone Harbour.

Created Local with Photographer Chris Brunnen (7)
Chris Brunnen.

Gland Rock At The Wedgewood Rooms in Support of The Feel Yourself Campaign 5th July Headlined by 90′s Legends The Telescopes

The glorious Gland Rock belts down into Southsea 5th July in support of the Feel Yourself Campaign. This new Portsmouth music festival takes place across one day in one venue at the Wedgewood Rooms & Edge of the Wedge featuring some the finest bands across the land. Headlined by Creation Records (responsible for the releases of the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus & the Mary Chain and Oasis) 90’s legends The Telescopes bringing their visceral realm of psychedelic, shoegaze and dreampop along with the likes of God Damn, a mind blowing twosome creating an atomic, thundering racket of noise which is totally perplexing as to how two men can create such a sound that almost defies the laws of plausibility. Along with Bo Ningen, they’re possibly the best live band at the moment and can be found heavily across the festival circuit. Possibly tomorrow headliners but if you feel any seismic activity in Portsmouth, it’s likely due to God Damn.

The line up also sees the weird and wonderful punks Claw Marks fresh from their Sexbeat release (Eagulls/White Lung) and UK tour with Fat White Family as well as scuzz pop duo Playlounge, punk quartet Human Hair, electronic two piece AK/DK, indie/post punk  and and Playlounge as well as some of the best locals in the area. Carefully curated, taking quality over quantity the line-up sees thrash duo Rickyfitts who have released on bothStrong Island Recordings and Pie & Vinyl, local cult legends The Demons recently re-releasing ‘Contact High’ getting high praise such as being touted a classic by Backseat Mafia as well as dreampop, shoegaze duo who also create luscious surf like riffs, Wildest Dreams, psych-doom outfit Unknown Soldiers, the bombastic, blitz pop duo Curxes, Eloise Keating who delivers haunting dream pop and colourful indie electro pop 4 piece Deluxe Flamingos.

There will also be a raffle on the day to help raise money for the Feel Yourself Campaign. The raffle prizes include:

- My Dog Sighs Painted Canvas framed by Southsea Gallery
- Victorious Tickets
- Southsea Fest Tickets
- £25 Art Is Hard Records Voucher and Surprise Test Pressing
- Unique Pompey Calendar and David James Painting by Official PFC Artist
- Strong Island Swag
- Pie and Vinyl Swag
- Artwork by amazing local artists (such as mynameisleila and m-one)
- plus much more…

You can listen to the playlist below and tickets can be purchased for merely £10 HERE or on the day, availability permitting.

Gland Rock Poster

Creation For Causes Charity Art Project

Creation For Causes is a non-profit project set-up by Danny Wright after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in September 2013. Since then he’s been given the all clear and his experiences have given him the inspiration to support a variety of causes, in new and exciting ways.

Creation For Causes have just announced our latest project that will raise money for cancer charities. This project features 5 artists creating a t-shirt design each, which will only be printed to 5 per artist – along with these handprinted t-shirts, the artists have designed amazing packaging to put them in!

5 Artists. 5 Designs. Only 5 copies per artist. All for sale and all for charity.

This limited project features work from: My Dog Sighs, Fark Fk, Midge, Myles Roland Bartholomew Design and Phoebe Richardson. All of whom have amazingly donated their time and talent to design their tshirts and boxes.

All of this work will be unveiled on Thursday 22nd May at 101 Reykjavik in Southsea. Free entry. After this, all 25 packages will go on sale on Friday 30th May at 7pm, via www.omkaraclothing.com.

For even more information check out the Facebook page HERE.

Creation For Causes Charity Art Project

Created Local with Painter & Artist Chris Webb

Personally, there is something really special about sketching, creating a personal interpretation of a place, a location or even a person through pencil, pen or even on a tablet. The lines flow through a quick look of the eye, straight to the paper, with a real sense of what the artist is perceiving, channelled thought their unique creativity and for many artists done almost instinctually, without being bogged down with second guessing and over thinking. Add to this flourishes of colour with washes of watercolour paint, giving a sense of light and perspective you have an image that captures the location and the moment all through the particular eye of the artist.

The local area has a strong lineage sketch and watercolour artists, over the years including the likes of Gosport’s highly regarded Martin Snape, the very popular nautical scenes of William Edward Atkins and in recent years the striking work of students and locals such as the Portsmouth Scrolls of Arran Mackintosh and the many different sights of Portsmouth captured over recent years by the talented Deane Clark.

