Strong Island Co.

Cultural & Exhibitions

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

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

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

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

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

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





Portsmouth Museums now on Instagram

Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services run all of the city’s museums and care for the large city collection with everything from archeology through to fine art. To give more of an insight in to what goes on behind the scenes of the different museums and what the dedicated staff and volunteers do to curate exhibitions and care for the collection they have set up an Instagram account. If you’re on Instagram give them a follow at @PortsmouthMuseum.

Below are a few examples of the photos going up on the Portsmouth Museum Instagram:

Portsmouth Museum on Instagram (1)

Portsmouth Museum on Instagram (2)

Portsmouth Museum on Instagram (3)

Foal Arts Present BELIEF, An Evening of of Music, Performance and Art at Depozitory in Ryde

The good guys over on the Island at Foal Arts present BELIEF, an exhibition and much, much more at Depozitory in Ryde this weekend. The exhibition opens on Saturday 27th with a special preview party from 7pm and then the exhibition, featuring video, installation, painting, ceramics, and performance, is open from the 28th June through to the 5th of July, open daily from 11am – 4pm. Depozitory can be found at 23 Nelson Street, Ryde, PO33 2EZ, a short walk from the hovercraft.

“Belief is shaped from our experiences, sometimes from others and sometimes even without proof . For most it is the linchpin for existence. In 2012 we made the Depozitory, a converted Wesleyan Chapel our shared studio space and project space. We have invited 6 artists to join us and question the role of ‘Belief’ in society today.”

Exhibiting artists:

Marius Von Brasch
Karen Grainger
Chris Jenkins
Sue Paraskeva
Terry Magson
Joanne Hummel-Newell
Maya Malfatti Woods and Paradox Paul
Howard Hardiman

You can find out more about the opening party and the exhibition at:

Foal Arts Present BELIEF, An Evening of of Music, Performance and Art at Depozitory in Ryde

Doodle Clubs First Art Exhibition

Every creation from Southsea Doodle Club, from the past three year’s will be on display for one weekend only at Gallery Art Space in Portsmouth. The exhibition will include over 70 meters of doodle roll, all of which have been contributed by some of the cities finest doodlers.

Kendal James has run the club with total passion since the first meet almost three years ago and is motivated by bringing locals together to get creative.

The club has been supported by The King Street Tavern and meet up’s happen there on the first Thursday of every month. This lovely little pub has supported the club with a venue, snacks and materials in recent years and will continue to play host to upcoming evenings.

Starboard Media are kindly supplying materials for the weekend as well as some yummy beer from the Portsmouth Brewhouse. Another local attender to the club is supplying vast amounts of beer and wine to keep the weekend lubricated and friendly.

The opening night is on July 10th from 6-8pm and everybody is welcome.

Follow the event and updates on Facebook or contact Kendal James directly with queries.





Review of Portsmouth Festivities Spice Island Art Trail 2015

For the third year running Portsmouth Festivities and a small army of artists took over some of the best historic buildings in Old Portsmouth for the Spice Island Art Trail 2015. Each year sees more and more talented artists from different fields be selected to exhibit and this year saw some incredible work on display to the public for free as well as a great local schools exhibition showing their GCSE, BTEC and AS level art student’s summer work. As for the last two years judges from Aspex Gallery, Ast Space Portsmouth, Portsmouth Guildhall and Strong Island wandered around the different venues seeing the work on show, meeting the artists and finally choosing the winners.

This year’s winners, who will be exhibiting their work at Portsmouth Guildhall are:

Overall Winners:
1st – Kim Whitby
2nd – Alison Lawley
3rd – John Townsend & Margaret Marks (joint third place)
4th – Peter Nicholson

Commended – Michael Wright and Chris Wood.

Schools awards:
1st – Brandon CHoi (Portsmouth Grammar School)
2nd – Yana Trebska (Ryde School)
3rd – Laura Pullem (Highbury College)
4th – Megan Gray (Chichester High School for Girls)

The first venue I visited at 11 when the doors opened to the public for the Arts Trail was the Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club. This imposing, historic building overlooks the sports fields and the Royal Garrison Church before wide panoramic views of the Solent. The artists work on display was itself surrounded by an incredible collection of treasured objects & paintings owned by the club, with groups of work on show in different rooms from the ballroom downstairs up to the library. The first artwork that caught my eye were the sketchbooks of Trudy Barber, with different figures of musicians caught in the moments of musical reverie with their musical instruments.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Trudy Barber
Sketchbook by Trudy Barber.

