Strong Island Co.

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Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition

Between the 1st and 12th December I have been asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring two of my favourite creatives currently plying their trade in our city, Katie Barrett and Laura Bennett from Raw & Auburn and Laura Bennett Jewellery.

Raw & Auburn began life early in 2013, the Southsea based company specialises in hand crafted accessories using raw and unique materials. Each item bears it’s own individuality and is different than the last. Using traditional techniques every product is finished to a high standard and comes with it’s own Mill Cloth bag and they are all finished with the Raw & Auburn signature cross stitch.

Raw & Auburn have kindly donated one of their leather envelope wallets for you to win. You can find Raw & Auburn on Etsy and Facebook.

Raw & Auburn

Laura specialises in hand made contemporary jewellery inspired by nature, sympathetically composing pieces made from found objects combined with precious metals while exploring the natural qualities of the materials. She has recently created a set of jewellery inspired by Portsmouth and its nautical images.

If you would like to contact Laura about a private commission or to generally find out more about on Laura’s work on her website www.laurabennettjewellery.co.uk and her Facebook page.

Laura Bennett Jewellery

If you would like to win all of the prizes on offer then all you need to do is email your answers to the following questions to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. The deadline for entries is midnight on 19th December. We will announce the winner on 20th December. Good luck!

Day One – Made By Burbs Print
Q1) The map shows Hilsea Lido but when did the Lido first open?

Day Two – x2 No 6 Cinema Tickets
Q2) What Disney movie are they showing over he Christmas period and why is this showing different to normal?

Day Three – Angela Chick gift cards
Q3) In metres how long is the HMS Warrior over all?

Day Four – Magpie’s Lust Jewellery
Q4) What is the Latin name for the common Magpie?

Day Five – Caleigh Ill coasters
Q5) The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin but were a designed by who?

Day Six – Bread Addiction Bag
Q6) What year was the first bread slicer sold?

Day Seven – Meal at the Wave Maiden
Q7) In Norse mythology The Wave Maidens were the nine daughters of Aegir, the undersea brewer to the Gods. Name any one of the nine daughters?

Day Eight – Mia Mai framed Print and Christmas cards
Q8) Which of our local theatres has Mia Mai most recently used for a photo shoot to showcase her latest range of lingerie?

Day Nine – Meal and drinks voucher for the Marmion Pub
Q9) The Marmion has been nominated for one of the annual Guide Awards, but under what category? (Please note we are looking for the full title of the award for a correct answer).

Day Ten – Strong Island Calendar
Q10) On what date did Portsmouth win their first FA Cup trophy?

Day Eleven – Custom made animal toy by Ooh La Lapin
Q11) Lapin is the French translation for what animal?

Day Twelve – Raw & Auburn and Laura Bennett Jewellery
Q12) Raw and Auburn has recently collaborated with Illustrator and artist Megamunden. What form of art inspired Megamunden to create his recent colouring book?

Photo by Josh Knill.

Under the Spotlight Coming Soon at Coastguard Studio

Under the Spotlight is an upcoming exhibition that will feature 40 spotlights on artwork & photography by 40+ local creatives, all homed in the beautiful new Coastguard Studio in Southsea. More details on the exhibition will be announced in the coming weeks by the Coastguard Studio so keep an eye on their website at coastguardstudio.com and the date of 13th February firmly written in to your new diaries.

Under the Spotlight Coming Soon at Coastguard Studio

Strong Island Calendar 2015

You should all be well aware that over the last year we have been compiling a calendar using photographs submitted to us by you, the Strong Island readers. We are really excited by our 2015 edition, I didn’t think it was possible but the bar has been raised yet again!

The calendar again features photography submitted throughout 2014 from local photographers. The calendar is full colour printed A4 and folds out and hangs so that one side of A4 contains the month’s photos and the other side has a large format calendar perfect for keeping your important dates through the year.

£1 of each calendar sale goes to the Alzheimer’s Society Portsmouth based services. They are the UK’s leading care and research charity for people living with dementia and their carers.

The calendars are still only available as a pre-order from our online shop HERE. We are expecting to have them in hand by next Thursday. They are priced at £10 each if you collect from Strong Island Co, 12 Highland Road, Southsea. Postal orders cost £12 each and international postal orders cost £14 each.

I guess it’s about time we share with you some more of the amazing photographs which have been included this year.

Danielle Gridley
Danielle Gridley
Nick Weall
Nick Weall
Megan Barnes
Megan Barnes
Jay Hansford
Jay Hansford
Sam Brooks
Sam Brooks
Melanie Easthope
Melanie Easthope

New Strong Island Co Opens This Saturday!

