Strong Island Co.


Created Local – Instagram @philswitch.engage

In the fifth of our special features celebrating our favourite Instagram photographers with links with our city we are featuring Phil Tickner (@philswitch.engage).

Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth if no longer living here?

I was born and spent the first few years of my life in Portsmouth, specifically Fratton, before moving to live in Bedhampton and Havant. I returned to the island about six years ago and now I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Most of my free time is taken up by roller derby related shenanigans (I’m one of the official photographers for the Portsmouth Roller Wenches, and also play as one of the Portsmouth Scurvy Dogs) and what time is left is shared between cycling (when the weather allows it) and getting tattooed, mostly.

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?

I always had a massive problem with the whole idea of ‘Instagram photography’ for some reason, that was until I finally got myself a phone that could take a decent picture. It’s not always practical to lug round my usual DSLR kit so the idea of capturing a passing moment with something that fits in your pocket finally made a lot of sense. Currently using a poverty-spec iPhone 5c, but it does the job.



Can you tell us more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?

Photography has always been a hobby, and I’ve never had much in the way of tuition aside from the odd tip I’ve picked up from photographer friends. It’s always just been a case of getting stuck in and attempting to learn from my mistakes.

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?

I try to take photos primarily to please myself – when I tried to make a bit of money doing wedding jobs and the like, I found myself quickly losing my passion for photography as soon as I had to try and work around someone else’s idea of a good photo. I’m much happier just doing my own thing again. However, I’m not going to deny it’s a great feeling to have someone compliment my work, so I guess there’s a part of me that still tries to take some photos that I know people will enjoy looking at.

Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?

Personally my biggest preference for subject matter is the local street art scene – I’ve become good friends with many local creatives through it, and thoroughly enjoy documenting the work that appears around the city, both out in public and inside galleries and exhibitions. The greatest appeal to me is the fact that it’s not permanent – so having a record of pieces that I enjoy is extremely important, before they disappear for good.

Are their any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?

I tend not to take influence from anyone else, as such, and I don’t think the work I do has a particular style itself that anyone would be able to identify – I basically just make it up as I go along most of the time. Not really a good answer but I can’t do a lot better than that.




The Strong Island Calendar 2017 Needs You! #SIC2017

Firstly from everyone at Strong Island and the Alzheimers Society we would like to thank you for your continued support of the calendar project. We hope that they are all taking pride of place in your kitchens, offices or wherever you’ve chosen to hang them.

We are now open to submissions for our 2017 calendar. We welcome submissions from photographers of all abilities whether you use an digital SLR or mobile phone. If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then we have made it even easier this year. As well as using the hashtag #SIC2016 you now submit your photos using the Strong Island Facebook page here. Simply click on the calendar option and then just follow the on screen prompts. Should you have any questions please just let us know.

There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth. This can include photos that have already been taken prior to today. We are especially keen to receive submissions from all over Portsmouth not just our favourite Southsea landmarks.

If you think you know someone who might be interested or is perhaps too shy to get in contact then please share this with them and encourage them to get involved!

Calendar Call 2017 FINAL2

A Strong Islander Abroad Part 2: Nepal

Nepal is a country that is full of natural beauty and the most breathtaking scenery. This leg of my trip was to visit the Himalayas and along the way introduce some new friends to Strong Island and to share tales of about our respective homes.

First stop was the bustling capital of Kathmandu with its busy roads and markets filled with trinkets and treasures. It wasn’t hard to bump into newbies curious about the anchor tee and my first meet was with Uttar, who later became my guide up into the mountains. He’s been a guide for over thirty years in the Himalayan region he was eager to wear my beanie on the cold mountain nights in tea houses and to show everyone the t shirt as we talked about where I was from and what it was like. He was fascinated by the fact that we did not suffer with the earthquakes and pollution and were blessed with being so close to the sea.