Working to the back of the building, past a wall of portraits for each of the clubs’ many members to receive a Victoria Cross plus cabinets of trophies for sailing, I checked out the work on display in the large ballroom space. First up was the paintings by Jacquie Woodfield, with a great mix of detail and colour. I really liked the deckchairs painting in particular.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Jacquie Woodfield
Paintings by Jacquie Woodfield.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Jacquie Woodfield
Painting by Jacquie Woodfield.

Also sharing the space was Chris Wood with a collection of different work but front and centre were some band new linocut prints inspired by Ben Ainslie Racing yachts and Southsea. We predicted well over a year ago that BAR, their distinctive yachts and the new HQ would permeate through to photographers & artists as a striking new local inspiration and Chris’ new work is really rather special. These prints are available to buy framed and unframed.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Chris Wood
Linoprint by Chris Wood.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Chris Wood
Linoprint by Chris Wood.

Another artist sharing the space was painter Mary Amos who had on display a series of landscapes of Portsmouth Harbour. Also on show were a collection of different watercolours, which I really quite liked. Something about watercolours, one of the first techniques learnt yet it takes so much skill and creativity to control the water, the mix of paint plus there is no room to fix any mistakes.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Mary Amos
Paintings by Mary Amos.

Taking up one side of the room were the large canvases of Kim Whitby, depicting views out of HMS Victory. These and other work on show were created during a residency on the 250 year old ship which included drawing and painting at Nelson’s table. Victory also featured in some wonderful, loose monochrome work plus the ship and the Dockyard also filled the pages of Kim’s fantastic sketchbooks, which not only showed the creative processes behind some of the pieces on display but could have also been exhibited all by themselves.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Kim Whitby
Victory by Kim Whitby.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Kim Whitby
Victory by Kim Whitby.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Kim Whitby
Sketchook pages by Kim Whitby.

In another room in the club were another great mix of work, beginning with the playful, detailed pencil-work by Will Stevenson.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Will Stevenson
Artwork by Will Stevenson.

The diversity of medium and subject is one of the great things about the Art Trail, with neighbours in the exhibition often having significantly different work meaning there was something for everyone. Next to Will Stevenson were the small, impressionistic paintings by Michael Wright. Each of the three paintings drew the viewer in to a what felt like the middle of a dark fairytale, with the artwork keeping the details secret.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Michael Wright
Painting by Michael Wright.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Michael Wright
Painting by Michael Wright.

The Naval club building is Georgian so all of the rooms are high ceilinged and very open with large windows, so after climbing the stairs the view out over the Solent had to be photographed before viewing the work on display by different artists, including Lyndon Richards’ Old Portsmouth houses painted on bricks. Lyndon was the artists in residence painting during the art trail.

Old Portsmouth by Lyndon Richards.

Lunch at Point by Jean Battye.

Book by Darn Funky.

Artwork by James Shreeve.

From here it was on to Portsmouth Cathedral to see the artwork on show in the Nave.

With the Sunday service completed the cathedral was busy with people now exploring the Nave and discovering the different photography, textiles, painting, ceramics and more on show. As I walked in the first work that caught my attention was the watercolour work on the pillars by Sue Colyer, a set of two colourful abstracts and a country scene.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Sue Colyer
Watercolour by Sue Colyer.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Sue Colyer
Watercolour by Sue Colyer.

Along to the corner of the cathedral where three large, striking and colourful photographs were on display by Peter Nicholson. The work is made with different coloured oils, waxes and more placed in suspension in a water tank and photographed throughout a lengthy process. These images were rich with detail and tones of colour that brought to mind Turner and the impressionist painters plus it reminded me of the large naval battle paintings in the Naval Club I had viewed earlier which had skies thick with cannon fire and the dense smoke of ships aflame.

Dark Trees by Peter Nicholson.

Also at the side of this historic building were paintings by Karl Rudziak. I’m a big fan of these detailed portrait paintings.

Painting by Karl Rudziak.

The far side of the nave was home to the intriguing & a little surreal ceramic figurework by artist John Townsend. It was great to chat with John and discover the ideas behind these wheel and then hand constructed ceramic forms, referencing back to the first photography that captured motion and movement.

Ceramic work by John Townsend.

Ceramic work by John Townsend.