Strong Island invites all our friends old and new to our new home in Southsea, opening this Saturday (15th November) from 10am. Strong Island at 12 Highland Road is a new shop and exhibition space, stocking all of the Strong Island Clothing Co range, a selection of high quality art prints, releases from Strong Island Recordings plus a collection of fine leather accessories from Raw & Auburn. We will also have monthly guest artists and designers selling their work too.

Our first exhibition in the space is a retrospective of some of the designs, projects and events we have worked on in our 6 year history. We’ll be having regular exhibitions throughout the year with shows by local and visiting artists, designers & photographers.

Strong Island Co, 12 Highland Road, Southsea, PO4 9AH.

We will be open every week on Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

New Strong Island Co Opens This Saturday!

The Strong Island Calendar 2015 Pre Orders Now Available

We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks collecting together the incredible submissions from the many local photographers who have been capturing Portsmouth and Southsea over the last twelve months. The calendar is soon to be sent off to the local printers and we are now taking pre-orders for the calendar in our Shop Ahoy online store. As per our previous years, the calendar is £10 with £1 of each calendar sale going to the Alzheimer’s Society Portsmouth based services. They are the UK’s leading care and research charity for people living with dementia and their carers.

We’re offering a few pre-order options with UK and International postage plus the option to pick up the calendar in person from our new studio/store once the calendars have arrived (due early December). All postage pre-orders will be sent out with lots of time for Christmas.

We’ve sold out of calendars before Christmas for the last two years, to pre-order yours please visit HERE.

The Strong Island Calendar 2015

Strong Island Recordings Cash Free Christmas Party For Charity At The Eastney Cellars

On the 13th December Strong Island Recordings takes over one of Portsmouth’s finest establishments being the cosy little Eastney Cellars for an all day charity party in association with The Park Studio who will be kindly supplying us with much needed gear. The event hosts 11 bands as well as Champagne Justice deejays and we’ve decided to do away with cash entry for the event and instead entry for the event is a donation of non-perishable food which will be donated to local food banks.  From a tin of beans or packet of pasta to a bag full of groceries it all helps and we can all help those in need whilst having a blast.

Now for the line up. Once again we believe we’ve curated a heavyweight eclectic line-up that features some of the most exciting and up and coming acts from across the south. Headlining the day and representing the label family will be thrashy-grunge twosome Rickyfitts, quite possibly one of the finest and also loudest bands in the U.K at the moment. Also finely representing our little label is shoegaze/psychedelic outfit Dead Rabbits and garage pop duo The Boy I Used to Be. We’ve also dragged back a few of our friends who have graced our parties before. London dreampop trio Wyldest fresh from main-staging Green Man Festival and blowing up the blogosphere play later in the evening as well as everyone’s favourite blitz-pop duo Curxes. Along with both of them we’ve brought back indie rock/post-punk outfit Fever and also Death of the Author who killed it at our Southsea Fest stage back in September when they filled in last minute. New to any of ours shows is London’s shoegaze/grunge quintet Nevermind Me playing their first ever show, drone-stoner rock outfit Verletzt, doom grungers Bittertown Mary’s and also the incredible dark twisted psychedelia outfit from Southampton, ELEPHANTANTRUM who remind us of a cross between Tame Impala and The Wytches. Get ready to be dragged into their nightmare realm.

Doors on the day open at 13.oopm so get down early as you don’t want to miss any of the acts as they’re all splendid. In the event you’re coming down please do rummage through your cupboards and ask any friends or family if they have any bits they don’t mind donating too and hopefully all of us together can help those in need whilst also having a marvellous time watching some of the best bands in the country. Check out the Facebook event here as well as below with a playlist of some of the acts playing the all day Christmas party. You can also keep up to date over on our website. See you there on the 13th December for the Christmas party in Portsmouth.

xmas party

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project

After months of planning (and crossing fingers for no rain) yesterday saw as part of the launch of the 1851 Trust our joint community art project with Ben Ainslie Racing happen down at the Camber. During this past weekend street artist James Waterfield put down a base mural of The Solent on the 100+ foot long hoarding wall of the new Ben Ainslie Racing HQ, ready for yesterday’s event. From 9am yesterday morning pupils and staff arrived from six local schools: Admiral Lord Nelson, St Jude’s Primary, Charter Academy, Park Community, Ryde Academy and Ryde School ready and prepared with designs, templates and plans for yachts and sea craft, all ready to paint. Throughout the morning over 70 pupils worked with three local street artists (James Waterfield, Luke Storkey and My Dog Sighs) on their paintings of sea craft throughout the ages, their part of the huge street art mural. As well as the young artists getting covered in paint they were also helped by some of the trustees of the 1851 Trust, the Minister for Portsmouth, some of the elite racing crew from BAR and Sir Ben Ainslie.

