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Local Talent Discovered With Southsea Resident ‘Pablo Not Picasso’

Tucapel Pablo Carvajal Woodruffe (Pablo), 31, a local Southsea resident and talented Artist has this week revealed several new pieces that he has secretly been working on. His work is beautiful and bright and he commissions pieces for individuals with a passion for his style, painting the recently wedded local couple, Alan and Katie Robertson with their son Noah.

When asked that oh so common question of why do you love to paint? Pablo responded, ‘I paint because I love the colours, Sometimes I paint with an end goal in mind like if i’m doing a portrait or capturing an image but when I paint for me, I mostly just paint to see the colours and watch how they will blend together each time. My inspiration is from the houses in chile. Particularly one house in particular but the houses there make the landscape seem like one giant painting and wether it’s from a distance or so close that I can touch the bricks, I fall in love with the colours every time.

We asked Pablo if anything in Portsmouth inspired him or helped him with new ideas? He told us ‘the sites of pompey not so much but the general creativity of the people and their commitment to show their art around the city, or the fact that we make moves to push creativity in business by promoting the artists to sell their works on the seafront for example. It makes me as an artist feel like there is potential to be able to do what I love as a job. I hope to be able to live off of my artwork, in all aspects of it, not just the paintings, I’m working on another project that I think will really interest people. With my new project, I’m finding that I am aiming for it to be deliberately done for the public rather than being so selfish about what I want and sticking to what I know, I do like to learn and this is a great way to do it.

Pablo is planning some future exhibitions and with a description of a style as one where he mainly feels for vibrancy and waits for that to come out on paper we are excited to see where his art goes next.

Portsmouth and Southsea is a tremendously creative place and the collaboration of new and upcoming artists only maintains that wondrous atmosphere that we are all proud of.

Keep your eye out for ‘Pablo not Picasso’ and get in touch with him for commissions or to find out where you can spot him and his work.

Follow Pablo on Facebook and on Etsy


Scuba Chan

Morgan Freeman

Strong Island Recordings To Release Curxes ‘Verxes’

We’re incredibly delighted and excited to announce that we’re releasing the incredible ‘Verxes’ the debut album by CURXES on our Strong Island Recordings label. It’s no secret we’ve been long time fans of the guys and their frenetic, blitz-synth pop/ post-punk stylings so we’re delighted to not just have the guys on the roster but also being able to release their album. With releases recently on our label coming from as far Glasgow to Tasmania, it’s great to release an act we love who are from our hometown of Portsmouth. ‘Verxes’ by CURXES will be available from the 4th May and we have some exciting live shows to accompany the release with that will be announced at a later date so keep your eyes peeled for that. We will also have news of the lead single ‘What You Want’ a huge sounding synth-pop meets acid house banger that screams summer anthem. We can’t wait until the ‘Verxes’ drops and we’ll have more information soon but in the mean time check out ‘Valkyrie’ & ‘Spectre’ below that will be on the album. You can also preview the fantastic artwork from the album below too.

curxes verxes

Portsmouth City Collection Part 1: Lost and Found

Collecting is something that goes way back to the early edges of the modern human psychology, a motivation to draw objects together that have a sense of meaning for the collector, that can illustrate aspects of an identity through representations of places and times past. Pretty much everyone has succumbed to the urge to collect at some stage in their life, be it stamps, stickers, shells, postcards, geology, fine art, sculpture and even aeroplane sick bags and My Little Pony. Beyond individuals, other groups create collections too, from small groups and trusts through to councils and right up to nation states. Portsmouth, like many other cities all over the UK and the World has its own collection of objects that represent its past, its culture and the people who have called it home.

The Portsmouth Collection began with the foundation of the Portsmouth museum service, established by order of the council back in 1892. The Victorians had a strong tradition of philanthropy which allowed the collection to grow from inception with people donating objects and art, the collection in essence owned by the then town (we became a city in 1927) and its people. 

The collection was homed at The Market House & Guildhall on High Street in what is now Old Portsmouth, designed by Benjamin Bramble and opened on June 28th 1838. The building was the civic centre with council chambers plus an open market and even an early police station too. The building quickly ran out of space for city officials so the new Guildhall in Guildhall Square was opened in 1879. With this move the building became the city’s museum and home to the collection.