Speaking of surreal, John’s artist neighbour was illustrator and painter Alison Lawley who had two incredible portrait paintings on display. The figure in both paintings was a hybrid of Alison’s friends and who was set in two different scenes relating to nature and wildlife, with surreal touches. The second painting had powerful eyes that would fix you in her gaze. Excellent work, looking forward to seeing more paintings from this new series by the artist.

Painting by Alison Lawley.

The schools artwork exhibition was in Beckett Hall, out the back of the cathedral, and was a collection of different student works from Ryde School, Highbury College and Chichester High School for Girls. Just like last year, you could spot a lot of talent on show in a wide variety of mediums, from printing to painting to 3D. This support of young artists from around the region through the Art Trail is a great way to see work normally not available to the public.

Once again the Art Trail was a great success in bringing dozens of artists and their many different works to Portsmouth and allowing the public free access to view the work, the wonderful buildings home to the exhibitions and creating an environment where you could speak to creatives from all walks of life involved in all different types of art. Looking forward to next year!

You can find out more about Portsmouth Festivities and the other great events happening throughout the rest of the month at:

University of Portsmouth CCI Graduate Show 2015 Pt. 7 – Illustration

Our final part of our review of this year’s University of Portsmouth CCi Graduate Show focuses on the exhibition of the work of Illustration graduates. As always, this exhibition is a hot house (literally as the top floor always seems very warm each year) of creative talent, pushing Illustration in lots of intriguing directions. Each graduate had a wall space and packed it with prints, designs, 3D objects, cards, toys, portfolios and much more. Another great reason for visiting each year is to pick up some artwork at the Illustration course stall where they sell work by many of the graduates.

It is nigh on impossible to go through all of the work on show in the Illustration exhibition so this review is going to scratch the surface…but that is all the more reason why you should make this course a must visit each year. So after a walk around and a good look through the different levels and style of work the first person’s artwork to catch my eye was Paige Alexis Jones. The key items of Paige’s exhibition space were a selection of intricate illustrations of creatures, revealing their inner skeletal forms.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Paige Alexis Jones

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Paige Alexis Jones

I really liked the screen printed work by Meredith Phipps, layered colours of portaits and patterns taken from nature, all drawing you in.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Meredith Phipps

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Meredith Phipps

Karen Treleaven had a real mix of work on show all seemingly with inspirations from the shoreline and coast: from laser etched natural forms, use of wood and weathered materials plus clean, airy illustrations of the sea.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Karen Treleaven

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Karen Treleaven

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Karen Treleaven

Continuing the inspiration from nature, Amber-Jane Hudson-Peacock pulled together work with a feel of scientifically analysing and extracting the colour from different creatures.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Amber-Jane Hudson-Peacock

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Amber-Jane Hudson-Peacock

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Amber-Jane Hudson-Peacock

One of my personal favourites from the exhibition were the clean architectural structures and meshes by Aline Dovlatyarian. Through the different prints on show you could see London landmarks stripped back to their base structure, using hand drawn lines and software to construct beautiful hybrid cityscapes. Other work had a sense of classical architectural design drawings. Something about the London landmark print really caught my eye, so much so I bought an A1 print of the work. Would love to see a Portsmouth inspired version.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Aline Dovlatyarian

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Aline Dovlatyarian

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Aline Dovlatyarian

Next up was the boundary breaking print work of Dale Silvester. It has been great to see Dale’s work develop over the last year and I really liked the prints that only functioned with human interaction, these pieces used cutting edge inks and paints for screen printing. The lung print changing colour with human breath, the heart print changing colour from the heat of the touch of a hand. These seemingly scientific, almost sterile and functional forms, come to life with colour when they come in contact. Dale even used some very special electrically conductive ink for one print, with the ‘circuit’ connected by human touch. With just enough of this special ink to have two tries to screen print this piece, it showed the dedication and skill required to turn an innovative idea in to practical reality.

Dale also won the Anglepoise competition run with graduate students where different ‘scrolls’ were created, each interpreting the iconic lamps in different ways. Dale’s showed a lamp’s perspective on a journey.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Dale Silvester

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Dale Silvester

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Dale Silvester

We’ll announce the final winner of a Strong Island Creative Graduates to Watch award, this one for Illustration, later this afternoon. Below you can see more photos from the show and you can see more over on our Flickr too as well as all the photos from the Graduate Show 2015.

Looking forward to next year’s graduate show already!

