Strong Island Co.

Local Events

Folk Of Albert Road Success

Last night’s ‘Folk of Albert Road’ event was a huge success with queues of gig goers venue hopping to see some brilliant local talent. The King’s Theatre hosted the event and tour guides took groups up and down Albert Road to watch classic folk. Local pubs and cafes including The Phoenix, Southsea Gallery, The Magick Bean Cafe and Home cafe, offered space for musicians and onlookers to come together in intimate and unusual environments.

Bands included, Waif and Stray, Jamidad, Skye Russ and Anait Grigoryan, all of whom performed live acoustic sets.

A brilliant night which we hope to see again in Portsmouth!





Strong Island Photography Walkshop at Old Portsmouth

We’ve been involved in delivering photography workshops through Strong Island Media for the last 3 or more years all over the south coast, working with people of all ages and abilities but Saturday was the first time we have run them ourselves in Portsmouth. The first of six ‘walkshops’, Saturday morning’s photography walk & workshop was all around Old Portsmouth, exploring with our cameras the different views, perspectives, textures, patterns and angles from the Round Tower, along the Hotwalls and down to the Sally Port, pier and beach. We had 10 great photographers along for the walk with cameras ranging from an iPhone 6 to pro SLRs. You can see some photos from the walk below (the rest are on our Flickr photography archive and our Facebook page) and we’ll be posting up some of the photos taken by the photographers who came along on our social media later this week.

If you want to come to our next photography walkshop, it will be on the 4th July on Southsea Seafront, going from pier to pier. The walkshop is £10 for 2 hours and open to all abilities. Details of this walk and all of the other walkshops planned for the summer plus links to book online can be found at:

Folk Of Albert Road At The Kings Theatre

Join the Kings Theatre, Southsea for a bite sized journey through folk music. This delightfully different evening will feature performances by local musicians in unusual venues. Experience a guided walk like no other!

Folk of Albert Road musicians will include the likes of Waif and Stray who are an acoustic duo from Southsea. Anait Grigoriyan, a lady who was Russian born and Spanish raised and began her musical career at Portsmouth College, studying music. Jamidad, a three piece acoustic harmony group and Skye Russ, a recently formed country/folk band with strong influences from bands such as Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers.

The night is running in partnership with Portsmouth Festivities and is set to be a great evening. Purchase tickets from the Kings Theatre box office.


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.





Photos From Portsmouth Pride 2015

Saturday afternoon saw the first Portsmouth Pride event for nine years start off from Guildhall Square, with a carnival atmosphere and lots of people lining the route to Southsea Common. Portsmouth photographer and University of Portsmouth student Sarkiz Mutafyan was on hand for Strong Island to photography the march and to capture the atmosphere. Great to see an event like this happing in Portsmouth.

“The atmosphere on Saturday presented a refreshing vibe throughout the city, attracting the attention of people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, nationalities, etc. and that, in a way, made the event all the bigger. It was wonderful to see people from all walks of life coming together to enjoy and respect the day.” – Sarkiz

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (1)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (3)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (4)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (5)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (6)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (7)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (8)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (9)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (10)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (2)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (11)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (12)

Southsea Night Markets in Old Portsmouth for the Summer

The Southsea Night Markets are returning to Portsmouth for a second year, to offer a touch of the Mediterranean night market to residents and visitors. The night markets will run from 4:00pm to 8:00pm every Friday in July, starting Friday 3rd July, on the site of the new ARTches project, where vacant arches between the Square and Round Towers will be converted into studio spaces.

Southsea Night Markets will build on the phenomenal success of the 2014 Markets in bringing together some of the best of Portsmouth and Southsea’s artists, artisans and makers to sell their handmade items on Southsea seafront. Visitors to the night market could find unique illustrations and prints; knitted and crocheted items; jewellery and accessories; or hand- thrown pottery and ceramics.