Market House and Guildhall by Calcott, published by Charpentier
Market House and Guildhall by Calcott, published by Charpentier.

During the blitz in 1941, the city suffered with a huge loss of life and much of the city damaged and broken. On one air raid on the city the museum was bombed, with much of the city collection destroyed. Around 750 objects were saved from the destruction but it is impossible to know how much of the collection was lost as well as what these objects were specifically because all records were destroyed too. Only a handful of paintings were saved and some still show signs of burn damage. These objects that survived (to this day cataloged with ’S’ numbers to signify salvage) were the basis for a new museum service in 1945 with the end of the war.

Market House and Guildhall
Market House and Guildhall after the bombing.

From 1945 the museum service looked to acquire material relating to the history of Portsmouth and the natural history of the local area but also aimed to collect decorative art and modern British art. Under the theme of ‘The History of British Taste’ a national appeal was launched for donations to the collection from both individuals and organisations.

'Outskirts of Portsmouth Dockyard' charcoal drawing by W.H. Clarkson
‘Outskirts of Portsmouth Dockyard’ charcoal drawing by W.H. Clarkson.

The Portsmouth City Collection 70 years later is now both vast in size and scope. The collection contains archaeology, art, literary history, local history, military history and natural science with many of the objects donated or bequeathed to the city. The collection can be viewed at the city’s different museums including: Portsmouth City Museum, Charles Dickens’ Birthplace, The D-Day Museum, Southsea Castle, Cumberland House Natural History Museum & Eastney Beam Engine House. Even with all of these museums and exhibition spaces no more than approximately 15% of the City Collection is on display at any one time. 

With our next article we’ll be exploring the role of a curator for the museum service. If you want to see some of the finest items on the collection be sure to visit the A Hard Choice exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum. Many items on show in this exhibition were acquired by Rosalinda Hardiman over the last 35 years during her curatorship.

This Sunday there is a free guided tour around the exhibition by Rosalinda from 3pm to 4pm. Find out about some of the stories behind the objects on show and Rosalinda’s reasons for choosing them. Pre-booking is advised.

Throughout this year you can find out more about the Portsmouth City Collection and the many works of art and objects in contains with a Twitter account, simply follow: @PortsCityCollec

Portsmouth Harbour by Edmund T. Crawford
‘Portsmouth Harbour’ by Edmund T. Crawford.

Combat by Jack Canty
‘Combat’ by Jack Canty.

Creative Collaborations In Our City

Bringing skill and imagination to a community is really important and creating colourful, artistic environments make cities recognisable and individual.

Brothers, Mimic and Lex, both Portsmouth based have worked together on several projects as well as alone. They have numerous activity underway and specialise in cool and quirky T shirt design. They have drawn for a brand called Teezer which is soon to be launching and are responsible for the brand, Super villain.

When talking to Mimic and Lex it was clear that the guys had some big influences including Graffitti and Street Art, Skateboard graphics, David Carson, 80’s Synth Pop, Pop Art, Urban Vinyl and  50/60/and 70’s cartoons and each other.

When asked where the creativity came from Lex told us ‘Why am I creative; I guess it’s the only thing I was ever any good at. And something I have a real passion for. I get inspired by other creative people and enjoy being part of a creative community. I’m always striving to develop my own skills and push my visual experimentation further. Having a few different outlets (All Caps, Supervillain, Teezer) helps me to change up my style and techniques depending on whether I’m following a more graphic design led brief or perhaps a cartoon-based illustration… It’s great to enjoy that kind of variety in my work.’

When asking Mimic he told us ‘I design because it’s what I know, it’s what I grew up doing, from doodling aliens and monsters as a kid to studying art and design at college. My influences are mainly pop culture based. Music is a big part of my life but I also find connections in movies, comics and graffiti. I use a lot of horror and sci-fi imagery in my work too. My main focus in my Mimic work is illustrative but I’m educated and trained as a graphic designer.’

