Strong Island Media has been working with the National Museum of the Royal Navy since the spring on a special film project with local young people that explores what life was like onboard HMS M.33, the only surviving Royal Navy ship from the Gallipoli Campaign of World War One. This year saw the centenary of the campaign and the ship in August was opened to the public after a huge refit turning the ship in to a fantastic new addition to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The M.33 Destination Dardanelles film project saw young people from Portsmouth Young Carers work with the museum and Strong Island Media on a series of film production and museum outreach workshops where the group explored the real history of the ship through the crew diaries & letters and photos taken 100 years ago. The group developed a film treatment before learning how to film, direct, storyboard and much more. The project also had young actors from Fluid Motion‘s theatre group in Fareham take on many of the acting roles in the film during the two production days on board the ship before it opened to the public.
Tomorrow (Friday) evening at 7pm sees the premiere screening of M.33 Destination Dardanelles as part of the Making Waves Film Festival, with the ship itself acting as the cinema. The film production team and the cast will be in attendance and it is open to the public too. The screening is free and you can book online HERE.
Following the screening of M.33 Destination Dardanelles will be a screening of Gallipoli – End of the Road at 7:30pm, a fascinating Turkish film released in 2013 that focuses on the Gallipoli Campaign, set in April, 1915 during the First World War in Canakkale. You can find out more about the film and book online HERE.
Check some production shots below of the film and the trailer too.
Saturday was our third photography walkshop of the summer, with a group of Southsea & Portsmouth photographers meeting up at Hilsea Lines & Foxes Forest to explore the lakes, woodland and the old bastions. We had photographers of all abilities come along and for many it was their first time exploring this part of the city. In the (what felt like very quick) two hours we had photos of butterflies, birds, trees plus some of the inside and outside views of the old bastion structures.
Our next photoghraphy walkshop is on the 8th of August and we’ll be exploring the harbour edge of Eastney from the ferry point down to where the entrance of the harbour meets the Solent. Find out more about this walkshop and the others planned for the rest of the summer and book online HERE.
Below are some photos from Saturday, check our Facebook page for more and our Flickr for photos from all three of the past walkshops.
Over the last couple of weeks two young people who have been undertaking their summer work experience with Strong Island. Sam is studying at Horndean Technology College and Imogen is studying at Highbury College and both have spent time working with us. Sam has been on a two week placement with Strong Island Media working with us on film & photography projects and Imogen has been working in Strong Island Co looking at all things related to fashion design through to merchandising and marketing. A huge thank you to both Sam and Imogen for all their help!
Sam & Imogen.
We asked Sam and Imogen to share what they have been up to in their own words.
My name is Sam and I’m a photography and music student from Horndean. I’ve done two weeks of work experience with Paul at Strong Island.
My first day, I was actually dropped in at the deep end, assisting Paul teach a load of students that where my age from Chichester High School for Boys. This meant I had to use my photography skills right from the start. This was a good learning curve for me, being one of the people stood at the front of the class for once. The Wednesday of my first week I had the opportunity to go on the unopened HMS M.33 in the historic dockyard to sort out some filming which will go ahead later this month. This chance wasn’t the sort of thing you get everyday and it was cool to see it before everyone else had the opportunity to. I also learnt how to prep for some filming and directing. Later on that Wednesday I went along to the last Strong Island Recordings gig at the Cellars in Eastney. Here I was able to do some music photography of Gang who are on the label, along with some other acts. I really enjoyed the tunes and got some really good photos!
Sam on Photo Workshop.
GANG – Photo by Sam.
Tuesday and Wednesday of the second week we had a technology company come into the shop and I assisted with some product shoots. This really gave me an idea on how to set up and capture a photograph in the way they wanted, for example with a white background and reflections. This was also unreleased military and police technology which was, again, cool to get an exclusive on. At the end of the second week I got the chance to do some more freelance, independent photography down by Canoe Lake and on Southsea Seafront. I found the opportunity to do relaxed work like this helped inspire me. You can see some of the results below!
Sam Photographing Products.
I did have a few days that were helping around the shop, doing anything from helping in the storeroom to putting up exhibitions from photo workshops. I’ve also been doing various photo shoots in store of 22 new designs we got in store. This meant that some of my photography has been featured on their social media. I also wrote 5 or 6 articles on the Strong Island website which gave me a chance to get closer to the culture scene in Portsmouth.
Last of all I’d like to say thanks to everyone at Strong Island for having me… it’s been a really good experience!
Photo by Sam.
Photo by Sam.
Photo by Sam.
Being at Strong Island has been a really great experience, even in such a short amount of time they have given me the opportunity to do lots! I have had the chance to do stock checks, visual merchandising, work the till/serve customers, update the website, learn how to work bits on Adobe Illustrator and was even able to put together my own research including mood boards and sketches for new products ideas. Strong Island hasn’t only been brilliant in providing me with interesting experience, but they’ve also been fantastic in welcoming me to the store and I’ve felt like part of the team since day 1 with the lovely Lara and Paul. Not only were the people absolutely great but the store is such a nice place to be, and the amazing interior decor just tops it off!
Morgane Willer, an AS student from Chichester, recently spent a week working with us at Strong Island Media. We let Morgane do a Strong Island post about what she got up to:
During the week of the 7-10 March 2015, I went for my AS Level Work Experience to Strong Island Media in Southsea. In previous years I had worked for some media companies, but it was mainly admin/office work. I didn’t particularly learn any new skills or learn much about the media/film industry, which I would like to pursue as a career. Strong Island however, seemed to offer much more hands-on practical experience which would be much more beneficial for me and my portfolio for future employers and universities.
