Strong Island Co.

Cultural & Exhibitions

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.

Philip Jackson Art Exhibition

Philip Jackson the world renowned sculptor who brought the famous Falklands war memorial statue, The Yomper, to Southsea will return with an exhibition to be held at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral.

Philip has a worldwide reputation for his public commissions, which include high-profile works such as Queen Elizabeth on the Mall, Bobby Moore at Wembley Stadium and, of course, the Bomber Command Memorial in London’s Green Park. His gallery work is emotive, thought- provoking and inspires awed admiration and it is these sculptures which will form the centrepiece of his breath taking show.

This show opens from Saturday 19th July – Fri 01st August 2014 at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral. Suggested donation of £5 on the door with all the proceeds coming to The Rowans Hospice.

For more information please call 023 9223 7146 or email

Bobby Moore statue
Bobby Moore statue outside Wembley Stadium
Philip Jackson

Philip Jackson
Philip Jackson stands with his Wireless Operator that can be seen in Green Park, London.

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

Fareham Art Trail call for submissions

The Fareham Art Trail is taking place at various venues throughout Fareham between 23rd – 30th August. There is currently a call for submissions to show your work to a large and engaged audience. Closing date 20th July. Open to professional, emerging, amateur and student artists. It is organised by Live Art Local in conjunction with Fareham Borough Council and Community Action. Contact for submission details.

For more details please see their website at

Stand Clear Gallery | Art Market

This coming weekend 12th and 13th July, the Stand Clear Gallery is playing host to a number of great artists with every stall selling something different. From rock caricatures to pixel based pieces there will be something for everyone.

There will be a raffle, including prizes from all our sellers, as well as a lunch for 2 voucher, kindly donated by Southsea Coffee and two pieces from My Dog Sighs. Two extra special prizes will be created on the day by local artists so make sure that you get yourself down there.

You can find out more on the market on the Facebook Event page HERE. Or follow them on Facebook and Twitter @STAND_CLEAR.

Stand Clear Art Market

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

Review and Photos of Portsmouth Festivities Spice Island Art Trail 2014

For the second year running the Spice Island Art Trail this Sunday saw dozens of artists take over different historic buildings in Old Portsmouth as part of this year’s Portsmouth Festivities. The day began in the morning with the doors opening at Portsmouth Cathedral and the Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club which became home to 26 artists from a wide range of practices including photography, sculpture, illustration, design, painting, papercraft and much more. Becket Hall by Portsmouth Cathedral was home to student work (GCSE, AS and A-Level) from Portsmouth Grammar School, Admiral Lord Nelson, Ryde School and Cowplain Community School covering a diverse, creative collection of artwork. As well as the artwork on display inside down at The Hot Walls were local street artists Lex & Mimic, Fark and Dharma77 painting a set of panels in the shade of the arches.

Through the day a group of judges representing aspex Gallery, Art Space Portsmouth, Portsmouth Guildhall and Strong Island were looking for seven different artists to be selected for an exhibition at Portsmouth Guildhall plus a first place prize. For the schools there were also first, second and third prizes for students too.

The trail for me began with the cool shelter from the hot morning sun of Portsmouth Cathedral with initially the triptych of mixed media by Beth Davis-Hofbauer, a series focusing on the stages of coming to terms with a sense of comfort with the self.

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Beth Davis-Hofbauer
Beth Davis-Hofbauer

The first of the many 3d artists involved in the art trail was next, local artist Lyndon Richards with his painted slate paintings and his incredible brick/house paintings. Each finely detailed brick house is painted for the owners of the historic Portsmouth homes and together made for a ‘street’ full of local heritage in a creative new form. With a turn of the corner was Drayton based paper/3d artist Anita Bell, whose work with free-stitching and paper dye showed fine detailing and a sense of open creative expression. Close by was Making Space resident fine artist painter Agata Wojcieszkiewicz, with a series of passionate and compassionate paintings of herself and her father, rich in colour.