Now joining this long and talented list of sketch and watercolour artists is Chris Webb, who’s wide and varied work includes a rather wonderful collection of Portsmouth sketches, awash with colour. I first became aware of Chris’ work very recently with a scene of the old Savoy building on Southsea Seafront but have really enjoyed seeing the previous and new work on Chris’ Urbansketcher Facebook page.

Chris’s work is created either on location or inspired through vintage photographs and Portsmouth itself looks to be a constant inspiration. Many of the original ink and watercolour works are available for sale. Chris updates his Facebook page constantly with works from his sketchbook and much more, be sure to give it a Like, look through the many great pieces of work and get in touch directly if you are interested in buying.

www.facebook.com/urbansketcheruk

Below are a few of my favourite recent works:

Created Local with Painter & Artist Chris Webb (1)

Created Local with Painter & Artist Chris Webb (2)

Created Local with Painter & Artist Chris Webb (3)

Created Local with Painter & Artist Chris Webb (4)

Created Local with Painter & Artist Chris Webb (5)

Made By Burbs – What’s So Great About Portsmouth?

Jennifer Burbridge is Made By Burbs, she has just created something that I think is nicer than anything I have seen Portsmouth City Council produce.

Jennifer created this map of Portsmouth as her submission for They Draw & Travel who recently held a competition to create a map of of the city where you grew up. Jennifer says to her “Portsmouth is generally known as place where nothing much happens, but to those that live there it’s a treasure trove of things to do. So much so that I couldn’t fit everything on”.

I love what she’s chosen to feature across the whole of the City. This doesn’t just capture the typical Southsea landmarks. What I am really interested in seeing the the What’s Not So Great About Portsmouth Map!

You can see a larger version of the map HERE. You can even get yourself a copy via the Etsy page HERE.

Made By Burbs

Created Local with Sam Brandon

Sam Brandon is a 23 year old local illustrator who grew up in Spain and recently last year came to live in the UK, in Southsea, for the first time. Sam currently works as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer with ideas to try to help promote local business, community and culture. Most of Sam’s artwork is completely hand drawn, using a pencil for sketching and then fine line pens or Posca pens for inking and colouring. Serious skills!

You can see some examples of Sam’s work below, including his ‘Keep Southsea Weird’ artwork and you can see more at the following:

Facebook: facebook.com/sam.lewis.brandon
My instagram: @skever
My twitter: @SamuelBrandon

Created Local with Sam Brandon (1)

Created Local with Sam Brandon (3)

Created Local with Sam Brandon (2)

Created Local with Sam Brandon (4)

Matthew Pickles ‘Portsmouth’

Local Portsmouth lad Matthew Pickles has produced a nice illustration inspired by our beloved city. the design is available as a print and a t-shirt which comes in two colours (black and white). If you are interested in a print or a tee then you can contact Matthew via email mattwpickles@gmail.com.

You can follow Matt on Instagram @mattwpickles to see his latest illustrations.

Matt Pickles

Matt Pickles

Matt Pickles

Female vocalist wanted

Local band Breakers are looking for a young female vocalist. The band is made up of Simon Brookes and Les Black, who are no strangers to the music scene, Simon previously being in both Bonemachine and Music to Drive Tanks To, and Les in Islander.

Though a good voice is essential, look and presence are equally as important as vocal talent for this project.

Music will be guitar, keyboard (synth), bass and drums-based.

Simon says: “In old money we are looking for an indie sound but I guess you might even call it post-indie nowadays.”

Email Simon Brookes for details at simon.brookes@gmail.com 

Southsea Beach Cafe – First Day On Site

With the increasing decline and surrounding speculation of South Parade Piers future it’s extremely encouraging to see anything positive happening with regard to our extensive seafront. Despite always being under scrutiny for one reason or another the seafront remains a very popular destination throughout the year and with continuous progress on the Southsea Seafront Strategy, the PCC backed Victorious Festival and the Seafront Masterplan, to name but a few, it really feels like things are starting to change for the better…

Southsea Beach Cafe most certainly suits the progressive nature we are all dying to see take place and is a welcome addition to what is currently a very run down area of the seafront. The new proprietors of the old toilet block and cafe opposite Canoe Lake and East of the pier have taken on something that will really bring a new lease of life to the area. Not to be overshadowed by movements of the once iconic South Parade Pier, SBC is set to become a very popular destination for both locals and passing visitors.

Today saw the real beginning as work on site began and progress became a reality in physical form. Once completed, SBC will be a well considered and contemporary cafe destination offering good quality food throughout the day and evening. Set in an very accessible area with the perfect vista the plans for SBC include both inside and outside areas for dining in a very relaxed and family friendly environment.

