Strong Island Co.

Strong Island

SNUB23 End of Show Party at Play Dead Tonight

Tonight is the end of exhibition party for the current SNUB23 show over at Play Dead, which will include an awesome raffle for original artwork and live painting. Also a great chance to check the show if you missed it, meet the artist and grab a free beer or three.

SNUB23 End of Show (2)


SNUB23 at Play Dead

Portsmouth Talent Development Programme

The Portsmouth Cultural Trust is submitting a Grants for Arts application to Arts Council which will focus on developing talent throughout the Portsmouth area. The aim of this initial 2-year programme is to engage with emerging to mid-term artists from all art-forms. Working with partner organisations in and around the local area Portsmouth Cultural Trust aim to build upon existing platforms and to explore new opportunities which will encourage new work, touring, artist development, mentoring and best practise.

Who is this programme for? Artists who either work in the arts professionally, or seek to work in the arts professionally and who are creating new work. You might be a musician, visual artist, choreographer, dancer, director, producer, writer or poet.

On Tuesday the 3rd May at 5.30pm at Portsmouth Guildhall there will be an artist consultation where local artists can find out more about the talent development programme, if you are interested in going please email

Win Portsmouth Summer Show Tickets

The kind people at Portsmouth Summer Show have have given us a pair of tickets for this weekend’s event to give away to Strong Island fans.  The lucky winner will receive two tickets for either Saturday or Sunday (the choice is yours), worth a total of £30!

So if you’re a closet (or card-carrying) pop fan and want to see the likes of Peter Andre,  5ive, Scouting For Girls, Diversity, the Hoosiers and Fun Lovin’ Criminals, enter today…

To be in with a chance of winning, send your answers to the following questions to before midnight on Friday 29th April. The winner be contact directly and announced on social media soon after, and will need to collect their tickets from Southsea.

Just answer:

1) How many members are there now in 5ive?
2) What year did Sam Bailey win X-Factor?

If you don’t want to leave it to chance, then tickets are available now for a mere £15 from, Meat & Barrel, Little Johnny Russells or Cosham Library.

You can also keep up to date on Portsmouth Summer Show on Facebook.

Portsmouth Summer Show


Southsea Sound Recording Studio Open Day This Saturday

Southsea Sound is a new recording studio and rehearsal space in the heart of Southsea, just off of Albert Road (behind Portsmouth Ink Tattoo Studio and the SouthScene Cafe). The studio has already in the weeks since opening been home to bands and artists both from Portsmouth and from much further afield. Southsea Sounds this Saturday will be open to the public from 11am to 4pm, with a chance for all to come and visit the newest addition to the Southsea music scene. Come and have a look round, speak to the owners and enjoy some live music throughout the day too.

Live music on the day will be by:

Pete Rapp, from 1pm.
Ismael Clark, from 2:30pm.

No tickets are required, but please be aware there is limited space. Parking is available on the surrounding streets, but no parking is allowed in the alleyway where the studio is situated due to it being for residential use only.

Find out more about Southsea Sound at their Facebook page, their Twitter and their website:

Southsea Sound (1)

Southsea Sound (2)

Joseph Loughborough ‘The Desert’

Joseph Loughborough is back with his latest giclee print ‘The Desert’. The print is a giclee print on 305gsm Hahnemühle Photorag with goldleaf hand finishing. The limited edition run is for fifteen only so don’t hang around if you’d like one. The print itself is 42/59.4cm(A2) (16.5 x 23.4 inches).

You can get you hands on a copy for £120 at

You can find out more about him at on Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter @Joeloughborough and Facebook.

Joseph Loughbrough 1

Joseph Loughbrough 2

Summer Sunset Screenings

Summer’s approaching. Lucky for us, then, that the marvellous folk at Portsmouth Film Society have put together another cracking programme of open air screenings around the city. They’re in some stunning venues too; including Southsea Castle, The Bandstand and Victoria Park. With some of the events already sold out (I’m already kicking myself over Labyrinth), you’d better get in quick…

Check the Portsmouth Film Society website for more information and tickets.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (15) | Tuesday 14 June | After sunset | Eldon Building Courtyard

This low-budget cult classic/cultural institution concerns the misadventures of Brad Majors and Janet Weiss inside a strange mansion belonging to the mysterious Frank N Furter, that they come across on a rainy night. Richard O’Brien’s daring and diverse comedy horror musical still has the power to shock and delight. Come in Costume.