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Lyndon Richards
Lyndon Richards

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Anita Bell
Anita Bell

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Anita Bell
Anita Bell

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Agata Wojcieszkiewicz
Agata Wojcieszkiewicz

The far side of the Cathedral was home to many different photographers and painters, too many to detail here but all with great images capturing scenes around Portsmouth, I particularly liked a photo by Danish but now Portsmouth based photographer Fie Hansigne Petersen, with a model’s hand coated in sugar, touching on themes of addiction and infection.

I walked out the other side of the Cathedral through to Beckett Hall which was packed with student work from schools in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. The work was of a high level, with bold graphic design, passionate paintings, sculpture and much, much more.

The third venue for the Art Trail was the Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club, a building packed with the history of the clubs and their associated members, going back well over 100 years. Nestling amongst these historic surroundings were artists based on different floors. In the bar area on the ground floor were the works of three artists and photographers, the first were a selection of abstract paintings by Amy Owen with a clean and fresh palette, giving a sense of the sea. Next to Amy’s work was the incredibly detailed pencil drawings by Kevin Hayward. Kevin talked me through his lengthy drawing process, building up layers and layers of graphite to form photo-realistic works of animals, including a recent commission by an Isle of Wight zoo of their tiger. Reflected in the large mirror were the large scale, long exposure/multiple exposure photos by Fiona Harvey.

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Amy Owen
Amy Owen

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Kevin Hayward
Kevin Hayward

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Fiona Harvey
Fiona Harvey

Across the ground floor was another room full of artists and their work (too many to mention them all, sadly). Paintings and linoprints by Peter Jackson and Chris Wood were fantastic. Finely detailed portraits in pencil by Wil Stevenson & the carefully stitched rigging of HMS Warrior by Jessica Taylor were inspiring and it was great to also talk through the creative processes on both of these intricate pieces of work. Also on the ground floor were illustrator & designer Kate Bishop with her colourful Kroma prints and jewellery plus the photography and print based work of artist Thomas Robson.

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Chris Wood
Chris Wood

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Jessica Taylor
Jessica Taylor

Also located on the ground floor was painter & sculptor Kas Williams, who was surrounded by her highly creative 3d paper sculptures made from old books. Each piece was hand shaped and cut and formed a unique object.

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Kas Williams

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Kas Williams

The floor upstairs was also full of too many fantastic artists to be able to mention them all but the atmospheric and abstract paintings of Sehila Craft caught the eye with their colour and questioning forms. The delicate and almost playful insects and spiders formed from old electronic components, PCBs, bulbs and pieces of old jewellery produced by artist Julie Alice Chappell were fantastic. The synergy of the entomological forms and the lines of copper & colour of resistors were as beautiful as they were fun. Speaking of playful, the illustration work of Lauren Hunt was also great to discover. Aaaaand…speaking of discovering, tucked away in the wonderful library was artist & painter Peter Jarvis whose structural paintings were a stunning blend of architectural plan-like detail and washes of atmospheric watercolour. As well as the work on display Peter was painting on-site too, when not engaging in conversation with every visitor who wanted to discover more of his work and his artistic process.

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Julie Alice Chappell
Julie Alice Chappell

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Lauren Hunt
Lauren Hunt

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Peter Jarvis
Peter Jarvis

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Peter Jarvis
Peter Jarvis

With the judges given a very difficult task of choosing winners, it was tough, but the overall winner in the end was Kas Williams who with six other artists chosen will exhibit at the Guildhall very soon. The schools first place winner was Jessie Colman from Ryde School.

If you want to find out more about the Spice Island Art Trail and Portsmouth Festivities visit:

Art Space Portsmouth Open Studios Weekend 2014

On Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June the public are invited to tour the 31 studios and talk to the artists of Art Space Portsmouth at the Annual Open Studios event, once again in association with Portsmouth Festivities 2014. Visitors will see inside the fascinating working studios of painters, sculptors, printmakers, digital artists and more, who exhibit their work locally, nationally and internationally.

In the gallery space, visitors will be able to enjoy an exhibition whilst taking a seat and enjoying refreshments. Visitors will be welcome to wander through the studios, look at artwork and chat with the artists, and take advantage of a wonderful opportunity to purchase direct from artists at studio prices. Raffle tickets will be on sale for a special prize draw for the chance to win a choice from a varied selection of original artworks.