It was so interesting to meet a man who has spent his entire life in such a wonderful mountainous place, that visitors travel from all over the world to see and yet he was totally in awe of my tales and descriptions of Portsmouth. Explaining that I was going home in August and off to a local music festival (Victorious), blew his mind. He spent the next hour trying to teach me how to dance Nepali style so I could bust some moves when I got home.

Surrounded by Prayer flags we captured this lovely snap after the three day trek to the top, the only time in fact that I got to wear the hat because he loved it so and insisted on wearing both as often as possible to look cool and because his hat had been chewed by a rat in a place called Ghorepani so his ears were always cold.

Nepal 1

Nepal 1

The Nepal adventure progressed down to Chitwan National Park, a place of sincere beauty with absolutely stunning wildlife. A conservation area looked after by guys like of Yanic, a 17 year old from the area who had grown up breeding and training elephants in the park. He introduced me to his own elephant, 33 year old Nala who had been mistreated and was terrified of humans until he and his family worked with her and nurtured her.

Nepal 2
Yanic and Nala.

As we walked through the park Yanic calls a friend over, Suganda, another local teen who also worked in the park and whom he had gone to school with. He grabbed him and chatting in Nepali for a brief few moments excitedly then asked if his friend could have a pic in the t shirt, of course I obliged and Suganda was thrilled at this shot overlooking a rhino mating ground, no mating rhinos though thankfully. Not sure how pleasant that would have been to see before dinner!


Heading onwards to Pokhara I bumped into some English guys who come to Nepal to trek Everest Basecamp together sixteen years ago and were now returning for another adventure. Getting to know each other over several lunches and no mention of Portsmouth, Simon started talking about his son who was working in the Navy in the South of England. Portsmouth I asked? Yes, how did you know that he replies. So stories were exchanged and he asked son who was impressed to find his father hanging out with myself on the other side of the world.

Overheard by Salvatore from neighbouring France joined us in conversation, he was travelling with his fiancé in Nepal. Even in the most remote parts of the world I discover those with links and knowledge of Portsmouth!

Nepal is yet another country that always manages to surprise you, whether it be freak hail storms with golf ball size pellets out of nowhere or little mountain folk who drink milk chia and enquire constantly about your foreign land, it’s a place of magic and religion that is well worth a visit.

Looking over the mountains and onto the next chapter of the journey I thought excitedly about Thailand and the next part of A Strong Islander Abroad.



Transitional Objects Exhibition by Immy Smith at Strong Island Co

We’re really pleased to say that our new exhibition up in Strong Island Co is by artist (and doctor) Immy Smith. Immy we featured on a special Created Local article a while back and she focuses on bringing science and art together. This exhibition is the first time her Transitional Objects drawings have been on show to the public.

“There is a constant recycling in all living systems; and in the process, life leaves debris. It gradually becomes unrecognisable, and perhaps disconnected from its origin. What if we try and translate the pieces left behind into new stories? Can we find comfort in building a new story from our own debris, before it is completely recycled? In psychology, a transitional object is an item used to provide emotional comfort, especially in unusual or unique situations, or at stressful times of transition.” – Immy Smith.

Immy Smith merges these ideas of brevity and security, change and consolation, to build new storylines from human litter and biological fragments. The drawings in the Transitional Objects series seek reassurance in the constant impermanence of life, and offer the idea of playing and creating new narratives. These original works are for sale and prints are also available too.

You are more than welcome to view the exhibition any time during the Strong Island Co opening hours (10am to 6pm, Tuesday to Saturday) and we are having a special artist party for Immy on Thursday 14th April, from 7pm to 9:30pm with free drinks and the chance to meet the artist and find out more about her many and varied artistic work. Check the Facebook event for more information HERE and you can find out more about Immy’s work at:

Transitional Objects Exhibition by Immy Smith at Strong Island Co

A Strong Islander Abroad Part 1: India

On a trip to New Zealand some years ago, I arrived in the early hours of the morning at my Auckland based hostel, Base, and was met immediately by a guy from Southsea wearing a Strong Island T-Shirt. At first I thought, what the hell are the chances of that but after traveling for several months alone it was not only a really nice reminder of my home town but also of a brand that I really associated with and was proud to say was from where I lived and so after a chat with lovely Lara of Strong Island Clothing Co the idea of ‘A Strong Islander Abroad’ was born.