I worked on numerous projects. I began learning how to use the camera and all the professional equipment. This was very interesting as no one had shown me such professional camera gear before. We put all this knowledge in practice at the beach, where I took some pictures and filmed the sea and all its surroundings, leading me to edit this footage (for the first time!) on Final Cut Pro 7. Our next big project was with TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) for their 2015 General Election film. This too was very different to what I had ever done before as we filmed in the streets (of Portsmouth) surrounded by the general public. I worked mainly with camera and the boom mic and by the end of the day my arms were killing! But this was fun and was worth it as I experienced what it was like to film on set, taking numerous shots, repeating shoots and directing some of the cast.
On the last day of my time with the team at Strong Island, I edited the cutaways that would be used for the TUSC film into a sequence of my own. As well as this, I learnt how to edit on Photoshop the images that I took at the beach. All in all, I made two short films and edited some pictures, which are valuable for my portfolio for future references. I learnt vital skills for the industry and I appreciate all their time and effort, thank you very much for that lovely week.
– Morgane Willer
You can see Morgane’s beach edit below plus the final TUSC film used int he run up to the election.
Through Strong Island Media we have delivered photography workshops over the last 3 years to over a thousand people of all ages and abilities across the south coast. Working with Chichester Harbour Conservancy, University of Portsmouth, Making Space, Hampshire Cultural Trust plus many schools and youth groups we’ve developed Walkshops, where rather than sitting down in a classroom you actively learn different photography skills and techniques out and about with your camera, with support from a professional photographer.
We’ve delivered dozens of these Walkshops from Worthing through to Bournemouth and as far north as Surrey but for the first time we’re now offering them to the budding photographers in Portsmouth. We’re blessed with a visually rich and diverse city, with harbours, beaches, woodland, wildlife and lots of heritage to explore through photography. These photography workshops throughout the summer will take place at different locations around the city and will involve a leisurely 2 hour walk with fun & creative photo activities allowing you to find out much more about your camera and how to get the best from it in the future. We’ll be looking at composition, perspectives, textures, leading lines, creating narrative and also how to take control of aperture and shutter speed.
All you have to do is bring along your camera to take part. It can be anything from a digital compact through to an SLR and if you want to shoot 35mm film, cool! If you don’t have your own camera we have a selection of digital compacts you are free to borrow for the workshop. We can even offer 35mm SLRs for you to use if you like. Even if you just bring along your cameraphone you’ll learn loads that’ll make a big difference to your mobile photography.
Walkshops are 2 hours long (from 10am to 12pm) and cost £10 either in advance (booked online) or in person at the start of the workshop. Group size is limited to 15 per workshop. All ages welcome.
Walkshop dates and locations are as follows:
20th June – Old Portsmouth, meeting at the Round Tower
4th July – Southsea Seafront, meeting at Clarence Pier
18th July – Hilsea Lines/Foxes Forest, meeting at Hilsea
8th August – Eastney, meeting at Hayling Ferry Point
15th August – Southsea Castle
19th September – Southsea Seafront, meeting at Rose Gardens
You can book online on any of these walkshops right HERE using Eventbrite & PayPal. For more information give Paul a call on 07752 007101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strong Island Media recently worked with Gunwharf Quays on a new series of style guide videos focusing on some easy ways of changing up your style and incorporating some of the brands located in Portsmouth. We’ve produced over 10 videos with Gunwharf Quays over the last 12 months and once again we worked with TV presenter and fashion blogger Rhiannon Duffin. The first of these new films for social media, which focuses on scarfs, is now online. You can have a watch below and you can keep up with the different media projects we get up to at Strong Island Media on our Facebook page:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Adam Wintle recently uploaded to his blog loads of photos from an old book about Portsmouth passed down to him by his dad. Some of the photos in the book are incredible, be sure to spend some time having a good look through, below are a few examples:
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
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.
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
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
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:
Steve Bomford gave us the heads up on this wonderful short film made up of old film footage, from the 50s to the 70s, filmed around Portsmouth and Southsea. If you like looking at some vintage Portsmouth and Southsea you will love this (really interesting to see the Guildhall before it was pedestrianised and the buildings were demolished for the council offices).
We burst the bubble again last weekend for a pretty epic ramble, or should I say hike. Taking the advice of the Guardian Newspaper we embarked on a 6 hour walk across the North Wessex Downs. Although the walk is a good 45 minute drive away it’s well worth the journey and the reward at the end is one of the finest pubs I’ve ever eaten at, the Roayl Oak. Check out my Flickr for the full set.
If you love a bit of not often seen Portsmouth history, Eastney Beam Engine House is open to the public for free from 1pm to 5pm on every last weekend of the month. Hidden just off of Henderson Road in Eastney, the Victorian building contains two restored and working 150 horsepower ‘James Watt & Co’ Beam Engines powered by steam which were installed to operate water pumps in 1887. This new system proved very successful and is still the basis for today’s underground drainage system on Portsea Island.
Sadly due to essential building work you won’t be able to go inside the buildings this weekend, but there will be talks with staff and photos and artefacts.
Richard Baker grew up in Portsmouth and Southsea with many happy memories, but limited funds. In the 1960s Richard was studying at The Portsmouth College of Art and was lucky enough to be able to print off some wonderful black & white photographs. 40 years later he dug them out from hibernation.
The series captures people in the city going about their daily lives. Shopping, resting, having fun. Great candid shots from a simpler time. Check out the huge Pick & Mix on display at Woolworths along with the rest of Richards photographs over at his Flickr.
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.