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

Art Space Portsmouth Open Studios Weekend 27th & 28th June

It is that time again when local artists studios and exhibition space Art Space Portsmouth hold their Open Studios weekend. This is a once a year opportunity to come and catch a rare glimpse into the studios of over 30 local, professional artists and view the work of an additional 15 artist members. Explore the space, meet the artists, buy artwork and enjoy the award-winning studio garden.

“Open Studios is an amazing way to experience Portsmouth’s arts scene, it’s a chance to see some incredible work, to meet the artists’ and to see inside the world of their studios. It is a unique event and if you are interested in a career as an artist, then this is a perfect time to visit and discover more.” – Art Space Studio Coordinator Letty Clarke

Art Space Portsmouth is home to some of Portsmouth’s leading artists, including painters, print makers, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, digital and installation artists. For art collectors and those keen to support the arts, the Open Studios event is also an opportunity to purchase artworks directly from artists at studio prices. New and exciting artworks will be on display throughout the building and in GASP Gallery. THere is also the chance to win a choice from a varied selection of artworks in the Art Space Raffle.

Find out more at:

Art Space Portsmouth Open Studios Weekend 27th & 28th June

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities

Throughout the coming weeks of June Portsmouth will be home to a group of international artists from Beijing who will be on artists residencies, exhibiting work and running workshops, all at different locations around the city. The artists are visiting thanks to The Kings Theatre in association with Portsmouth Festivities, with events starting from today!

Supported by the Arts Council of England these artists will make Portsmouth their home as they absorb the architecture, landmarks, landscape and people to create new works, and inspire others to get creative. Following their visit to Portsmouth they will go to Oxford for a residency as part of the Oxford Arts Festival.

The visiting Beijing artists are:

Nicola Rivelli is an Italian sculptor who has made a home and career for himself in Beijing, China. His sculpture ‘The Tajshan Kid’ (7.5 metres tall, 1200kg bronze statue) became the mascot for the 2008 Olympic Games and drew world-wide attention.

Han Zhibing is president of China’s painting and calligraphy art research institute Mountain. He works with both oil and acrylic paints. The lotus colours of his works mark the transition between traditional and contemporary style.

Zhong Yan is an abstract painter who’s work as the ‘Oriental Picasso’ combines the cultural elements of East and West, using a unique pen to create a powerful breadth of space, which handles colour and changing light levels. Zhong Yan has travelled and exhibited in Malaysia, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Hong Kong, Shanghai and more.

Vittorio Guida is a photographer Born in Naples who originally trained as a set designer before moving into photography. His works spans film, portraiture, architecture and reportage and has featured in books and exhibitions world-wide. He moved to Beijing in 2009, and now divides his time between China and Italy.


The visiting artists will be in residence at a few different locations around the city where you will be able to see them at work:

16th June to the 27th June
Zhong Yan will be in residency at HMS Warrior and Han Zhibing will be working in the Kings Theatre.

19th June to the 27th June
Nicola Rivelli will be in residency at HMS Warrior and Vittorio Guida will be at the Kings Theatre.

Visiting either of these Portsmouth locations during these next two weeks will give you an insight of the visiting artists at work.


The following exhibitions are at Southsea exhibition spaces and both free entry!

Zhong Yan and Han Zhibing Exhibition Open Evening
Friday 19th June
Coastguard Studio, 91 Clarendon Road, Southsea, PO4 0SA
6-8pm Free

Nicola Rivelli and Vittorio Guida Exhibition Open Evening
Monday 22nd June
Kings Theatre, Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 2QJ
6-7pm Free
Following Exhibition Open Hours
Thursdays and Saturdays, 10.30am – 2pm

Meet the Artists

A series of events at different Portsmouth cultural and heritage locations allow you to meet the artists in person and find out more about the practice and their current work.

Meet the Artists: Nicola Rivelli
Wednesday 24 June, 1-2pm
On board at HMS Warrior 1860, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, PO1 3QX

Meet the Artists: Vittorio Guida
Wednesday 24 June, 3-4pm
No. 28 Kings Theatre Portsmouth, Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 2QJ

The artist talks are free but booking in advance is recommended!


A series of fantastic workshops have been arranged by The Kings Theatre where you’ll be able to work in small groups with the individual artists on different creative techniques and processes. Booking via The Kings Theatre box office is highly recommended and these one off opportunities to work with international artists will book up quick.