A somewhat unplanned trip around the globe this year sparked an idea to spot travellers abroad wearing Strong Island Tee’s and to introduce it to people along the way. My first stop was India and it really wasn’t long before I bumped into people who had seen the brand before and said “I know where your from!”. I also decided to tag stickers in cool places as I went along in the hope that other Southsea dwellers might have the same nice experience I had in finding something familiar in an un-suspecting place.

So first stop India…

Setting off from the UK.

7 days in and Tony Beety, who I worked with in Indonesia during the summer months, as if on cue asks me why I didn’t bring him any anchor tee’s from Portsmouth over a bottle of Kingfisher in Tantra Bar in Goa. Ha, I replied, as if totally pre-organised I pull one from my bag and he wore it for the day, also sporting my woolly hat which seemed completely ridiculous in 32 degree heat but what a shot I thought!

Tony Beety from Cleethorpes, in Goa.

My onward journey and strong island mission helped introduce me to many other travellers who mentioned the tee and were more than happy to wear it for a snap. It also got locals interested and prompted them to want a photo of them wearing it, which really was a great conversation instigator and to me encompassed that idea of bringing people together with the same likes and getting people talking.

Becky Merchant from Brighton & Zoe Gale from Australia at the Taj Mahal.

A walk through the flea market a few days later and another interested party said she liked the shirt, this time a young Indian girl called Resme. The shot cost me 550 rupees in the form of two pairs of cool lounge trousers but she was really beautiful and so excited to wear the t-shirt at her clothes stand.

Resme at Goa Flea Market.

All of a sudden people we approaching me for photos wearing the shirt and it as awesome! Mostly it was crazy that locals were so interested of something so unknown but it was great to share the brand with other people and get feedback, and so my strong island abroad journey began.

If you have a cool photo of you or anyone you know wearing one of our tees abroad please send it in and we will share them. Let’s find as many strong islanders abroad as we can! See some more photos below.

Ali & friends.

Bantego Street trader in Old Varanasi.

Jenny at Jungle Hostel in Goa.

Chantelle at Parashakthi Temple.

Street sign in Mumbai.

Created Local – Instagram @no1son

In the fourth of our special features celebrating our favourite Instagram photographers with links with our city we are featuring Scott Birnie (@no1son).

Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth if no longer living here?

I am a graphic, web and UI designer and based in a shared office space in beautiful Emsworth. I originally come from Aberdeen, Scotland and moved “dan saff” in the year 2000. We moved to Havant in 2006 as my wife is originally from here. All her family is here and my own family moved near the area too.

I work in Emsworth and commute (on bike mostly) to the office from Havant.

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?

I only tend to use my iPhone 6 for Instagram shots as it is quick, easy and always in my pocket ready to capture that perfect pic. I also run some of the shots through various camera and visuals apps. My favourite and pretty much go to app is called Sanpseed. I then run it through some favoured processes and what I like to think gives me a certain style to my shots. For some of the more abstract shots on my Instagram feed i have used other apps like Fragment and Layout (Instagram’s native one).

Scott Birnie

Scott Birnie

Can you tell us more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?

I went to Grays School of Art in Aberdeen and photography has always been something I have done through the course and since. I have an honours (2.1) degree in Design and Craft so like to think I have some kind of eye for it! I have always enjoyed taking photographs and experimenting with effects, composition, dynamic shots etc. I like seeing what others have done and covered in terms of subject matter and like to try out my own too.

I feel confident that my shots must be at least a little good and hit the mark as I have been featured in your awesome Strong Island calendar (2015), had one of my shots on a Redbull promotional billboard advertisement and won some random competitions to have my favourite shot printed 🙂

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?

