Angela Morgan might be more commonly known to you as Ooberla. For a while now the Southsea based artist has been creating some of the most fantastic, if not always the scariest, monsters and beasts, using art forms such as painting, sculpture and drawing.
Ooberla has recently released a limited run of SEGA inspired Southsea t-shirts. They come in sizes small to extra large. If you’d like to get your hands on one then check just visit HERE.
Angela describes “I grew up in Southsea as a total nerd, obsessed with playing the Mega Drive, scribbling Sonic the Hedgehog on everything I owned. Combining my geeky nostalgia with love for my hometown seemed like a good idea.”
If you would like to know more about Ooberla then you can find an interview with our own Louise Bush HERE.
We’ve featured many local artists, photographers, filmmakers, designers & makers under the Created Local series for many years (over 100 in the last 6 years), profiling work touching on many, many different subjects. Immy Smith’s background, artwork and working environment is something a little different.
Immy Smith is a rare creative, working in what initially might be thought of as two different worlds: one foot in science, the other in art. With a PhD in Pharmacology plus a strong arts background Immy has recently been working in the Cellular & Molecular Neuro-Oncology (Brain Tumour) Research laboratories at the University of Portsmouth on a 10 month residency which looks at how to foster better and more creative working relationships between medical science and the arts. The residency, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, aims specifically to create a sense of collaboration with not just laboratory staff but also the patients effected by brain tumours, which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
“The project I’m working on here at the Brain Tumour Research lab is a Leverhulme artists residency where I work in the lab making art alongside science researchers. Our project aims to tell the story of brain tumour patients, scientists and clinicians, through art. We want to make these stories accessible and share the unique challenges of brain tumours with a wider audience to help raise awareness of this devastating disease.” – Immy Smith
Working within the laboratory environment sees the research staff and artists working in a shared space, with artwork becoming a part of the laboratory environment. The relationship allowing for artistic insight in to the latest treatment research and the scientist an appreciation of creative processes and different patterns of thought. The project has included workshops with scientists as well as patients, collecting stories and aiming to “fill the gap in understanding”; having perspective on cancer analogies, unique sensory & cognitive effects of these tumours due to their location in the brain and patterns of cells and diagnosis & treatment. The creative work aims to engage with all and to broaden the horizons and enhance the skills of both artist & scientists, through this particular interdisciplinary research.
Immy’s work includes ‘Heterogeneity Experiment: Ink, SciArt, and Brain Tumour Heterogeneity’ which explores heterogeneity between brain tumours, through making art at the lab bench. The ingredients used are primarily inks – ultramarine and magenta. Other constituents include water and lab filters. Every filter contains both colours. From this limited palette of ingredients are made an array of unique patterns – more than 120 of them. The components are few but the outcomes are complex, heterogeneous:
“The cellular components of your brain are primarily neurons and glial cells. Neurons get a lot of the limelight, however glial cells – including astrocytes and oligodendrocytes – play a crucial role in brain function, and neurons are lost without them. Other constituent cells include pericytes and endothelial cells in the brain’s blood vessels, microglia (immune cells), and ependymal cells (which line brain ventricles). From a limited palette of cellular ingredients, all the fascinating machinery of your brain is created.” – Immy Smith
Another part of work produced during this pilot project are Immy’s Ugly Objects experiments:
“Some of the scientists here expressed a wish to depict brain tumours as something ugly – rather than using images of cells which are often quite beautiful. While this project is about using recognisable or non-exclusive imagery (so I wouldn’t use scientific images of cells anyway) it raised many interesting ideas. I previously discussed the scientists feelings of the dread and awfulness, that they associate personally with brain tumours as cancers. Another interesting idea was; what is ugly? Is what we perceive as ‘ugly’ in any way universal? What are common features in people’s descriptions of ugly? Can we use this as something recognisable, something not exclusive to science or art, with which to communicate about brain tumours? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I know it’s harder to draw ugly than you might think.” – Immy Smith
Immy is working towards an upcoming public exhibition, with permission to use the event to fundraise for the charity Brain Tumour Research. We’ll let you know more details on the upcoming exhibition and the work included soon. For now, if you are interested in finding out more about Immy’s work you can visit her websites below:
Regular visitors to Strong Island will already be aware of Caleigh Ill. The local artist creates the most beautiful animals and beast, as well as being known for incredible Russian Owls.