By the time the rain started at lunchtime the mural was covered with sea craft such as fishing boats, racing yachts with colourful sails, HMS Victory (with Lord Nelson), flying boats and many, many more. The mural will be finished up this Saturday by James and will then be on display until the opening of the new BAR HQ in May next year.

A huge thank you to Pippa, Jo and the team at BAR and ITTB, the artists, the site team at their new HQ, all the fantastic staff and pupils, Jack Daly and the local people (including sailors) from Old Portsmouth who popped down and showed so much support.

Photos from Monday shown below are by Jack Daly.

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (1)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (2)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (3)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (4)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (5)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (6)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (7)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (8)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (10)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (12)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (13)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (14)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (15)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (16)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (17)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (18)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project

For the last few months we have been working with the team at Ben Ainslie Racing devising a schools street art event that for us for the first time involves both sides of the Solent! Seventy two young people from six schools in Portsmouth and Ryde will come together on the 13th October for this community art project. They will paint images from the rich maritime heritage of the Solent onto a mural on the hoardings of the construction site at the Ben Ainslie Racing headquarters. It’s a maritime history that Ben Ainslie Racing will continue from their new base on The Camber, in Portsmouth’s Old Town.

The event is to celebrate the launch of a new charity that Ben Ainslie Racing will support through a number of areas, including hosting a Visitor Centre at their new headquarters building. The art project is being coordinated by Strong Island with BAR and we’ll be working with renowned local street artists James Waterfield and Dharma 77, and the internationally recognised My Dog Sighs on the mural design.

The six local schools (St Judes Church of England School, Park Community School, Admiral Lord Nelson School, Charter Academy, Ryde School & Ryde Academy) have been invited to get involved and paint the mural too. The school children will range in age and ability from Primary School students from St Judes Church of England School, all the way to GCSE students. The young artists will paint a wide variety of craft throughout the history of travel on the Solent including flying boats and hovercraft, both built and developed on the Isle of Wight, and the latter still carrying people between Portsmouth and Ryde. The Mary Rose, a successful Tudor warship that sank fighting the French during the Battle of the Solent, salvaged and now displayed in the city. Naval ships and submarines will be there, along with previous British challengers for the America’s Cup; Sir Thomas Sopwith’s Endeavour, built in Gosport and launched into Portsmouth Harbour. Ben Ainslie Racing’s new hydrofoiling catamaran boat will also be featured.

James Waterfield will paint the background design this weekend – and everyone is invited to come along to the Camber and see it progress. It will be a skyline and seascape scene stretching across the Solent from Ryde on the Isle of Wight, to Portsmouth…With the mural along the length of the BAR HQ hoarding wall facing the harbour, all 100+ feet of it! Dharma 77 and My Dog Sighs will then join Waterfield on the 13th October to work with the art students, giving them the opportunity to learn street art skills and techniques from these local artists.

Ben Ainslie Racing’s Team Principal, Sir Ben Ainslie commented, “We really hope people will come along this coming weekend, and on the 13th and have a look at the work the students are doing. We’re really excited about this, and we’re going to find a permanent home for the best work in the Visitor Centre at the new headquarters.”

On Monday the students will be working from 9.30am until 2pm and everyone is welcome to come along and watch the mural take shape! We’ll be photographing and filming the event and will be sharing the results soon after the day too.

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (1)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (2)

Ben Ainslie Racing and Strong Island Schools Art Project (3)

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

Winter is coming, that means only one thing, we are working hard behind the scenes finalising our 2015 calendar. We were again overwhelmed by the demand for our 2014 calendar. This year we aim to have the calendar available for pre orders from mid October, with the copies ready for dispatch/sale in mid November.

The calendars will be available in the Strong Island Clothing Co. shop and can be posted nationally or internationally. We will no longer be offering a pick up service for your orders. You will however be able to pick up a copy directly at Southsea Gallery, Albert Road or Lou Lou’s, Marmion Road.

We will be taking submissions up until the end of October, so please keep them coming! You can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are a couple of snaps which I can confirm will be included in our 2015 Calendar.

Tina Bolton South Parade Pier
By Tina Bolton
Louise Kydd Cathedral
By Louise Kydd
Jon Neil 13
By Jon Neil

Victorious Festival 2014

Like many, I loved the Dockyards as a venue and was excited to see how Victorious would look in it’s new home on Southsea Seafront. Victorious Festival 2014 surpassed all my expectations, it has evolved into a far superior event that will rival all others in the South of England.