Apache (U) | Thursday 16 June | After sunset | Southsea Castle

Based on Paul I Wellman’s novel and in turn inspired by a true story. Burt Lancaster plays Massai, a lieutenant of the great Apache warrior Geronimo. Though his tribe has surrendered, Massai refuses to do so. He escapes from a prison train and conducts a one-man war against the intruders-and against some of his own people.

Back to the Future (PG) | Saturday 18 June | After sunset | Southsea Bandstand

When teenager Marty is blasted to 1955 in the DeLorean time machine created by the eccentric Doc Brown, he finds himself mixed up in a time-altering chain reaction that could vaporize his future and leave him trapped in the past. Powered by innovative special effects, unforgettable songs and non-stop action, Back to the Future is an adventure that stands the test of time!

The Long Good Friday (18) | Wednesday 22 June | After sunset |Southsea Castle

This masterful British crime drama features a star-making performance by Bob Hoskins as Harold Shand, a successful London gangster whose world falls apart over the course of one weekend. When a bomb explodes inside his Rolls Royce, another bomb destroys a pub he owns and a third is found inside his casino. Shand can’t understand who would suddenly want him dead. Introduced by Dr. Dave Allen.

What’s New Pussycat? (15) | Wednesday 29 June | After sunset | Southsea Castle

Fashion editor Michael James a psychiatrist to help with his inability to have serious relationships with the women he meets. Meanwhile, Victor Shakapopulis desperately tries to attract even one. Introduced by Sue Harper, Emeritus Professor of Film History at the University of Portsmouth, whose books include “Picturing the Past: the Rise and Fall of the British Costume Film”, “Women in British Cinema: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know”.

Song of the Sea (PG) | Wednesday 2 July | After sunset | Southsea Bandstand

The last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past. Pursued by mythical creatures, Saoirse and Ben race against time to awaken Saoirse’s powers and keep the spirit world from disappearing forever. A wonder of magical storytelling and visual splendour that is destined to become a classic.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (U) | Friday 8 July | After sunset |Castle Road

Enigmatic candy maker, Willy Wonka, stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats: the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather.

Labyrinth (U) | Saturday 9 July | After sunset | Castle Road (TBC)

Fifteen-year-old Sarah secretly wishes her baby brother Toby would just disappear. When goblins kidnap the boy, feeling guilty she sets forth to save him and finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime. She must sneak into the castle of the Goblin King in the centre of a fantastical labyrinth filled with strange creatures and mind-bending puzzles, where nothing is as it seems.

Pirates of the Caribbean (12A) | Friday 15 July | After sunset | Cumberland House Natural History Museum Garden

In Curse of the Black Pearl, Captain Jack Sparrow arrives at Port Royal in the Caribbean without a ship or crew. His timing is inopportune, however, because later that evening the town is besieged by a pirate ship. Captain Jack will save his love, the governor’s daughter, from his former pirate allies, who are now undead. Come in pirate-themed fancy dress!

Tommy (15) | Saturday 16 July | After sunset | South Parade Pier (TBC)

A boy born and raised in post-WWII England grows up seemingly deaf and mute due to a traumatic experience in his youth. He eventually gains fame as a pinball champion, is billed as a messiah and attempts to lead a religious sect. Portsmouth locations abound.

From Dusk Till Dawn (18) | Friday 22 July | After sunset | Victoria Park

After a string of robberies that left a river of blood in their wake, the sadistic Gecko brothers head to Mexico to live the good life. To get over the border, they kidnap a widowed preacher and his two children. The quintet park their RV at a rough-and-tumble truck stop but they soon realise that they’re not in a typical bar.

Kung Fu Hustle (15) | Wednesday 27 July | After sunset | Southsea Castle

International superstar, Stephen Chow’s, humorous, special-effects-filled, action-packed martial arts epic is set in early ’40s China. A bumbling thief named Sing desires to be the toughest member of the dreaded gangster hit squad known as The Axe Gang. Packed with elaborate stunts and visual gags, also Starring Yuen Wah and Xing Yu, and with fight choreography by legendary masters Yuen Woo Ping and Sammo Hung. (English subtitles).