Workshop: Zhong Yan – Abstract Painting
Monday 22nd June, 1pm
On board at HMS Warrior 1860, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, PO1 3QX
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced Workshop limited to 5 participants.

Workshop: Vittorio Guida – Photography
Tuesday 23 June, 2-4pm
The Wedgewood Rooms, 147b Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO4 0JW
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced Workshop limited to 5 participants.

Seminar: Vittorio Guida – Photography
Thursday 25th June, 10am-12noon
Mountbatten Centre, Alexandra Park, Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth PO2 9QA
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced.

Workshop: Han Zhibing – Chinese Calligraphy
Thursday 25th June, 1-3pm
Mountbatten Centre, Alexandra Park, Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth PO2 9QA
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced Workshop limited to 5 participants.

Workshop: Nicola Rivelli – Traditional Wax
Thursday 25th June. 1-3pm
On board at HMS Warrior 1860, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, PO1 3QX
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced Workshop limited to 5 participants

Workshop: Han Zhibing – Chinese Calligraphy
Friday 26 June, 1-3pm
Kings Theatre Portsmouth, Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 2QJ
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced Workshop limited to 5 participants

Further information about this very special international arts project plus booking online for the events and workshops can all be done at The Kings Theatre website:

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities (1)

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities (2)

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities (3)

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities (4)

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities (5)

Southsea Art Fair At The One Eyed Dog

On July 4th, the One Eyed Dog will be hosting the Southsea Art Fair which will feature a host of local creatives including Kendal James, Stu Linfield, Jennifer Hillier, Hannah Gordon, Chris Webb and April Lovelace.

Items available will range from canvases, t-shirts, small handmade charms, knitted delights, quirky stickers, pretty cards and stunning illustrations.

Southsea is renowned for it’s artistic flare, vibrant locals and art fairs like this are a fantastic credit to all who take part and make them happen and the city itself. Doors open from 1pm but if you would like to find out more then check out the Facebook page HERE.







Portsmouth Festivities Spice Island Art Trail This Sunday

Not long now until the 3rd annual Spice Island Art Trail as part of Portsmouth Festivities. Portsmouth Festivities runs from Friday 19th June through to Sunday 28th June with the Spice Island Art Trail this Sunday (21st June) beginning at 11am and running until 4pm.

This year again sees artists from Southsea, Portsmouth and along the south coast exhibit their work in a variety of amazing venues in Old Portsmouth. Last year saw people flock down to explore the historic locations, discover the artwork, chat with the artists and have an awesome, free, cultural day out.

The Spice Island Art Trail starts this year at the Square Tower, where a classical guitarist will provide a soundtrack for visitors as they take in ‘Crafts in the Tower’ – and perhaps enjoy tea and cake in the vintage tearoom. From there, take a leisurely stroll to the beautiful and historic Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club, where art will be taking over two floors. If you haven’t visited these spaces before it is a perfect time to see the architecture, history and even the panoramic views from the windows of the Royal Naval Club.

On then to Portsmouth Cathedral, where artworks of all kinds will line the Nave, and local schools have their own pop-up gallery. In previous years the schools exhibition has been exceptional, with work by young people from all around the Solent ranging from graphic design, print work, paintings, sculpture and much more.

Then wander up Old Portsmouth High Street, dropping into the recently opened Jack House Gallery before finishing the trail at the historic Portsmouth Grammar School.

Portsmouth artist Lyndon Richards, who has a solo exhibition at this year’s Art Trail, says, “Last year, the buzz on the day was wonderful. So many visitors took time to talk to the artists about their work, and the variety and quality of art on display was magical”.

Once again this year, a panel of judges from Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth Guildhall and Strong Island will pick work to be displayed in a special exhibition at the Portsmouth Guildhall. Previous winners have been exceptional and this is becoming a coveted prize.

The Spice Island Art Trail is just one of the special events in this summer’s Portsmouth Festivities, the city’s annual arts extravaganza. Portsmouth Festivities is all about celebrating arts, culture and heritage in the city. Check out the full programme – from theatre, music and dance to film, talks, outdoor and family events, at:

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Peter Jarvis

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Julie Alice Chappell

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Kas Williams

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Chris Wood

Next »


Portsmouth at Night

Claire Sambrook from the sent me a link to a Flickr group called Portsmouth at Night, and let me say this, their photos are amazing. Lots of playing with lights, angles and exposures make for some fantastic photography.

Check out all the PAN photography on their Flickr.