Offering a unique experience to Southsea is the addition of having a seasonally adaptable awning that can be retracted to reveal the delights of Summer sunshine, whilst also keeping off those chilly British winds, and equally in the Winter months shield you from the elements but still offer the feeling of being outside as you are protected by the awnings structural weatherproof glass. As awesome as it will be to visit in the summertime I’m certainly looking forward to some comfort food in the Winter with the sea crashing outside in the knowledge that I’m safe and sound from the elements!

We will be following SBC very closely over the next few months before their planned opening in early June and have a more in depth article with the owners coming soon to talk about the years of negotiation up to their final plans and down to what will be on the menu. For the time being you can follow Southsea Beach Cafe over at their Facebook page HERE.

Strong Island have the privilege to be working with Southsea Beach Cafe on both the brand identity and creative consultancy and we are extremely proud to be part of the journey with them and the people they are working with. We will be keeping you up to date with all the developments of this exciting new venture right up till the opening night, and beyond…

1979320_298927636922937_1222927901_o

sbc

P1060113

P1060117

P1060127

P1060115

Features

Photos from Head Jam 2014

For the second year running Head Mens Hairdressing, Strong Island and My Dog Sighs (this year with Lex Luthor) put on the Head Jam street art event on Albert Road in Southsea. The yard out the back of Head and the Strong Island HQ had last year’s artwork covered during last week and Saturday saw local artists My Dog Sighs, Los Dave, M-One, Lex Luthor, Mimic, Stu Linfield, I am Posy, freakSTATIC, Midge and Samo get involved with new artwork on all of the walls plus the new sculpture too. Extra artwork is also being added today by My Name is Leila. A huge thank you to all the artists and to everyone who popped by throughout the day.

Check some of the photos from the day below, you can see a load more on our Flickr (which is a growing archive of our photography over the last 6 years) or on our Facebook page and if you want to pop in and have a look visit Head at 53 Albert Road.


































Southsea Comedy Festival Competition | Win Two Tickets

The first ever Southsea Comedy Festival opens with Eddie Izzard performing his most recent show ‘Force Majeure’ on 31st July and 1st August. We have a pair of tickets to give away for the Thursday 31st July performance. All you have to do to win this prize is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answer to the following three questions.

1) What is the name of the character voiced by Eddie in Cars 2?
2) In which American city did Eddie begin his 2014 tour Force Majeure?
3) For which charity did Eddie run an incredible 43 marathons in 51 days?!

The deadline for entries will be midnight Monday 21st July with the winner being announced Tuesday 22nd in the evening.

If you don’t want to risk missing out then Southsea Comedy Festival tickets are available by calling 0844 847 2362 and online at www.southseacomedyfestival.co.uk. You can follow the Southsea Comedy Festival on Twitter @SouthseaComedy.

Eddie Izzard Southsea Comedy Festival Logo

Southseacomedyfestival

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection

We’ve been exceptionally busy over at Strong Island HQ for the best part of 2014 so far and the latest Strong Island Clothing Co range has been in development for some time. We are now proud to announce the launch of our latest line of tee and crew designs for the Summer. This is the biggest run we have done to date and we wanted to ensure it was a really strong range so didn’t want to rush it.

We have a wide range of new colours and designs including our first 2 colour print on the popular Refuse to Sink and a return to our second tee style back in 2010 with a backprint (this time in navy) in the classic Strong Island logo. We also have a seriously strong collaboration with University of Portsmouth graduate and award winning letterform designer Andy Lethbridge AKA Hand Type. These are something truly special and we’re really stoked how they came out, the detail in the print really reflects the brush strokes of Andy’s work. We will have more on Hand Type and the development of these designs on Strong Island soon in a full interview. We also have pocket tees with the new Down the Hatch design which form part of something we are keeping under our hats for bit…some old favourites have been revisited too with new colourways and 2 new graphic tees as well. Our latest crew retains the same quality as before featuring ribbed side panels, a back neck loop, deep cuffs, a double v-insert on the neckline and raglan sleeves but with new striped cuffs. With a more contemporary and slimmer fit than most sweatshirts it’s certainly a more premium line. As always all our tees and crews are hand screenprinted in East London by the mighty Lovenskate, including the anchor signoff on the back and detail on the inside neck.

We have a few more mini launches coming up over the next few weeks including more tees, something for the cyclists out there, some very special hand produced items from Poland using original 1940′s techniques and also something to lounge on in summer and keep you warm in the winter. Not to mention another very special artist collaboration too.

All of the tees and crews from the main, initial drop will be available this weekend during Head Jam at Head Hairdressing, 53 Albert Road, Southsea (weather permitting). They will then go online in Shop Ahoy next week.