The site looked impressive with two large stages situated on Castle Field and the Southsea Bandstand. Just north situated around Southsea Skate Park were the Silent Disco, Beer Festival and it was great to see so many market stalls selling a whole variety of different crafts, fashion and gifts from local artists and vendors.

My one regret of the weekend is the amount of things I missed, this wasn’t for the want of trying, there was simply so much great stuff going on.

On Saturday afternoon friends and I camped out at the Castle Stage underneath the most photographed sight of the past five days, the Victorious sign at the top of the hill. While enjoying a few ciders I was treated to a bit of a throw back to my college days with Sophie Ellis Bextor and Razorlight. The highlight of the day was unquestionably Dizzie Rascal. He had the whole crowd bouncing and it was a great way to end day one. If only it did end there for me though!

On Sunday morning I woke up with after very little sleep and with a slightly sore head. Never the less I was determined to get back down the seafront to catch some of the amazing music on offer.

Early in the afternoon The Day of the Rabblement amassed a bit of a crowd at the Pie & Vinyl Tent which was situated amongst the market stalls. After some food and a bimble round the arts area, some of my favourite local bands then took over the Seaside Stage. Blackfoot Circle, Burning Beaches and Kassassin Street all entertained large crowds, and by the way they were dancing around; the crowd were enjoying what they were hearing.

Next on stage were Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. They must have had the largest crowd of the day so far, and the Essex pair had most of them jumping up and down to their unique blend of Hip Hop and Electro beats.

The band I was most looking forward to was easily British Sea Power, and they didn’t disappoint! As dusk was settling in, the band treated us to hits including ‘Carrion’, ‘Machineries of Joy’ and ‘Remember Me’. You could see some of the more die hard British Sea Power fans had even brought their own tree branches to wave in the air.

As a flood of people passed me coming into the Seaside Stage for Ocean Colour Scene, I made my way over to the Castle Stage to check out another of my musical heroes, Seasick Steve. With a host of home made instruments in tow, he put on a typically great show and got a great reception from the crowd. To say I was jealous of my Strong Island colleagues watching in back stage would be an understatement. I know how hard they were worked on our stall over the weekend so I can’t begrudge them that treat! Obviously it would be criminal not to compliment the closing DJ set of the festival by 2manyDJs, a large crowd were not put off by the incoming rain and they were witness to another top performance by the Belgian duo.

I don’t think I was alone in using Monday as a day of recovery, however I still couldn’t quite shift that feeling that I wanted to do it all over again. Although perhaps not in that rain! Special mention has to go to the group of friends who made it such a fun weekend. it was the perfect way to make me forget about my imminent birthday and turning yet another year older.

It’s great to hear that the overwhelming majority shared my positive views and experiences. Everyone I encountered was in high spirits and was having a great time. I’m proud of everyone I know who were involved, the boys and girls done good, very good! I hope the staff involved had a chance to enjoy it as much as we all did. They have thrown an event which all of Portsmouth can be proud of!

Be sure to keep and eye out on our Strong Island and Victorious Festival‘s Facebook pages to see some of the amazing photo’s. I’ve had a sneak peak of what the photography team have produced and it looks great!

Photos below are by Matt Ankers, Tom Langford and Todd Lawton

TomLangford_CrowdGirl_230814

Todd Lawton Victorious

Todd Lawton

Todd Lawton Victorious

TomLangford_Bandstand_230814

Sub Focus - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

Dizee Rascal - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

British Sea Power at Victorious by Matt Ankers

Victorious Todd Lawton

Tristan Savage

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Archives

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.

spinnaker-sunny

spinnaker-fog

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

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.

Local Photographer – Duncan Allan

We recently mentioned local photographer Duncan Allan’s framing skills but we also want to profile Duncan’s creative photography too. With a wealth of knowledge in different cameras and experimentation in many different techniques (both with film and with Photoshop and Lightroom), Duncan has a strong collection of images from the local area and all around the world. Here are a few of our favourites but they are just the tip of the iceberg, to see more check Duncan’s Flickr.

Red Scale

Local Designer/Photographer – Weaver

I just found these great illustrations from local web designer and photographer Weaver on one of my random web travels. I’m loving the Hilsea Lido and Carlton Cinema depictions. Check out Weavers Flickr for more Portsmouth illustrations and a whole bunch of local photography and more besides. They would make amazing prints i think you’ll agree.




Google Maps – Street View

Portsmouth now has street view enabled on Google Maps, giving an interesting perspective of the city. Good to see it was a nice, sunny day in Southsea when the car drove through. Sadly no Old Portsmouth though.

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