From midnight tonight she will sadly be closing her Etsy shop but you still have until then to get your hands on the stunning gifts on offer, including the coasters, tote bags and art prints. Take a look for yourself by visiting her Etsy shop HERE.
Here is a preview of the extremely limited edition poster by Petting Zoo Prints & Collectables that’ll be printed by hand for the launch of the Jack House Gallery on the April 4th. The print itself will be available in three colours however there will only be fifteen in the edition.
Jack House Gallery is a new art space at 121 High Street, Old Portsmouth. The first show will feature Amartey Golding. Keep an eye out here on Strong Island to find out more, or you can find out more yourself by visiting www.jackhousegallery.co.uk. To stay up to date on all things to do with the gallery check out their Facebook and Twitter @JackHouse.
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.
At the end of last year Strong Island proudly opened up our store, studio & exhibition space at 12 Highland Road in Southsea. So far there have been a few wonderful exhibitions in store but our label arm over at Strong Island Recordings has yet to have a house warming party so to speak. After much discussion we have decided to change that and on the 28th March between 6-8pm we present to you a free, bring your own booze party with full sets from Strong Island Recordings own Melt Dunes and our good friends Death of the Author taking place instore at Strong Island Co. Capacity for the show is obviously limited so be sure to head down early.
We’ll also being doing some amazing one-off in-store deals on label tees, vinyl, tapes and more, more details on that soon. See you there!
We’re incredibly delighted and excited to announce that we’re releasing the incredible ‘Verxes’ the debut album by CURXES on our Strong Island Recordings label. It’s no secret we’ve been long time fans of the guys and their frenetic, blitz-synth pop/ post-punk stylings so we’re delighted to not just have the guys on the roster but also being able to release their album. With releases recently on our label coming from as far Glasgow to Tasmania, it’s great to release an act we love who are from our hometown of Portsmouth. ‘Verxes’ by CURXES will be available from the 4th May and we have some exciting live shows to accompany the release with that will be announced at a later date so keep your eyes peeled for that. We will also have news of the lead single ‘What You Want’ a huge sounding synth-pop meets acid house banger that screams summer anthem. We can’t wait until the ‘Verxes’ drops and we’ll have more information soon but in the mean time check out ‘Valkyrie’ & ‘Spectre’ below that will be on the album. You can also preview the fantastic artwork from the album below too.
At the turn of this new year a new Southsea based clothing company Death Marks launched with their first drop of garments ranging from beanies through to tees, hoodies and coach jackets. We caught up with owners Sian & Iiona to find out more.
How did Death Marks begin and what are your backgrounds? Death Marks UK started when Iiona looked through Sian’s sketch book and saw the R.I.P Rabbit design. Sian said how she would love to take her sketches and make a clothing line as it was a dream of hers. Iiona has always had a passion for graphic design and wanted to support her partner Sian and experiment her skills in different medias.
Sian studied graphics design at Portsmouth college and had 2 years experience working for a design agency called Design Image as a website coder.
Iiona had studied graphics from GCSEs to A-level and now works as a multimedia designer creating animations, illustrations and interactive content.
Who creates your artwork and what inspires your designs? All our designs are created in-house. Sian comes up with the designs and draws them up rough. Then either one of us will digitalise the design and after Iiona goes through each design so that it is perfected and final. Iiona will take the design and create and animation to help tell the story behind it.
We are inspired by the tattoo industry, alternative music scene and other clothing lines such as Drop Dead clothing, Doomsday and Honour Over Glory.
What do you have planned for the label in the coming months? Over the coming months we have south coast events planned in Portsmouth and Southampton. We have a gig at the Edge of the Wedge in April that we are working with Eyeless Promotions, another independent company who have also just started up this year. In May we have a festival in Southampton called Messtival where we will have a stall, in June we are releasing our summer range. Currently we are organising an event with Southsea Skatepark in the summer with Archie Cole, a world champion scooter rider.