Sunset Film Screenings programme

PFS Logo

Created Local with Illustrator Scott Collier

Illustrator Scott Collier’s work recently really caught our eye, so we thought we would find out a bit more about Scott and his highly detailed illustration. All the more so with the new series of Game of Thrones dropping this weekend…

How did you get started in illustration?
I have always drawn for as long as I can remember. My Grandfather was an exceptional oil painter and by spending a lot of time with him influenced my passion for Illustration. It was a subject I got on well with at home and was quite good at from an early age.

What sort of things inspire your work? Other artists & Illustrators?
I am a huge fan of TV shows and films, from classics to current releases which most of my work is based on. I have always had a fascination with TV, as a kid I grew up reading Transformers comic books and later on Frank Millers’ 300 and Sin City works. The inked illustrations are incredible because of the unusual perspectives he uses. I have some of his books on my shelf. This encouraged my love of black and white illustration in particular, greyscale and monotones are my preference. Colour is something I have to work hard at.

My favourite illustrators at the moment are Tyler Stout, Hellovon, Ken Taylor, Matt Taylor and Kingsley Nebechi however this list could be never ending. Also I Love Dust is a company that I follow closely.

Created Local with Illustrator Scott Collier - Back to the Future II
Scott Collier – Back to the Future II.

Your work reminds us a bit of Tyler Stout, is his work an inspiration?
Tyler Stout is an illustrator I discovered recently. I have to say, since seeing his artwork it has influenced on me. The level of detail Tyler uses is something I try to replicate in my own work. Detail has always been a strength of mine and it’s people like Tyler who keep me working harder for it!

What is your process for creating a piece of work? Freehand or digital?
I try to do both freehand and digital work. I started off very much freehand working with thick papers, inks, brushes, different pens and pencils but It really depends on time. Graphic tablets developed and because of the added benefits of working digital (can be edited and manipulated greatly) I switched to that to see what it was like. I would love to do more things freehand but time constraints make it difficult. I have gotten into a good rhythm with digital at the moment. I started off with a Bamboo tablet years ago, then a Cintiq and then for more convenience I recently (December 2015) bought the Surface Pro.

Created Local with Illustrator Scott Collier

Created Local with Illustrator Scott Collier - Back to the Future II WIP

Some of your designs you’re made available on tees, are you looking at developing your designs in to that area?
I would love to do more designs for t-shirts specifically. I have many graphic Tees in my own wardrobe. But the t-shirt designs I currently sell are part of a wider apparel selection using some great websites that sell my designs. I sold a GoT Tyrion portrait throw blanket and cushion cover which was really cool. I also create my own lettering and typography by freehand and then vectorise in illustrator, I would love some of that printed on Tees. The great thing about t-shirts is everyone wears them.

You reference a lot of popular culture favourites, what are your favourite subjects to work with these days?
My favourite subjects have always been creating portraits of people. Whether that is real celebrities or popular fictional characters, I just love it. Capturing their expression and summarising their character in an illustration can be quite powerful. Being able to capture the exact look of a person is a something that I have always challenged myself with. I have developed this by doing several character portraits and placing them together. When I am excited about a TV show or film release, I want to express that excitement by posting my portraits on social media to celebrate the storylines and life like characters with other people who share the same interest.

I am thinking of producing a House of Cards illustration in the near future (this is currently one of my favourite shows).

Created Local with Illustrator Scott Collier - Game of Thrones
Scott Collier – Game of Thrones.

With the new series of Game of Thrones dropping on Sunday, you’ve been dropping on your Instagram some GoT work, who is your favourite character?
My Favourite Game of Thrones character is Bronn, he has by far the best one liners in the show. His dry wit is joy to watch in the episodes and I would be huge backer of a Bronn spin off! He is also one of the main characters that hasn’t been killed off yet! (fingers crossed!)

A big thank you to Scott for sharing his work, you can see more below and be sure to follow Scott on Instagram and visit Scott’s website:

Created Local with Illustrator Scott Collier - Breaking Bad
Scott Collier – Breaking Bad.

Created Local with Illustrator Scott Collier - Joaquin Phoenix (levels)
Scott Collier – Joaquin Phoenix (levels).

Created Local with Illustrator Scott Collier - Darth Vader Close Up
Scott Collier – Darth Vader Close Up.

Created Local with Illustrator Scott Collier - Batman
Scott Collier – Batman.

Common People Competition – Win A Pair Of Weekend Tickets

The lovely guys and girls behind Common People have donated pair of weekend tickets for next month’s festival for us to give away. So to clarify the winner will receive two tickets for Saturday and Sunday worth £55 each!