For now please enjoy our latest Lookbook shot by Strong Island Media over at Dell Quay, Chichester. The perfect day to go for a wander around the marina, fields and woodlands with a few cheeky beers at the Crown & Anchor.

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (1)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (2)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (3)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (4)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (5)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (6)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (7)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (8)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (9)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (10)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (11)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (12)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (13)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (14)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (15)

Lookbook for Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 Collection (16)

Strong Island, Lex Luthor & My Dog Sighs present Head Jam 2014 – Saturday 19th July

Last years Head Jam was such a resounding success with some of the nations best street artists that we eagerly began talking about the following year before the paint had even dried. We discussed how we could run the event again and where to do it, but the answer was simple and literally looking right at us. We hold it in the same place again. Make the courtyard at Head Hairdressing the centre of an annual event where the outcome is available to view for the year, then return, white wash the previous artwork away, and do it all again. After all, street art is an ever changing and developing media in it’s own right and in it’s usual environment where it gets ripped down, tagged, covered in fly posters, lost to demolition and built on, the artists have no fear of their art being lost. It’s part of the job so to speak…

Rick from Head Hairdressing at 53 Albert Road (just along from the Wine Vaults and next to Southsea Gallery) conceived the idea of having the courtyard to the rear of the local barbers transformed in to a permanent giant art piece. From precision multilayered stencils, through bubble gum cutsie to surreal illustrative mayhem, Lex Luthor and My Dog Sighs have hand picked some of their favourite artists to produce the ultimate street art dreamscape courtyard…again!

Head Jam will run all day so feel free to pop along, take a look, have a chat, hang out, meet the artists and enjoy the atmosphere. There will be music on all day, a BBQ turning over in the background if you want to stick a burger on (not supplied), and please feel free to bring along a beer too. Everyone is welcome, so bring the kids so they can see some of the finest street artists working together in this unique environment.

Attending artists include: MyDogSighs, Lex Luthor, Mimic, Fark, Nova, M-one Art, Los Dave, Stu Linfield, Morf, Freakstatic and Ooberla. Wow, this is going to be amazing! If you pop along please be sure to tag the event on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #HeadJam and we will put up a series of your photos from the day.

Strong Island Clothing Co will also be launching their latest range of tees and crews before they go online the following week. So if you want to get in there for an exclusive purchase before anyone else head on down and check it all out. Everything will be out to view, and there is a sneak peak at the end of this post (the full look book will go up this week). Also all of our PFC tees and crews are on offer, bargain. We look forward to seeing you all.

Old paint on a wall

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (1)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (2)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (3)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (4)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (5)

Head Jam, photo by Paul Gonella

Photos: Matt Maber

2014-07-12 15.14.18-1

2014-07-12 12.54.58-1

10390292_761044450593628_6823837467117853184_n

Strong Island Blissfields 2014 Review By Sophie Perryer and Grace Aquilina – Day Three

Despite the effects of the night before, those who have arisen from their partially soggy tents and dared to walk through alcohol and rain sodden hay look forward to listen to live music at The Wild Stage and in The Hustle Den at midday. In keeping with the wildlife theme the crowd was littered with all sorts of animal themed costumes, and what I can only expect was a stag party of monkey’s.

Burning Beaches took to the stage at 12:00pm in The Hustle Den, where sleepy eyes were literally opened in awe of the band’s soft rock sound. Heavy bass woke even the most sluggish and grungy vocals perfectly complimented a latte. The vocals echoed around the tent, emphasising the roughness and fervency.

Blissfields is without a doubt well-deserved of it’s reputation for finding and nurturing local artists and upcoming talent, and this year was no exception; Saturday brought with it the chance for discovering yet more new artists, one of which being Australian singer-songwriter Ry X. His hazy almost whispered vocals drew comparisons to The xx and Blissfields favourites London Grammar, and Ry X transfixed the audience throughout his set with his soft tenor tones. His track ‘Berlin’ is well worth a listen.

Later on in the afternoon, Floella Grace wowed her audience in The Larch to complete silence and a dream-like-state. Her dreamy, sobering vocals accompanied by fellow string player Gareth and two silvery-voiced backing singers made for an awesome and enlightening performance. The ukulele was played sweetly and harmoniously with the slightly more robust guitar; the entire performance being one of sincerity courtesy of her unvarnished, honest lyrics.

After Floella Grace’s soothing and lulling performance, the audience was re-awakened with the The Boy I Used To Be’s garage pop sound. With breathy, low vocals and slightly metallic guitar riffs, the band’s ‘sun-drenched’ sound ironically complimented the gloomy Great British Weather.