A bit of both really. I like taking some shots just to record and document, I also like to take some just because it captures a moment (sorry very cliche) and other times I like to take them to experiment with shape, form and composition.

I love a sunset and sky shots, as you can tell from my feed! So I guess that is for me. But others appreciate my shots when I do post them and a lot of people have asked from framed copies of them. I really do need to try and get onto selling some of my shots. No excuse really as i have all the tools required to do so.

Scott Birnie

Scott Birnie

Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?

I love Emsworth and Langstone harbours and coastal routes. So of my best and favourite shots have been created simply by pointing and shooting these areas. I have also had quite a few good shots up at Staunton Country Park where I take kids sometimes. The natural surroundings and historic buildings provide a lot of opportunities.

I also like Chichester (where I have worked in the past too) Old Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays too. I do need to get out a little more to these areas and take some time out of the office to refresh the batteries and the creative mind by going “walk about”.

Are their any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to check out?

Mike Kus is superb. I used to share an office space / floor with him and think his work is awesome. He definitely has a certain style that has lead to him taking shots for some top clients and getting some nice pay in the process! He has been on instagram since the beginning and with how many followers he has he obviously does something right!

I also follow Dan Rubin, who is a veteran of instagram.

Scott Birnie

Scott Birnie

Scott Birnie

Short Story Exhibition Now Open

Last year we invited readers to take part in a short story competition. The only directive was that the theme of each story had to inspired by one of My Dog Sighs tin can characters. We were overwhelmed by the interest and the large amount of entries we received so it took longer than we’d planned but we finally exhibiting the winner’s stories in store.

The idea for this project came to me while I was visiting My Dog Sighs studio. I asked him he’d ever thought of stories of what had happened to his characters to lead to their emotive expressions. He explained to me that he didn’t but that got me wondering how others might interpret those characters so I decided to run a creative writing competition which is open to all. I split the entries into three categories for different age groups, each with a different word limit.

• 13 years and under (150 words)
• 14 years – 18 years (300 words)
• 18 years and above (500 words)

The three stories have been brought to life by local graphic designer Sam Barclay and signed by My Dog Sighs himself.

I encourage you to pop in the store to check out the exceptional work in person. If you’ve never been to the shop then you can find us at 12 Highland Road, Southsea. The store is open 10am-6pm Tuesday to Saturday.






Created Local – Instagram @Moira_Lizzie_Photography

In the third of our special features celebrating our favourite Instagram photographers with links with our city we feature Moira Vence-Gunstane (@Moira_Lizzie_Photography).

Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth if no longer living here?

I’m photographer and chief bottle washer at Moira Lizzie Photography. Born and raised just up the road in Waterlooville, now raising my own family close to the sea in Southsea. I realised my dream of becoming a professional photographer in 2013 after 24 years in Marketing and launched Moira Lizzie Photography, specialising in child and family photography. Although I’m finding my relaxed and natural style lends itself well to individuals and corporate clients as well.

When I’m not photographing, I’m busy with the other elements of running a business and I just can’t let go of that marketing! When I do find time to indulge in some ‘me’ time I’ll spend it baking and spending time with my family – after all, someone needs to eat that cake…and I need to add jogging to my list of ‘me’ time activities I think…

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?

A mix of my iPhone 6s and my Canon 5D Mii – just depends what I have with me at the time. At the moment my personal project is photographing stills using my iphone, mainly based on baking or decor around my home as the weather is so naff!

Can you tell us more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?

I’ve always been interested in photography and design but my options at school led me a different route so it’s a hobby which has developed over many years. I’ve self-studied, attended courses, sought advice and listened from Photographers I’ve admired and practised A LOT!


@Moira_Lizzie_Photography 6

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?

Both – for clients it’s all about their experience and capturing whatever it is they’ve approached me for. Babies, children, families, couples etc. However, personal projects are an important part of my photography journey as they allow me to be as creative as I like and I learn so much in the process too. I’ll photograph anything which inspires me and in turn, I hope this inspires my clients too.

Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?

Having lived in the Portsmouth area all my life I’m still discovering new subjects to photograph – the city doesn’t stand still. I navigate towards wide-open spaces so the seafront and the common are favourites. I also love to capture the vibrancy of the city and it’s people – so enjoy photographing festivals and events too. I consider myself fortunate to have both coastal and countryside scenery on my doorstep – so often stride out to the country with the family and camera in tow (although I admit, I often have to bribe the kids with a pub lunch!)

Are their any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?

Valerie Jardin (@ValerieJardin) is an amazing street photographer, I’m drawn to the way she includes people in her frame, adding life and a sense of place to her images. Susan Stripling (@susanstriplingphotography) and her use of light is a must see! Of course not to forget the amazing Annie Leibovitz (@_annieleibovitz) for her brilliant composition.

@Moira_Lizzie_Photography 5

@Moira_Lizzie_Photography 3

@Moira_Lizzie_Photography 1


‘Time & Tide’ Exhibition at Play Dead, Exclusive Interview with Artist Sadie Tierney

Those who regularly pass by Play Dead studio will have noticed the newly painted mural outside by Sadie Tierney. This Saturday she opens her solo exhibition ‘Tide & Time‘ at the studio.

Sadie’s first solo exhibition for a while is packed with brand new work, all in her own playful impressionistic style capturing the sights and sounds of the city she calls home. Although working from life, Sadie is less concerned with accurate depiction of objects, and more interested in describing a visual sensation & experience through celebratory use of colour & line.

Time & Tide Exhibition by Sadie Tierney at Play Dead
Play Dead.

The doors open at 7pm on Saturday and the exhibition runs until 25th March, with Play Dead open from 10am – 6pm from Tuesday – Saturday.

We popped down to Play Dead earlier this week to catch up with Sadie and find out more about her work and the exhibition.

Time & Tide is your first solo exhibition for a while, can you tell us what lead up to this show?
I went along to Play Dead Gallery’s first opening and was immediately struck by the energy & excitement there– I guess that’s because it’s run by artists, they understand the artistic process from start to finish. There’s also an atmosphere of inclusiveness which I love and is a rare thing to find in a gallery. I was keen to show some new work and after speaking with the gallery directors Dan and Samo I hopped in and filled a cancellation in their schedule.

What inspired the title of the exhibition?
I made a film at the Love Southsea Skatepark event; a day of skateboarding/bmx held when the park was in danger of closure and whilst filming I saw an awesome tattoo of “time and tide wait for no man” on some dude’s arm. It’s an old english proverb meaning nobody can stop the passing of time, or the processes of nature.

Time & Tide Exhibition by Sadie Tierney at Play Dead
Sadie Tierney, in front of her Time & Tide mural at Play Dead.

Can you explain what sort of work will be on show and your creative process(es) in making the work?
The exhibition is made up of paintings, drawings, drypoint prints, screen prints and monoprints made as an exploration of where we live. Most of the work was made ‘en plain air’ out on the seafront painting in the elements! For practical reasons the larger pieces had to be made at the studio, and the printmaking was done in my home studio or at Omega Centre print studio, but all the work began life as sketches direct from life.

Time & Tide Exhibition by Sadie Tierney at Play Dead
Clarence Pier paintings by Sadie Tierney.

Your paintings have a somewhat playful, impressionistic feel, what and who were your inspirations and what artists and work catch your eye today?
Yes I see myself as coming out of a European modernist tradition especially the way they were interested in Japanese print, Chinese scroll painting and child art. Contemporary artists I like are Caragh Thuring, Rose Wylie and Anselm Keiffer.

Time & Tide Exhibition by Sadie Tierney at Play Dead
Different Sadie Tierney paintings on show at Time & Tide.

