Strong Island Co.

Strong Island Media

Strong Island 2014 Review Part 1 – January to June

This took a little longer than hoped but for the first time we thought we’ld try and make a note of all the things Strong Island got up to last year. We’re not the best at letting people know what we do (too busy sharing what you lot get up to). Some of the headlines, as it were, included:

– Two large exhibitions
– Working with almost 1000 young people and adults with photography, film & animation workshops
– Two stages at two festivals
– Three releases by the record label
– Opening of Strong Island Co

So if you’ve ever wondered what a year in Strong Island is like, here is part one, covering the first six months of January through to June. Part 2 later this week!

JANUARY

Strong Island went straight in to a hectic first month of 2014 with a few ongoing projects running through from 2013. Our main 2013 project was Creating Balance which brought together ten Portsmouth artists/designers and teamed them up with 10 Portsmouth photographers, with all groups given an Anglepoise lamp for inspiration. The project had heavy coverage in national newspapers and had two very successful exhibitions in 2013, one in London at the London Design Festival and one in Winchester. In Late January we opened the Creating Balance exhibition at Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth, with an opening night that was the busiest yet for the gallery.

Back in November we had joined the Portsmouth Shipbuilding consortium as one of the founding members and the month saw the new website going up and the continued lobbying of trying to continue shipbuilding in the city.

Our animation project with young people from Portsmouth Autism Support Network finished with a film screening at John Pound Centre. The film was written, designed and animated by the group who also recorded all their own music and sound effects. The project was part of Artswork’s Strong Voices programme of activities and involved working with Portsmouth’s Arthur Conan Doyle Collection.

Creating Balance (1)

Creating Balance (2)

FEBRUARY

February was a busy month for Strong Island Media with many children and young people workshops in film, animation and photography in Portsmouth, Basingstoke and Gosport. We also worked with the University of Portsmouth and Sharon Court on the Far From Home project which connected university students with ex-service personnel and their families.

Our 4th Strong Island Homebrew competition saw the most brews entered in the history of the competition. The winner went on to be brewed by Irving & Co and sold in pubs and bars in Portsmouth and beyond.

February also saw the launch of Strong Island Recordings’ first album: the awesome Something by Yoofs. The band and the release were featured on many websites including Vice.

4th Annual Strong Island Homebrew Competition

MARCH

Possibly the businest month ever for Strong Island media with a solid month spent in Winchester on a Lottery Heritage Fund project with Winchester Theatre Royal and ten groups from 9 Winchester schools. Each school had two days on the project, the first day a film or animation workshop and the second spent writing & filming or animating their own film about the history of the theatre. The project involved working with almost 250 young people with 10 films produced.

The month also included filming at night with Portsmouth visual artist Jez Stevens on a film commission from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Jez created a number of projections on both the soon to be opened Babcock Galleries and The Submarine Museum. The films were used to promote the opening of both cultural attractions.

In March the Tricorn exhibition opened at Portsmouth City Museum and included two aspects that Strong Island had worked on. The first was the large community photography panel. We had in previous months asked people to submit their photography of the Tricorn and the best images were put together in to a large wall section. Strong Island also worked with nine local artists, photographers and designers in producing the Tricorn Artist Series of prints depicting the structure. These prints were displayed in the exhibition and on sale in the museum shop.

The Far From Home project exhibition was held in the brand new exhibition space in the new Eldon wing of Portsmouth University. The exhibition included photography, film, illustration and more by final year students, work inspired by the lives of local ex-service personnel and families. The exhibition saw all participants come down and enjoy the event.

Kings Worthy

St Bede Group B

Westgate

Tricorn Exhibition

Tricorn Exhibition

APRIL

With the arrival of the sun and spring a new film project began with two schools as part of the Entrenched Project, working in partnership with Hampshire County Council and two other Hampshire based production companies. Strong Island Media worked with Crofton School in Stubbington and Wildern School in Whiteley on films relating to the First World War.

Workshops also began on the My Life project, run with the award winning SPUD group. The film & photography workshops begun with a youth group in Netley View, focusing on their local community and how young people are represented.