A personal highlight of Saturday was the chance to catch Laurel in the Hustle Den; she has truly developed her own distinctive style, although it is easy to see why over the last year she has been compared to Lana Del Ray, Lorde, and Laura Marling. On stage, she mesmerises the crowd with her sultry and coquettish presence, and switches effortlessly between softer and louder tracks, such as the lead song from her Blue Blood EP, which showcases the depth and richness of her voice.

By now sky was taken over with cloud but with temperatures still high anticipation grew for the headliner, 2ManyDJs, the semi-incognito side project of prolific 90s DJs Soulwax. The Dewaele brothers’ experience was evident throughout their set, with their ability to bring the crowd effortlessly through highs and lows, and build the sweat and alcohol fuelled festival-goers into a frenzy. However, while there were certainly some sore heads as Sunday morning dawned, there were plenty of wide grins too.

10527579_912162155477223_1900224401594047393_n

10461621_912162715477167_8881329951794239242_n

10478575_912162665477172_9130701049971162806_n

10401380_912162172143888_2332354323590873520_n

Daniel O'Neill Blissfields 2014
Cosmo Sheldrake @ The Hustle Den
10525737_912163282143777_456115007216791644_n
Beans On Toast Presents… At The Larch Stage
BS5
Chlöe Howl @ The Wild Stage
Daniel O'Neill Blissfields 2014
Laurel @ The Hustle Den
Daniel O'Neill Blissfields 2014 Laurel
Laurel @ The Hustle Den

The History of Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth – Cornelia Parker’s ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’

We continue with our co-published history articles with aspex Gallery, researched by Laura McLean-Ferris who has recently been crawling through the Aspex Gallery archives and has produced a series of articles for aspex about their 33 year history. We’re very happy to partner up and cross post their aspex history blog posts here on Strong Island, you can see the original aspex blog post HERE. This fourth article in the series today looks at how aspex worked with Cornelia Parker in the late 1980s, and how Art Space Portsmouth & aspex became separate organisations.

Now in the Tate collection, Cornelia Parker’s Thirty Pieces of Silver (1988-89) is an installation of over 1000 pieces of silverware that the artist had flattened by a steamroller. Each is suspended from the ceiling using copper wire, hanging a few inches above the gallery floor in clustered puddles, forming a kind of grid. The work transforms domestic items, such as cigarette cases, trophies, and tableware, into pure elemental material, and yet each flat silver disc contains within it the ghost of a former life. Silver is commemorative – and many of the items are suggestive of occasions such as birth, retirement, engagement, triumph or memorial. The work displays Parker’s interest, around this time, in acts of material violence that expand the viewer’s engagement with the objects and materials around them.

The History of Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth - Cornelia Parker’s ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’ (1)

Les Buckingham, then director of aspex, recalls seeing 30 Pieces of Silver at Ikon Gallery and being particularly taken with it, and so approaching Parker to invite her to show the work at aspex. ‘I knew the director of Ikon, Antonia Payne’, Buckingham remembers, ‘and she agreed that I could approach Cornelia about a second showing. The piece was installed at Ikon in the basement and was smaller than intended. When I talked to Cornelia she jumped at the chance to show it in a large and high space. The installation was the most complex of my career, filling the entire gallery, (1600 sq feet), and involving three weeks work and miles of fuse wire. Six to ten people worked on the project with the artist and the results were spectacular.’ Amusingly, there’s a note in the aspex archives which details that the height for suspension was ‘One toilet roll plus a piece of hardboard’.

The History of Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth - Cornelia Parker’s ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’ (2)

In contrast to the way the work is now shown, visitors were able to walk between the pools of sculptures. Following a visit to aspex by the Arts Council the work was selected for the British Art Show. The artist discussed the time-lag that it took for the work to make an impact in a recent interview with The Guardian. ‘I made Thirty Pieces of Silver for the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham and it didn’t get a single review’, she says. ‘It wasn’t until it was shown at the British Art Show at the Hayward a year later that people noticed.’ The work was purchased for the Tate Collection in 1998.

aspex was also going through changes during this period. Following several years of working as an artist-run space, the threat of climbing rents compelled the organisation to transform to its status to a charity, which meant transforming the structure of aspex. In an effort to protect the gallery and studio artists from high rents, the decision was made to seek charitable status and Aspex Visual Arts Trust was formed. Buckingham remembers this as a complicated period of transformation for the organisation, which essentially split the studios from the gallery, but it was one that was necessary to secure aspex, as a resource that would continue to exist after its founders were no longer involved. Though the two are now separate entities, the Trust continues to work together with the artist founders at Art Space Portsmouth.

The History of Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth - Cornelia Parker’s ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’ (3)

All images courtesy of the Aspex Visual Arts Trust Ltd. and the artist.