What are some of your favourite places locally to paint and why?
Well living in an island city pretty much anywhere along the seafront especially from the Southsea Beach Cafe westwards, where you can see the ships turning into the shipping lane really clearly. I always get excited and find something to draw from the hotwalls & in the Dockyard too. I check Shipfinder and Her Majesty’s shipping movements too (Geek!)

After this exhibition what do you have lined up next?
I’ve got drawing trips to France and Poland booked later in the year, and I’ll continue working towards a big solo show in Windsor early next year. The title for that at the moment is ‘Modern Landscapes’.

Find out more about Sadie and her work on her website as well as giving her a follow on Instagram @sadie_tierney and Twitter @sadie_tierney.

Time & Tide Exhibition by Sadie Tierney at Play Dead

Time & Tide Exhibition by Sadie Tierney at Play Dead

Time & Tide Exhibition by Sadie Tierney at Play Dead

Time & Tide Exhibition by Sadie Tierney at Play Dead

The Dub Pistol’s Barry Ashworth Interview

This Saturday The Dub Pistols will be continuing their UK tour at The Wedgewood Rooms in partnership with Beats & Swing. The bands lead singer has kindly taken the time to chat to me about all things…

– Could you tell our readers a little bit about the formation of the Dub Pistols and describe your musical style and inspirations?
I started the band in 1997 more as a DJ sound back then inspired at the time by the earliest Chemical brothers tracks, that turned into the so called big beat sound at the time and over the years it has mutated into a band fusing the sound of Dub, hip hop reggae and electronica.

– For those who might be new to the Dub Pistols which three tracks from your back catalogue would you describe as your favourites?
Having recorded 6 studio albums picking only 3 tracks is hard so here you go…
“Return Of The Pistoleros”
“Six million Ways to Live”

As you’ve gained recognition as one of the UK’s premier live acts, has it changed the way you approach shows as the audiences have grown?
Not really we have always given a full throttle show that has just got better over the years as we have grown as musicians and have gained more experience and understanding of how a live show should work, it also helps that our catalogue of tracks has also grown to 6 albums so we have a lot of tracks to choose from and switch things up if different situations arise

Over the years has yours and the Dub Pistols approach to touring changed and if so how?
Well we tour more than ever now so partying all night every night isn’t possible, i think when you a younger the party is the priority but as you get older and wiser you realise the show is the most important part of the tour.

You’re one of the hardest working bands on the UK festival circuit, what do you do on your spare time to relax?
Spare time whats that? when we are not touring i tend to be either out doing DJ shows or in the studio making music so i get very little down time but i guess going out for a nice meal or watching football.

Yourself and the Dub Pistols have a big online presence, how has the growing online following brought you closer or further away from your fans?
Social media has probably saved our career because back in the old days if you were not on radio you could easily loose contact with your fan base but with the rise of social media people can see what your up to all the time and you have a lot more interaction with each other so it really has been a positive development.

You will be returning to Hampshire in July for Blissfields festival. This will be Strong Island’s fifth year working with Blissfields and as regulars on the line up can you tell me about what you look forward to most when returning for your annual performance? Blissfields wouldn’t be the same without you!
we have become part of the Blissfields family, it’s a great festival and a great team,right from the programming of the bands by Paul & Mel who are both really passionate about music and have always discovered up and coming bands that have gone on to be massive such as Bastille through to the dance tent which this year i will also be making my DJ debut in, the weather is always brilliant and the crowd is a real mixture of young and old the vibe is electric it really is an amazing weekend and i feel very honoured to be part of it, if you don’t know get to know believe me you won’t be sorry

Dub Pistols Blissfields
Barry and The Dub Pistols at Blissfields 2015 by Tony Jupp

– You have collaborated with a host of talented vocalists over the years including Rodney P and Terry Hall. Are there any others who you have on your radar that you would still love to work with?
Well I’ve been lucky enough to work with so many of my heroes over the years as you mentioned the list is endless and on our forthcoming album i’ve raised the bar again with the likes of Beenie Man, Cutty Ranks, Earl 16, Navigator, Ragga Twins, Seanie T and Lindy Layton all recording tracks for me

I still would love to work with Ian Brown and Roots Manuva amongst others somewhere down the line.