To be in with a chance of winning send your answers to the following questions to before midnight on Sunday 24th April. The winner be contact directly and announced on social media soon after.

1) What year was Craig David’s debut album “Born to Do It” released?
2) Can you name the Isle of Wight based festival which is affiliated with Common People?

If you don’t want to leave it to chance then tickets are available now and you can pick one up via the website

You can stay up to date on all things Common People via Facebook and Twitter @CommonPeopleSO and Instagram @CommonPeopleSO or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Common People

Exhibition of Photography by Meryem Amelia at The Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre on Albert Road has for the last few years been home to not just performances on the main stage but also exhibitions of art and photography in the public spaces by the circle and bar. The exhibitions of artwork get seen by 1000s of people a month and often focus on different elements of Portsmouth.

Currently on show is an exhibition by local photographer Meryem Amelia who has her first exhibition on the walls from now until the 2nd of May, with many of her photos featuring the city. The exhibition is also open to the public on Thursday and Saturdays via the theatre box office, so if you’re passing get a look.

Below are a couple of examples of the images on show.

Photography by Meryem Amelia (1)

Photography by Meryem Amelia (2)

Photos from Southsea Seafront & Southsea Rowing Club Photo Walkshop

Saturday morning we were out in the sun (well, while it lasted anyway) along Southsea seafront for our 17th photo walkshop. The sold out walkshop started off at the foot of the new Solent wheel ride at Clarence Pier, the latest landmark in the city. We looked at triptych ways of documenting a scene and also using reflections on windows and puddles. We made our way down to the hovercraft and used some different focusing and composition techniques in capturing the busy Solent. As the weather took a little turn for the worse and the sky turned grey and the sea turned green we made it to Southsea Rowing Club just in time. The club had kindly agreed to let us explore their boathouse on this walkshop, with a rare glimpse at the craft as well as the different equipment, etc. With the sun back out we finished up the walkshop looking at using depth of field when photographing one of their craft ready for the water.

The next photo walkshop is at the beautiful East Head, with us looking at the sand banks and the sand dunes. This and all the new spring and early summer walkshops in Portsmouth and at Emsworth, Hamble, Lee on Solent and more spots on the south coast can be booked HERE, the walkshops are 2 hours long and only £10. We also have a couple of walkshops with Chichester Harbour Conservancy that are 3 hours long too.

Photos from Saturday’s walkshop are below, you can find out all about the Strong Island photography walkshops at:

Next »


Local Photographer – Paul Gordon

Local photographer Paul Gordon has spent a lot of time hanging out and photographing the local skaters over the summer, both in the skatepark and out and about. The photos from the summer are now up in galleries on Paul’s website As well as the skating photos there are also loads of other galleries too including sport, portraiture, landscape, etc. Have a flick through.




Ash Cloud

I took these photos the other week when the ash cloud was at it’s worst, there are more over at Forever Circling. if you have any photos online taken around the island effected by the ash cloud please pop a link in the comments and we’ll post some up later this week.

Eastney Beam Engine House

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.

Engine House

Local Photographer – Eamon Lane

A recent arrival to Portsmouth, Eamon Lane has been out and about the city recently shooting photos on the street and at local events such as Love Your Bike. Below are a few examples of Eamon’s photography, visit I Love Slugs to see more.

Vintage Southsea Postcards

You know we love a bit of vintage nostalgia here at Strong Island, and these old postcards of Clarence Pier are no exception. I always pick them up at the Car Boot sale opposite Clarence when I see one. When does the Car Boot start up again? Got to be soon. Answers on a postcard…




Pier and Snow

Here are a few photos from a walk down to the pier on Wednesday during the snowfall. There are some more over on Forever Circling.

Whiteout #2


Walk Together

Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Following on again from the photos of the Seafront and the Paddling Pool after The Bandstand and Tennis Courts the previous week, here’s another scan from Khalid.

The Pavilion on Clarence Pier looks amazing. No more donkey rides though. Shame.

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 3

The next episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up recently. This episode is of a round Portsmouth car journey back in 1998.

After skating…

…the boys enjoy a sit down at the seafront on a Sunday. Photo courtesy of the ever busy Quiet Corners lensman Paul Gonella. Perfect days, albeit still cold.

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.

Strong Island Clothing Co.