Check the photos below of the current Death Marks range, you can find out more and buy items from the Death Marks website at:
Over the last 18-24 months more and more bands from Portsmouth have been starting to make more weird and wonderful music finding not just acceptance locally but going on to gain acclaim from national press. One of those bands played their first show just last year in the Cellars and since then they have mainstaged Green Man Festival, were picked out of 100’s of bands to play the Fake DIY all dayer with the likes of Hinds, Jaws and Blessa as well gain airplay on BBC Radio 1 and press from NME to Telegraph. They are of course dreampop trio Wyldest. Today saw the release of their debut single, self released and recorded by Guy Fixsen whose CV is rather astonishing where he was one of the 16 engineers used by Kevin Sheilds on the classic ‘Loveless’. It’s fair to say the guys were in very capable hands during the recording of ‘Cruel Dusk’ which is a gorgeous, whirling dreampop gem which you can listen below.
One of the things we love most about having our shop on Highland Rd is being able to put faces to names and meeting people we would otherwise never be able to; Harry Maguire is one of those people. When Harry dropped by a couple of weeks ago, he off-hand mentioned that during his time as a sailor in the Royal Navy he had developed a penchant for making ships in a bottle, a craft gleaned from a fellow shipmate during periods of down time. Over the years, Harry has modelled various types of ships from small schooners to historic frigate warships, working from single photographs or just his own memory to build intricately detailed craft complete with full rigging and sails.
Of particular note is the model Harry made while on active duty in the Falklands conflict, a complete scale replica of Portsmouth’s own HMS Warrior. Lacking any reference to work from, Harry sent the Warrior Preservation Trust a letter requesting a photograph to which they dutifully replied to with a handful of images. Upon his return, Harry presented the model to the Warrior Trust who were so impressed with his work that it was put on display in one of the Officers’ Quarters aboard the ship – a spot it still resides in to this day.
Local Light Artist & Photographer Marc B.B sent over these incredible light images taken around Portsmouth. Specialising in Night Photography, Light Painting, Long Exposures and so on Marcs pictures are created at a time when most people would be packing away their cameras and heading home. Portsmouth has a strong creative vibe, especially in the photography realm and being part of a group called ‘Portsmouth At Night’, Marc regularly meets up with like minded folk to go on weekly excursions in and around the city to photograph it, in the dark.
“Whilst some may find it a little bizarre, i think the images speak for themselves. Turning everyday objects, landmarks, even benches into works of art of their own is both exciting and a challenge. Some of my best work has been in collaberation with others and being able to pool resources and ideas has always been invaluable to me. I am always striving to find parts of the city that can be shown in a ‘good light’ as Portsmouth is such a great place to live.”
Be sure to check out Marcs website www.marcbb.co.uk for amazing photos, and if this style night photography interests you head over to Portsmouth at Night at www.portsmouthatnight.com. They meet up as a group every week somewhere in Portsmouth and simply take advantage of the night. Everyone is welcome to join, at all levels of competency. Night, night.
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.
Awesome vintage photography collection from Pop Olive33 that I found on Flickr a while back. Check out Osborne Road and Guildhall. Epic. Hard to imagine a time when traffic flowed through Guilders, and that was only in 1968 and the shot looking west down Osborne Road is amazing. Trams, horses, grand buildings, a traffic cop, ladies & gents. It’s all going on. To view the full collection head over to Pop Olive’s Flickr photostream HERE and the Portsmouth set HERE.
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.
A new book called ‘Portsmouth from Family Archives’ has just been published. Brothers Jonathan and Matthew Ring started developing the book last summer. All the photographs included in the book were from their grandparents. They spent a great deal of time compiling, scanning and restoring slides and film from 1950s to 2006, including behind the scenes filming in Portsmouth.
The 100-page book is available online at Amazon. Bonzo Studio and Southsea Gallery on Albert Road, Southsea are currently selling it, and they hope other shops will sell it too. They are also planning to do the summer market at the Square Tower, Old Portsmouth.
“It’s been great fun, and such hard work keeping it a secret from everyone! We hope everyone enjoys the book and the photos inside it as much as we did.”
Photos below – A photo of Jonathan Ring, their Grandmother and Matthew Ring; unveiling the book to their grandparents; book cover and the slides.
Snow hit Southsea pretty hard last night and it snowing again this morning. Good luck to everyone battling the elements to get to work, college, school, etc today. Here are a few photos from last night, if you have any please pop a link to them in the comments, we would love to see them.
Sharpie just sent me over his edit from the Bike Ride last April 4th. He attached one of those fancy Flip Cameras onto his handlebars and he was away. Really cool to be able to see the ride from different perspectives. Cheers buddy.