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

Old Ships and The Point

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

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

After skating…

…the boys enjoy a sit down at the seafront on a Sunday. Photo courtesy of the ever busy Quiet Corners lensman Paul Gonella. Perfect days, albeit still cold.

The Doomsday Project

From 1984 to 1986 people, in particular school children, all got involved in collecting information on their local area to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Doomsday Book by creating a new, updated, electronic version. The collected information became The Doomsday Project which was a collection of laserdiscs and special BBC computers. The country was broken down in to ‘D’ blocks with the data collection done mostly by schools, the information included text on local geography, history, legends and also more contemporary personal things such as favourite music, games, etc. As well as the text each block could also contain up to 3 photos. Many schools bought the discs and computers as a learning resource (the World Wide Web as a concept was still some years away).

A few days ago the BBC launched a new website where all of this previously difficult to access information (only a handful of working systems still exist) is now online and searchable. It’s an amazing glimpse in to Portsmouth and Southsea life in the early to mid 80s and there are some great images. The new website also allows you to upload new information and photos too.

If you are 38+ you may well have memories of being involved in the project in collecting and writing information. Personally I remember the day my group went out to a tiny village in Essex in the hot summer but instead of writing things we played near the river and weir. Oh well. Does anyone have any memories of taking part in the project? If so please add a comment, would love to hear people’s memories.

You can find out more about the original project on HERE and the BBC article and access the online version below:

Domesday Project

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 1

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

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

Local Photographer – Marcus Hunt’s

Marcus Hunt has rigged together an amazing radio controlled camera set up with a kite which allows him to capture photos of local places in and around Portsmouth with a unique perspective. Unlike photos from aeroplanes, the kite allows for photos from low altitudes giving way more detail. To see loads more than the photos below be sure to spend some time looking through Marcus’ Kite photo Flickr set.

Old Portsmouth


Welcome to Southsea

Ian Parmiter recently found this photo at a sign makers on one of his many travels. A Facebook debate has already begun as to it’s original whereabouts. Any ideas?

Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ by Sue Pike

I’ve been holding on to this for a while now as I wanted to make a feature of it and had to wait for the exhibition to finish to give it pride of place on the front page. If like myself you’re always looking around at our local architecture you will have noticed many of the buildings within the book Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’. Some could even be right on your doorstep but you have never noticed, or peeked over that high wall. Thomas Ellis Owen’s work is all over the city and you’d be forgiven for walking past as a lot of it is hidden or down those streets you may not stroll down too often. Other buildings however are right in your face. Ever noticed the huge block of flats at the entrance to Waitrose, the detailing on the building at Dover Court opposite the old Havana bar?

“Thomas Ellis Owen is probably the best known of Portsmouth’s nineteenth century architects, his construction of villas and substantial terraces in Southsea being responsible for the emergence of the district as a middle class locality. His work was recognised by Pevsner and Lloyd in their magisterial Buildings of England: Hampshire, and later by a rather more detailed architectural enquiry by two students, Preedy and Stewart. My own research was principally concerned with dating Owen’s properties and analysing their inhabitants. What Sue Pike has done is to cast the net very much wider, not only by providing great detail about Owen’s family, but also by demonstrating the impressive breadth of his activities outside architecture. Indeed, his interests were so wide that there must have been few aspects of Portsmouth’s development in the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s in which he was not involved. Infrastructural fields such as gas supply, the Portsea Canal, railways, the Camber Docks and hospitals lay within his purview, while he assisted in the purchase of land for one of Portsmouth’s defining features, the Palmerstonian forts. His tithe map has proved of inestimable value to local historians. Meanwhile Owen was an important local politician. All these facets of Owen’s life have been fully laid bare in this thoroughly well researched book by Sue Pike, who is to be congratulated on her labours.” Professor Ray Riley

Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ is a really interesting read and contains stunning colour photos of many Owen properties in Southsea and Alverstoke by Gosport photographer, Tim Martin. There is no real target audience and hopefully it will appeal to old and young alike. The detailed captions may be helpful to first year architecture students but it showcases Southsea well and may well appeal equally to academics, photographers, interested newcomers and people who just want a really nice book to put on their coffee table. I’m a huge fan of both history and architecture so this book is a real winner for me, and I have no doubt that if that’s not really your bag you will still appreciate what Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ has to offer.

You can purchase a hardback copy for £25 via the publishers and and read up on the book and the author Sue Pike over at

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