This year’s Markets move from the seafront to the area just in front of the Round Tower on Broad Street, on the way to Spice Island in Old Portsmouth. Also new for this year is the organisation of the Markets by the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium, doing so with the full support of Portsmouth City Council. The Council recognised the positive impact of the 2014 Markets and have been eager to facilitate the inclusion of this year’s Markets in Portsmouth and Southsea’s incredibly varied summer 2015 events schedule.

Co-organiser Tom West says one of the most positive outcomes from the 2014 Markets was how engaged visitors became with the sellers, “It was incredible to see people’s reactions to learning everything on offer was there because the person behind the stall had made it. There was immediate respect for the creativity, originality and skill of those involved.”

The Markets were set up following Portsmouth City Council’s 2014 decision to allow artists and artisans to sell their handmade wares along part of Southsea seafront for free, providing they held public liability insurance. This opportunity remains for those wishing to set up on the seafront; the Southsea Night Markets offers sellers the opportunity to come together as a united and passionate community that supports one another’s entrepreneurial efforts, as well as Portsmouth and Southsea’s vibrant creative scene.

Use #SouthseaNights on Twitter and Instagram to share experiences of the Markets, and visit the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium website at to keep up to date with the latest news.

Southsea Night Markets

Photo by Matthew Cleveland.

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.







Craft Fair at Make

Tomorrow will see Make and the Craft Kitchen host their first ever craft fair. It has attracted some high profile artist/makers including Kazland who is travelling to Portsmouth to be there and also Emma Nicol who is making quite a name for herself.

It’s a perfect opportunity to to not only meet the makers but also explore there work. You don’t have to travel to Brighton or London anymore to attend high quality craft and design fairs. Make also has a cafe serving fresh homemade cakes and lunches all day so you can sit back and relax with a coffee too.


Common People Festival Success

This year’s Common People Festival was nothing but a huge success! Thousands of people gathered on Southampton Common to enjoy live music, fun activities and a stream of fantastic entertainment and a stunning atmosphere.

The festival was hosted by the multi award winning Bestival team over the recent bank holiday weekend and attracted festival goers from far and wide.

The metropolitan festival was by no means only about music despite hosting the likes of Fat Boy Slim, Grace Jones, De La Soul and Jaguar Skills. It was put together by a hugely creative team. A group of individuals who transformed the common into a wonderland of eye popping attractions and fun fuelled escapism.

An electrifying collaboration of cultural highs including arts, music and food bought crowds together to enjoy an all inclusive fun packed weekend. The festival really brought people together and really unified them, like any good festival should. It invited all ages of people and was extremely family friendly and accessible.

The stage’s were packed with line up’s that wowed the crowds and headliners rocked evening sets to end the non camping event on high. In true Bestival style fireworks were set off to finish the evening and were nothing but spectacular.

We cannot wait for next year Common People!










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Inside the Memorial

Due to possible damage due to the storm and the high winds it was possible to access the inside of the war memorial down on Southsea seafront the other day. I always though it was a solid structure but it turns out it is hollow with sunken foundations and access to the top. From the plaque inside, it looks like the ladder is for maintenance if there is a lightning strike (the top of the memorial has a huge copper globe).

No disrespect was meant by taking a very brief look inside, just architectural curiosity and finding out something not commonly known about a Southsea landmark.

Ladder Up




The Infamous Harry Pounds Scrapyard Submarines

Many of you will remember the once iconic Submarines at the Harry Pounds Scrapyard on the way in to Portsmouth. We even featured a few photos by Robin Hinson back in 2010.

Although I never got to explore the sub aquatic giants myself I was lucky enough to find this little gem a few weeks ago. Although I can’t remember where, so sorry if I nabbed it and forgot to mention you.

Watch the video for a unique view of these “Uk, Admiralty Standard Range Diesels 16 Cylinder V mechanical supercharged monsters!”

Created Local – Caleigh Illerbrun

Old University friend Tom Hall sent me over a link to his extremely talented and prolific girlfriend Caleigh Illerbrun’s online portfolio With illustration, painting and 3 dimensional work firmly tucked under her belt Caleigh has an impressive amount of work on her site, some of which is up for grabs. Currently selling coasters over in her SHOP, Caleigh needs a little help identifying the favourites as she has an advert coming out soon in a magazine.