As a big football fan you will be aware of Portsmouth Football Club’s reputation for having the best fans in England. One of the club’s most famous matches was the 1991/92 FA Cup semi final and the replay. Being a Liverpool fan, do you have fond memories of those games or any of the more recent Liverpool and Portsmouth matches?
I wouldn’t say fond memories as at the time Liverpool were supposed to be a far superior team and in that match we needed extra time and penalties to win it!

Tickets are selling fast so if you want to join Barry and the rest of the Dub Pistols then you can get hold of your tickets from the Wedgewood Rooms online or from the box office. On the night support with be coming from local band Zegema Beach who are coming back after a three year sebatical as well as DJ Tom Mayhem and Basement83.

To find out more about the Dub Pistols check out their website, Facebook and Twitter @DubPistols.

Dub Pistols

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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.

Created Local Special: Immy Smith and the Brain Tumour Research lab at the University of Portsmouth

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

Cellular & Molecular Neuro-Oncology (Brain Tumour) Research laboratories

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.

Staff at Cellular & Molecular Neuro-Oncology (Brain Tumour) Research laboratories

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

Heterogeneity Experiment: Ink, SciArt, and Brain Tumour Heterogeneity

Heterogeneity Experiment: Ink, SciArt, and Brain Tumour Heterogeneity

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

Ugly Objects

Ugly Objects

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:

Immy Smith

Vintage Old Portsmouth Photograph

We’ve not had a vintage photograph for quite a while on Strong Island, and this one is a winner. This photo of the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth was taken in 1958 by Mark Kauffman for LIFE Magazine. Click this LINK for a larger version.


Thanks to Jubru for sending this over.

Someone Invent A Time Machine

The photography exhibit The Birth of British Rock at the Museum is now in it’s last week so be sure to make it down before it finishes on June 6th. Looking through the Pompey Pop Pix Flickr, which contains loads of local photos, tickets and posters, I came across this poster for what must have been on of the best line-ups the Guildhall has ever had.

Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Big thanks to Khalid who sent over these vintage photographs scanned from The Images of Portsmouth (1993). We have a small selection so I’ll put one page up each week.

Love this first shot of the band stand on the common in the 1920s showing how the site was originally used before the Skatepark was built around it in the 70s. So many deckchairs, it must have been big business back then. It’s a shame they didn’t keep the bandstand as it was with the little steps and iron railing. It’s a little different NOW as Marcus’s ariel shot shows. Click the image to see the high res scan up close.

Local Photographer – Harvey Mills

Okay, so it’s not quite on the Island, but hey, when the content is this good we can forget about the extra few miles. Harvey Mills shoots Murray Cross chomping the Langstone 13 set on the Havant roundabout with ease. Perfect timing and composition from Harvey.

Check out Harvey’s webiste and also his Flickr. Below are photos of Charles and Southsesa’s buttery own Bored teamrider Adam Keys.

Spinnaker Tower

Soaring 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent, the Spinnaker Tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben and has already established itself as a national icon for Britain. Get yourself down to Gunwharf Quays and check out the panoramic views over the city and the Solent. Don’t forget your camera. Oh, and if you’re a Portsmouth resident you get cheap entry if you provide proof.

Seafront Lights: Adam Wintle

Southsea web designer and photographer Adam Wintle has recently been taking some really nice photos of the Southsea promenade lights and of the pier at night. Be sure to look through his Flickr for loads more great photos.




The Abrooks

The infamous 1980s Southsea locals Mark & Barry Abrook, doubles on the halfpipe at the skatepark from 1990.



The dockyards, taken on 18th July 1914. The dockyards and harbour are quiet as almost all the ships are anchored at Spithead ready for the Royal review by King George V.

(Click to see larger image)

Strong Island Clothing Co.