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MAY

In the run up to the end of May’s Portsmouth Street Games event at Guildhall Square three short teaser films were produced by Strong Island Media featuring My Dog Sighs, Effraim Catlow & Most Wanted, showcasing the street art, BMX and street dance aspects of the event.

The My Life project continued, this time working with a group of young carers in Romsey who created a film that tried to tackle local misconceptions on young people and their contribution to society. Their film was screened to their friends and family and local dignitaries. A third group for the My Life project was a youth group in Burley in the New Forest. The group focused on photographing their local areas looking for what made the area both good and bad to live in as a young person. The group exhibited their photography at a final exhibition to family and local councillors.

Burley Photo Exhibition

My Life Project - Burley

My Life Project - Burley

My Life Project - Burley

JUNE

The month began with the Portsmouth Street Games weekend. Strong Island Media were the official media partners for the event and produced a film for the organisers and participants.

A series of four adult photography workshops for Chichester Harbour Conservancy began, with them running through the summer months. The workshops looked at photography in Bosham, on the beach of Hayling Island and from the Solar Heritage boat out in the harbour. Photography workshops were also given to GCSE students from the Chichester High School for Boys at Chichester Harbour Conservancy’s education centre at Dell Quay. For the third year running these workshops introduced photography skills on ‘walkshops’ around the harbour shoreline.

Strong Island worked for Anglepoise through to June producing a series of short films on four of their product collections, these films were for their new website. The films can be viewed HERE.

June also saw the release from Strong Island Recordings of the Sandscrape EP by GANG.

Conservancy Photo Workshop - People 2014

Conservancy Photo Workshop - People 2014

Conservancy Sailing Photography Workshop

Conservancy Sunset Workshop

Conservancy Photo Workshop - Chichester High School for Boys

Victorious Festival 2014

Strong Island Media have just released a short video focusing on the music at this summers Victorious Festival on the Vimeo page. Those of you with a keen eye will see local bands Blackfoot Circle, Kassassin Street, Jerry Williams, The Shutka Champions, The Southsea Alternative Choir and many more.

Victorious Festival 2014 from Strong Island Media on Vimeo.

If that brought back some amazing memories or you missed out then make sure you get yourself one of the early bird tickets for next years event on 29th and 30th August 2015. Early bird tickets are £18 and you can get your hands on some HERE.

You can read our review of Victorious HERE.

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Photo by Grzegorz Kopacz

‘Pathway to Anywhere’ Short Film with Chichester High School For Girls

It has been a really busy year so far at Strong Island Media and we’ll be detailing some of the art/media/education projects we have been working on all over the south coast here on Strong Island from now on.

This month we worked with a group of Year 11 pupils from Chichester High School for Girls on a short art film focusing on their perceptions of Chichester Harbour. The pupils filmed and recorded field recordings on a walk from Fishbourne to Dell Quay and then wrote a poem describing what their they felt about the harbour’s geography, wildlife, history and more. The workshop was delivered by Strong Island Media for Chichester Harbour Conservancy and can be viewed below:

Far From Home Project Exhibition on 14th March

The Far from Home project and exhibition is a collaboration between Armed Forces Community Covenant scheme, public funding from Arts Council England for Fusion lab taking place in Space, staff and students of the University of Portsmouth, Somerstown residents, local artists, Sharon Court (who ran the recent Somerstown Stories project) and Strong Island Media.

The Far from Home project brought together ex-service personnel and the family or personnel with students based at the Eldon building of the University of Portsmouth, with the group exploring the theme of being Far From Home. The theme was chosen as it was felt that both groups of participants in the projects could emphasise with the sense of leaving home for the first time, leaving friends and family and experiencing a new life. The students from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries who have been working alongside these retired armed service personnel and their families learnt more about how it felt to be a new recruit, to be posted overseas, or to be far from home. The students have then created art, including photography, illustration, short films and creative writing based on these experiences for an upcoming Far From Home exhibition in Space. Film footage taken of students talking to and working with armed forces personnel on the project will also be shown. Additionally artefacts from the armed forces personnel will also be on display.