I’m loving the ‘Wood Tree’ coaster set below, and very much so the ‘Bearlamb’ acrylic & pen at the bottom. You can also follow Caleigh on Facebook and also her blog.

It’s going to be a Strong Movember – Join The Team

Righto chaps, keep that mighty moustache on the grow in support of Movember for The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. For 30 days of November you can help support and raise awareness through selflessly parading your top lip for charity.

You can sign up yourself, as I’m sure many of you already have, or you can join the Strong Island team and seek out sponsorship as a team. Through the Strong Island Movember page you can ask people to join the group, make donations, upload photos and post updates via the MoSpace page, Facebook and Twitter.

Head over to our MoSpace if you would like to get involved and grow a Strong Moustache to help raise awareness, or simply head over to and sign up to personally raise money.

The funds raised in the UK support the number one and two male specific cancers – prostate and testicular cancer. The funds raised are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. Together, these channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.

Poster: Tristan Savage

Created Local – Victoria Haynes

Friend of Strong Island, Charlie ‘Pet Sounds’ Waddington told me about a very talented work colleague of his the other day and kindly asked if she could send in some examples of her work. Damn straight she can. That’s what we’re all about here, you know that.

I’ll introduce Vicky with the little bio that sent me. “Right, erm. About me, I’m 28, married with a two-year-old little boy, and have lived in Portsmouth all my life. I work three days a week at Paul Smith, where I’m the visual merchandiser and a sales assistant. The rest of the time I spend looking after my son, seeing friends and family, drawing, crocheting, sewing, watching films, listening to music and reading – the dream is to eventually scratch a living from artwork and handmade goods, while living in an old house with the family and a cat or two. I’m socially awkward, and have a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, I’m not very cool and tend to like clothes that everyone else thinks are repulsive – my favourite shop in Portsmouth is Dead Mans Glory, closely followed by any charity shop. I am actually addicted to period dramas, and love anything from the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s.”

Vicky’s print artwork is hand drawn, scanned in to the computer, coloured in Illustrator and usually drawn from a photograph for accuracy. Patterns are then self generated and added after. Inspiration comes from old objects, cameras, typewriters and suchlike – anything from days gone by captures her imagination. Crochet has so far been limited to homewares and childrens hats, but she would love to start making more wearable items to sell.

Undoubtedly a girl of many, many talents, Vicky’s work is eclectic, fun, unique and fantastic. Please add your comments and thoughts at the bottom of the page.

Keep up to date with Vicky over at her Blog All the best for the future and I hope you get that old house. Vicky also has prints for sale in the Southsea Gallery on Albert Road. Pop down and grab one.

Strong Island Easter Bike Ride Video II

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.

Matt O’Neill

Matt is one of Southsea and Portsmouth’s legendary skateboarders since all the way back to the 80s. This footage was filmed all in one evening about a year ago, still one of the best skaters to ever step on a board on this fair isle.

Created Local – John Illsley

We got sent a link to John Illsley’s website recently, loads of amazing photos including many from all over Southsea and Portsmouth, be sure to check it out. Here are a few examples:

John Illsley

John Illsley

Strong Island Easter Bike Ride Video

The guys over at have put together a nice little edit from the Bike Ride on April 4th. It really shows the vibe of the day well. Good times. I better get on the phone and book the Police escort for August.

The Fog

Anyone who was out in Southsea and some surrounding areas would have witnessed the rolling fog that made it’s way inland this Sunday. Creeping past the Isle of Wight and finally making it’s way to the beach and taking people by total surprise. Hundreds of people were out having BBQs and generally enjoying the sun when all of a sudden things got weird when you could see your breath in the air and pockets of mist were passing right in front of your eyes. It’s rare to see this during day and normally only occurs first thing in the morning, so this was pretty cool to see.



Check out some more photos of “The Fog’ over on my Flickr Photostream.

Strong Island Clothing Co.