Art Space Portsmouth has supported and promoted contemporary art and artists through the provision of high quality, affordable studio space since it was formed by staff and graduates of the then Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1980. There are currently 31 versatile studios located at the converted Brougham Road Chapel in Southsea and an ever-growing membership of over 40 artists. Projects and activities include classes and courses, residencies, exhibitions and sponsored studio awards.

For further information about Art Space Portsmouth and the Open Studios Weekend, please contact the Art Space Portsmouth Studio Coordinator on 023 9287 4523 or email Individual artist’s profiles and examples of their work are available to view at

Information about Visiting Art Space Open Studios
The artists’ studios will be open to the public from 1.30pm to 4.30pm on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June 2014. Brougham Road is a 5-minute walk from the main bus routes that run via Winston Churchill Avenue in central Portsmouth and Elm Grove in Southsea; and a 10-to-15 minute walk from Portsmouth and Southsea central train station. Free parking is available in and round Brougham Road for up to 3 hours.

Art Space Portsmouth Open Studios Weekend 2014

Portsmouth Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups

Thought fairy tales were just for children? Think again! A group of local writers are running a selection of events in Portsmouth this weekend exploring fairy tales for adults, including workshops and a promenade performance. With funding from Arts Council England, all events are free to attend.

An eBook of the Portsmouth fairy tales written for the project is available to download from Amazon. The collection of 25 stories is a blend of dark moral tales, historical fiction, sci-fi, comedy, fantasy, crime, memoir and surreal fiction. The book will be free to download over the weekend of the activities – for more information about Portsmouth Fairy Tales and how to download the book, go to

Tessa Ditner, the anthology editor, said: “People say that fairy tales teach children about right and wrong, and therefore that grown-ups don’t need them. But what if we do? Our fairy tales are about grown up things like money problems, relationships, the floods and changing bodies.

“We wanted to revive bedtime stories for grown-ups. Reading short stories in bed is a great way to switch off after a stressful day. It might lead to some strange conversations, laughter and possibly even gripping on to each other in sheer fright.”

Portsmouth Fairy Tales book cover by Jon Everitt Portsmouth Fairy Tales book cover by Jon Everitt

The 11 writers involved in the project, including university lecturers, a travel writer and a former barrister, are Sarah Cheverton, Zella Compton, Lynne E Blackwood, Diana Bretherick, Tessa Ditner, Tom Harris, Christine Lawrence, Gareth Rees, William Sutton, Tom Sykes and Matt Wingett.

The following artists have also been involved: Jon Everitt (cover artist and graphic designer), Port&Lemon (map artists), Elysium Eight (documentary film) and Nick Ingamells (portrait photographer).

To book your place on any of the following workshops or promenade by clicking ‘join’ on your chosen Facebook Event Page event at www.facebook com/portsmouthfairytales or by emailing You will be sent further details and your free eBook download link.

Portsmouth Fairy Tales events…

Saturday 21 June | 8pm | The Groundlings Theatre
Grown Up Fairy Tale Readings

Leave the kids at home and join eleven local writers for an evening of dark, twisted and delicious fairy tales, all set in Pompey’s alleys, buildings and beaches.

Sit back with a drink in the theatre’s fairy tale-themed bar and cafe while the authors read out their tangled tales.

Free event, no booking required for more information or to join check out the Facebook Event Page HERE, to receive the free ebook download link on the event page. This event is part of Portsmouth Festivities.

Photo: Nick Ingamells Photo by Nick Ingamells

Sunday 22 June | time TBC | Meeting at the Dickens statue to the beach

Join the Portsmouth Fairy Tales Promenade, a guided walk revealing the mysteries on your doorstep. Free fairy tale maps, designed by Port&Lemon, will be distributed at the start of the guided walk.