Residents taking part in the project have had the opportunity to also learn new things through taster workshops led by students and a tour of the recently extended Eldon Building, home to the faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. These workshops and the tour are designed to break down barriers and increasing understanding for both groups of participants.

The Far From Home exhibition opens with a special afternoon tea on Friday, March 14 and will be open to the public from March 17-26. A book and film will also be produced showcasing the work created as part of the project.

You can find out more about the project at:

www.farfromhomeproject.co.uk

Far From Home Project (1)

Far From Home Project (2)

Far From Home Project (3)

Far From Home Project (4)

Far From Home Project (5)

Far From Home Project (6)

Far From Home Project (7)

The Island City, A Day in the Life of Portsmouth

Strong Island Media put together this short film entitled ‘The Island City’ that was screened at the recent Shaping the Future of Portsmouth conference. The film gives a stylised view of a day in the life of the city, touching on its geography, landmarks, people and places.

The Island City by Strong Island Media

Sherlock Holmes Film Workshops at The Kings Theatre

Strong Island Media are holding two film production workshops based on Sherlock Holmes this Saturday, based at The Kings Theatre as part of the Making Waves Film Festival. The 10am to 12pm workshop is for 8-12yrs and the 2pm to 4pm workshop is for 12yrs up.

The workshops are introductions to film making and include how to write a script, create a storyboard, how to film & record sound using professional equipment and how to act and direct. The workshop groups will then write, make and produce a short film based on Sherlock Holmes using wardrobe from The Kings Theatre, props from the Conan Doyle Collection and using the incredible Kings Theatre as a location, including backstage and even onstage!

The short films produced by each of the workshop groups will then be edited up and put on to DVD.

Each workshop is only £10 (plus £6 for a copy of the DVD with both Sherlock Holmes films) and places can be booked at The Kings Theatre:

www.kings-southsea.com

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with Race Car Hearts

Strong Island Media has partnered up with Victorious Festival to provide the festival’s online digital content throughout the weekend of the festival, including photo updates of the bands and what’s going on, video of songs from the stages and interviews with the acts. In the final run up to the festival we have produced the Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions which profiles of some of the best Portsmouth acts that will be performing at Victorious with exclusive live acoustic songs.

Sunshine Sessions episode three is with Portsmouth singer/songwriter Chris Perrin aka Race Car Hearts and includes an acoustic version of Better Kind. This is the last of this year’s Sunshine Sessions, we’re looking forward to next year’s already.

To find out more information about Victorious and to buy tickets visit:

victoriousfestival.co.uk

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with Race Car Hearts

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with The Folsom

Strong Island Media has partnered up with Victorious Festival to provide the festivals online digital content throughout the weekend of the festival, including photo updates of the bands and what’s going on, video of songs from the stages and interviews with the acts. In the final run up to the festival we have produced the Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions which profiles of some of the best Portsmouth acts that will be performing at Victorious with exclusive live acoustic songs.

Sunshine Sessions episode two is with Portsmouth acoustic duo The Folsom and includes an acoustic cover performance of Johnny Cash’s song ‘Folsom Prison Blues’. Keep an eye out next Friday for the next Sunshine Sessions episode.

To find out more information about Victorious and to buy tickets visit:

victoriousfestival.co.uk

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with The Folsom

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with Jerry Williams

Strong Island Media has partnered up with Victorious Festival to provide the festivals online digital content throughout the weekend of the festival, including photo updates of the bands and what’s going on, video of songs from the stages and interviews with the acts. In the final run up to the festival we have produced the Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions which profiles of some of the best Portsmouth acts that will be performing at Victorious with exclusive live acoustic songs.

Sunshine Sessions episode one is with 17 year old singer/songwriter Jerry Williams and includes an acoustic performance of her song ‘Sunglasses’. Keep an eye out on Fridays in the run up to the festival for the next Sunshine Sessions episodes.