The guys recently painted a beautiful wall for Portsmouth’s booming Design agency, 3Degrees, which was started by Chris Godby and Nathan Hornby back in 2011. A thriving company that combines web and design, to meet individual client needs and requirements in various ways. The guys at 3Degrees were looking for a local artist to paint a blank wall in their office in Old Portsmouth and via word of mouth came across Mimic and Lex. The goal was to create a piece that felt local and had a Portsmouth, nautical theme and the boys pulled it off superbly. They worked on a design that was tailor made for this company and left business owners Chris and Nathan smiling.

Portsmouth is renound for its awesome artistic collaborations and with big names coming out of our city all the time it is great to be able to walk around and spy some of our favourite personalities on walls and in spaces in and around the city.

Mimic and Lex have been involved in events at Southsea Skatepark and other local community based areas and their work is easily recognisable. We cant wait to check out what they do next!

Follow Lex and Mimic on Facebook or on Twitter @supervillainhq and check out their website, Also look up the guys at 3Degrees

Lex and Mimic


Lex and Mimic

HMS M.33 Crowdfunding Appeal

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is home to some of the finest historic ships in the UK, with HMS Victory, HMS Warrior & The Mary Rose all iconic and tourist attractions helping bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city. Soon to join this elite flotilla of ships is the HMS M.33, dry docked opposite the Victory and currently undergoing a huge refit inside and out ready for opening to the public in August. The M.33, a Monitor gun platform, was built in only 7 weeks specifically for ship to shore bombardment with it’s two heavy 6 inch guns. The shallow draft with it’s flat bottom design meant it could come close to the shoreline. The ship is one of a handful of Royal Navy craft left from WW1 and the only craft from the Gallipoli campaign, which occurred 100 years ago this year.

The redevelopment of the ship is restoring and redeveloping it from the bare metal up. The craft (and the dry dock) will welcome visitors in through new access points with the lower decks converted in to exhibition spaces. Working upwards the on deck cabins will be restored with the feel of a ship from 1915. The guns are also being lovingly restored by dedicated volunteers too.

Even with all this activity and work ongoing on the ship the National Museum of the Royal Navy is hoping to raise £19,150 to help finish the £2.4m project. The funding is being done through crowdfunding website Indigogo which is an innovative route for sourcing donations for the project for a ship of this type. You can watch the film below for all the details on how any donation will go towards creating another unique visitor experience celebrating the city and the nations nautical heritage.

I visited the ship to see progress in person on a rainy February day, the ship will be up there with its dockyard neighbours and not only that, you’ll also get to actually be in the scheduled monument dry dock too to see the ship from a completely new perspective. You can find out lots more about the project and make a donation before 18th March at:

Below are a selection of images from the visit to HMS M.33, you can see many more on our Flickr.

RBS 6 Nations Rugby At Southsea Castle

After two rounds of matches in this years RBS 6 Nations England are leading the pack with two wins from two games. Admittedly it is a bit early to start celebrating anything just yet, especially with a big game this weekend against Ireland, who are the only other unbeaten side so far.

You will be able to see every minute of the game and every 6 Nations match live on a big screen at Southsea Castle. Entry is free and there is be plenty of draught beer, cask ale, ciders and plenty of food available.

To stay up to date you can join the Facebook Event page HERE.

England Rugby

6 Nations

Created Local: Death Marks

At the turn of this new year a new Southsea based clothing company Death Marks launched with their first drop of garments ranging from beanies through to tees, hoodies and coach jackets. We caught up with owners Sian & Iiona to find out more.

How did Death Marks begin and what are your backgrounds?
Death Marks UK started when Iiona looked through Sian’s sketch book and saw the R.I.P Rabbit design. Sian said how she would love to take her sketches and make a clothing line as it was a dream of hers. Iiona has always had a passion for graphic design and wanted to support her partner Sian and experiment her skills in different medias.

Sian studied graphics design at Portsmouth college and had 2 years experience working for a design agency called Design Image as a website coder.

Iiona had studied graphics from GCSEs to A-level and now works as a multimedia designer creating animations, illustrations and interactive content.