Find out why the real Guildhall clock is buried in an underground city to save time. Hear about the man who lives in a ship in a whisky bottle. Find out why the floods encouraged graffiti featuring a girl riding a whale. Discover why a Victorian detective joined forces with the circus to fight Spice Island’s criminals. Look out for the ghost ship, and beware of pebbles with eyes…

Free event, all are welcome for more information or to join check out the Facebook Event Page HERE or email


Saturday 21 June | 3pm–5pm | Southsea Library
Creative Writing Workshop 1: Epic Fairy Tales; Mysteries at Our Own Doors

William Sutton, author of Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square, journalist and playwright, and Zella Compton, author of The Ten Rules of Skimming, columnist and playwright, bring you a two-hour creative writing workshop looking at:

- How to write an epic fairy tale (for grown-ups).

- How to write your life story (or fib about it).

Beginners and experienced writers welcome. Have fun exploring how real lived experience and everyday dilemmas can be woven into fantastical tales of your city.

Free event all are welcome for more information or to join check out the Facebook Event Page HERE or email

Saturday 21 June | 1.30pm–3.30pm | Carnegie Library
Creative Writing Workshop 2: Creating Compelling TV Drama and Globally-Loved Characters

Matt Wingett, TV script writer and novelist, and Tessa Ditner, comedy writer and journalist, bring you a two-hour creative writing workshop that reveals:

- The drama game – how to master conflict and create compelling drama for TV and other mediums.

- What’s so special about you? Find a character to grip your audience through novels, movies or computer games like Bond, Potter or Lara Croft.

This creative writing workshop is for new graduates and other writers. It will help you establish your voice in a diverse literary landscape. Find out more about the Free event on the Facebook Event Page HERE or email

Photo: Danielle Shaw, Elysium Eight

Photo: Danielle Shaw, Elysium Eight

The Portsmouth Fairy Tales writers. Photo by Nick Ingamells

aspex Guildhall Opens this Evening with a New Exhibition by Jonny Hannah

As we mentioned previously, aspex Gallery have teamed up with Portsmouth Guildhall with a brand new exhibition space entitled aspex Guildhall that brings contemporary arts from the southern region to the centre of the city. The new gallery is located in the basement of the Guildhall and opens officially this evening with the preview viewing of a new exhibition by Southampton based visual artist Jonny Hannah. Jonny Hannah grew up in Dunfermline & studied at the Cowdenbeath College of Knowledge, Liverpool Art School & then the Royal College of Art. For the last sixteen years he has been a freelance illustrator, & is represented by the Heart Agency in London & New York. His many clients include The Sunday Telegraph, The New York Times & The St. Kilda Courier. You can find out more about the exhibition HERE.

The preview is this evening from 6-8pm and the exhibition runs from 17th June to 17th August 2014.

aspex Guildhall Opens this Evening with a New Exhibition by Jonny Hannah (1)

aspex Guildhall Opens this Evening with a New Exhibition by Jonny Hannah (2)


Portsmouth City Museum

As with so many things that are right on your doorstep, you always say yeah I’ll go do that soon, but never do. Me and Liz had the day off together and rode around a few places before popping to the Museum after saying we’d go for years now.

If you like your local history then I advise going down. Check the Portsmouth City Museum website for more information. Click read more at the bottom for a few more snaps.


Portsmouth on Film – Episode 3

The next episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up recently. This episode is of a round Portsmouth car journey back in 1998.

Ben Schroeder Skating Southsea

Back in the 80s and early 90s Southsea would regularly be on the list of skateparks visited by American skaters as they toured the UK and Europe. Sometime around 1990ish the pool was built to replace the old reservoir at the end of the slalom and not long after American pro skater Ben Schroeder came through and (figuratively) destroyed the new bowl and the halfpipe, so much so that his frontside ollie transfer out of the bowl, over the platform and landing in the steep bank is legendary.

To cut a long story short Ben got in contact recently with some footage from the day. I’m going to go through the old skate magazine archives and hunt around for photos but for now, here is that footage. To find out more about Ben check out his Juice Magazine interview.

Telly Savalas Looks at Portsmouth

There’s more than ‘meats’ the eye to Portsmouth. A city where everyone in the know goes. Classic stuff. Kojak takes time between sucking lollipops and fighting crime to give us the 411 on Portsmouth city through the ages. Love the eclectic soundtrack. Thanks to Harry for posting this up for us in a previous article. Here’s looking at you Portsmouth…

Southsea Show 1970

Image: eBay

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