To find out more information about Victorious and to buy tickets visit:

victoriousfestival.co.uk

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with Jerry Williams

Strong Island Media and The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival

Over the last 6 months Strong Island Media have been working on The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival project, partnering up with CASS Media and Evan Wilkinson. The project was funded by the MOD Community Covenant and co-ordinated by Hampshire County Council through three arts centres in Hampshire: The Ashcroft Centre in Fareham, The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre in Bordon and the Westend Centre in Aldershot. Each centre had 2 to 4 groups of young people from local schools or youth groups (in total over 100 young people were involved) and each group worked with a production company, Strong Island Media worked with four groups, Brune Park School in Gosport, Phoenix Youth Theatre in Bordon, Bedales School in Petersfield and Connaught School in Aldershot.

At the start of the project each group conducted interviews with active service personnel from either the Navy or Army (from camps and bases local to them) and from these interviews Strong Island Media worked with the young people to create short animated films. SIM helped them develop scripts, form creative ideas for using different animation techniques, help them through the animation process and also work on music, sound effects and more. In total SIM worked with each group for 12 weekly workshop sessions & also brought in some Portsmouth based artists to help the young people with their character development, including Mr Kemp, Stu Linfield and MyDogSighs.

On the 18th July there was a grand, red carpet premiere and awards ceremony at The No. 6 Cinema in Portsmouth which brought all of the groups together along with local dignitaries. The audience of almost 200 people watched all the films and the young people and groups as a whole received prizes for their hard work and creativity. The project was a huge success with the young people telling insightful stories about life in the forces showing empathy for their characters plus creativity in their story and animation skills as well as having loads of fun through the whole process.

We were very proud to see all of our groups win awards and were particularly pleased when the Phoenix Youth Theatre won the two big awards of the night, the Critics Award for best film and the People’s Choice award for best film (which was voted on the night by the audience).

The project has a website with all of the films available to watch as well as a short documentary film about the project, see below. A huge thank you to Charlotte at Hampshire County Council, the guys at CASS, Evan for working with the Connaught group and a special thank you to the groups of young people we worked with who were inspiring in their creativity.

www.hampshireyouthforcesfilms.co.uk

The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival (1)

The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival (2)

The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival (3)

The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival (4)

The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival (5)

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There’s Snow Day like a Snow Day

Tom Time Waster © just put a few more photos from last months snow day in Portsmouth. Cool photos as always, but I focused on the spills and slams. We saw some kids take proper slams that day. Lots of broken tailbones for sure. Good times.

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.

Last Day of the Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester

The Creating Balance Project exhibition’s current residency at the Pitfield Pop-Up in Winchester ends today with the exhibition receiving some really great comments and coverage on websites, etc. Below are some photos by our own Claire Sambrook from a recent visit when many of the project’s artist/designer/photographer participants went up for a look. See more of Claire’s Creating Balance Project photos over on here Flickr.

The Creating Balance Project exhibition will return home to Portsmouth on the 10th of January 2014 for an extended exhibition at Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf, with an opening party and a series of other events and activities to be announced very soon. Ourselves and Anglepoise® are all really looking forward to showing the project to everyone in Portsmouth very soon!

To find out more about the project and exhibition please visit:

www.creatingbalanceproject.co.uk

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (1)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (2)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (3)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (4)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (5)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (6)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (7)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (8)

Southsea Strong Island Celebrates

I just can’t find the right images for this! Strong Island is 1 whole year old this Sunday the 27th. Time surely does fly hey. Meet us for a beer if you’re out and about. I think there’s something going on Albert Road this Sunday too…

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and on another note…

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Snow, Snow, Snow

Snow hit Southsea pretty hard last night and it snowing again this morning. Good luck to everyone battling the elements to get to work, college, school, etc today. Here are a few photos from last night, if you have any please pop a link to them in the comments, we would love to see them.

Adam Wintle (see more here):

Adam Wintle

Adam Wintle

Elizabeth Bick (see more here):

Elizabeth Bick

Elizabeth Bick

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