Who creates your artwork and what inspires your designs?
All our designs are created in-house. Sian comes up with the designs and draws them up rough. Then either one of us will digitalise the design and after Iiona goes through each design so that it is perfected and final. Iiona will take the design and create and animation to help tell the story behind it.

We are inspired by the tattoo industry, alternative music scene and other clothing lines such as Drop Dead clothing, Doomsday and Honour Over Glory.

What do you have planned for the label in the coming months?
Over the coming months we have south coast events planned in Portsmouth and Southampton. We have a gig at the Edge of the Wedge in April that we are working with Eyeless Promotions, another independent company who have also just started up this year. In May we have a festival in Southampton called Messtival where we will have a stall, in June we are releasing our summer range. Currently we are organising an event with Southsea Skatepark in the summer with Archie Cole, a world champion scooter rider.

Check the photos below of the current Death Marks range, you can find out more and buy items from the Death Marks website at:

Check Death Marks on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram too.

Created Local: Death Marks (1)

Created Local: Death Marks (2)

Created Local: Death Marks (3)

Created Local: Death Marks (4)

Converse Team Skating Portsmouth Spots

Back in January the UK Converse CONS tour ‘Braving The Cold’ battled through some not so great weather hitting up a load of cities through the UK, including a stop in Portsmouth at Bored and the city streets. The tour visited a different city everyday starting off in Bournemouth, from there the team went along the South coast to Portsmouth, then up towards Oxford, Wolverhampton and Stoke-On-Trent then stopping off at Sheffield and Manchester.

When in Portsmouth some regular favourite spots got hit up plus a few not so often skated ones too such as the Dickens Letters, Somerstown and the bank under the library bridge, good to see. You can watch the video below with loads of Portsmouth footage and see the photos shot down here by Reece Leung too. You can see more photos on the Sidewalk website too.

Matlock Bennett Jones Backside Smith to Street by Reece Leung
Matlock Bennett Jones Backside Smith to Street by Reece Leung

Jerome backside 50-50 by Reece Leung
Jerome backside 50-50 by Reece Leung

Have Your Say With the Portsmouth Museum Strategy Survey

Portsmouth Museums Service are conducting a survey about the city’s new museum strategy and would love to know your thoughts. The survey only takes five minutes and can help shape the future of the museums, their exhibitions and their community engagement in Portsmouth.

You can read the draft strategy document and fill out the short survey HERE until the 1st March.

Portsmouth Harbour by Edmund T. Crawford

Artist Talk with Jules George at the National Museum of the Royal Navy

The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth would like to invite everyone to a free talk by the artist Jules George from 6-7pm on Thursday 26th February. This is a rare opportunity to hear the artist talk about his latest series of artworks and the inspiration behind them. Jules George‘s exhibition, which is supported with funding from the Arts Council, continues at the Museum until 8th March 2015.

Artist Talk with Jules George at the National Museum of the Royal Navy

Next »


Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre in Southsea is continuing is restorations, this afternoon they were taking the roof top away, we’re assuming for some repairs and maintenance work.

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 1

Jonathan & Matthew Ring recently released a book of archive Portsmouth photography that was taken by their grandparents over the years (find out more about the book HERE). As well as photographs they also found a load of footage filmed around the city and have just released their first episode of their Portsmouth on Film.

This episode has some great footage from the early 90s, including some from the Tour de France.

Matt O’Neill

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

Big Rave Night

Clearly ‘that top group from Portsmouth The Parkas’ used to rave hard at the licensed bar The Drill Hall in Camberley back in ’67. Awesome stuff for sure.

Flyer Seen : Pompey Pop Pix

Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea

Awesome vintage photography collection from Pop Olive33 that I found on Flickr a while back. Check out Osborne Road and Guildhall. Epic. Hard to imagine a time when traffic flowed through Guilders, and that was only in 1968 and the shot looking west down Osborne Road is amazing. Trams, horses, grand buildings, a traffic cop, ladies & gents. It’s all going on. To view the full collection head over to Pop Olive’s Flickr photostream HERE and the Portsmouth set HERE.

Strong Island Clothing Co.