Strong Island Co.

Strong Island

The Clock Face Exhibition at the Coastguard Studio

On 22nd August The Coastguard Studio will open its latest exhibition The Clock Face Exhibition.

Wesley Brown has assembled a team of local creative talent to deliver an exhibition capturing the essence of time in all its glory. The artists involved include Wesley Brown himself as well as Kirsty Herring, Oliver Nelson, Bruce Spruce, Elliot Cranston, Mark Poyner and Stefano Pollina.

Wesley describes the use of time as the theme for the exhibition, “Capturing time is the essence of all photography; every photo is simply a moment we have managed to capture and store, something that we can use to remember it visually forever more. It really allowed me to open up the exhibition to a whole range of concepts”.

As well as the exhibition there will be music courtesy of InDeep Music. Doors open on the night at 6pm and it is looking like To stay up to date with the exhibition visit the Facebook Event page HERE.

Kirsty Herring
By Kirsty-Herring
Stefano Pollina
By Stefano Pollina
Wesley Brown
By Wesley Brown
Clock Face Exhibition

Strong Island Recordings At The Southsea Bandstand

This Saturday Strong Island Recordings takeover the Southsea Bandstand with one of the loudest line-ups the bandstand has seen yet.

An afternoon of space rock/psychedelia, post-punk and dreampop is on offer with Southsea cult legends and Cardinal Fuzz signings You’re Smiling Now But we’ll All Turn Into Demons headlining the day plus gnarly noise rock meets garage rock and post-punk Southsea favourites, Red Seals, psychedelic doom-rock outfit Unknown Soldiers who are like being dropped into the middle of  a sun baked desert during a spaghetti western plus Jimmy Stuart of Strong Island Recordings’ Is Bliss who is an immense talent.

The day kicks off from around 12.30pm so head down early.  In the event it rains off we will be heading to The Edge of the Wedge, if in doubt keep an eye on the Strong Island Recordings Twitter page @StrongIslandRec. More details of the event can be found here.

amp sir

Sofar Sounds Presents… Rex Domino

Earlier this month Rex Domino stole the show at the Blissfields Spoken Word event curated by yours truly.

Last week the local Hip Hop, Beat Poetry and Spoken Word artist was again showing off his talents by performing at Sofar Sounds in Oxford. Rex performed his poem “Sinew” and describes the poem is based on a frantic middle class mother. Check it out for yourself below.

You can follow Rex Domino on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @RexDomino_. If you like what you hear then you can get your hands on some of his previous work at

Art Space | Open Garden

The Garden has come a long way since it was started by Art Space Portsmouth artists Jane Kilford and Adrian Mundy in 2008, turning an area of unused tarmac into a thriving oasis in the heart of the city.

With help from volunteers from the local community and Art Space artists and thanks to donations of plants and pots from various sources the garden has gone on to win multiple awards from Portsmouth in Bloom and the RHS South/South-East in Bloom. Fingers crossed there may be more to follow in this years Portsmouth in Bloom awards which are to be announced soon.

The garden is going to be opening the gates for their annual Open Garden on Saturday 1st August between 1pm-4pm. You will be able to look around the garden, purchase yourself some plants and sit and relax with a nice cuppa and cake. Entry is free… but donations are gratefully received.

You can find the garden at Art Space, 27 Brougham Road, Southsea, PO5 4PA. If you would like to know more then check out their Facebook page HERE.

Art Space

Strong Island At Bestival 2015

We are thrilled to announce that Strong Island have been invited by Rob Da Bank and his team to cross the Solent and cover this years Bestival! Since it’s humble beginnings of 2004 we have been venturing over to enjoy the festival so to be covering it up close is really exciting.

Keep an eye out on Strong Island over the next six weeks where we will be previewing some of our favourite delights that will be going on over the weekend. Just some of the musical highlights include Underworld, Tame Impala, The Jacksons, Jungle, Jurassic 5, Little Dragon, Lianne La Havas, Missy Elliot and the Chemical Brothers. Portsmouth will be playing a part too with performances from Batala, Kassassin Street and Rex Domino.

Find out how you can get yourself tickets on the Bestival website – Roll on September!

Bestival 2015

Bestival 2015

Strong Island Calendar 2016 #SIC2016

If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit for our 2016 calendar then you can email your submission via If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2016.

There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth. We would love to see more submissions from all over Portsmouth not just our favourite Southsea landmarks so please share this with friends who you think might be interested in getting involved.

Strong Island Calendar Poster 2016

‘Dice’ Kickstarter Campaign

Local boys Lee Purslow and Rikki Parsons have just launched their Kickstarter campaign to open ‘Dice’, Portsmouth’s first ever board game café.

Inspired by the rise in board game cafes in Canada and America, but more recently in the England with ‘Thirsty Meeples’ in Oxford, and ‘Draughts’ in Hackney. They want to open a place to relax with your friends or family, eat good food, drink fresh coffee and challenge each other across the table.

Lee and Rikki have invested a large amount of private capital but admit “we need some extra funding to make sure we can create our full vision. We will not be personally drawing any money out of the café, so all of your funding will go directly into making Dice the best it can be. We will use this funding to renovate the venue to the required standard, grow the board game library and purchase the necessary equipment to offer a full food and drinks menu.”

If you are not aware of what Kickstarter is, it is a global crowdfunding platform which launched in 2009. The aim of a Kickstarter campaign is to raise money for a project which could be anything from a film, games, music, art, design and technology. The project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected.

Check out the link below to find out more about the the project and the full range of rewards available for anyone who wants to get involved. With donation rewards starting at just £5 please get involved and help make this original project happen!



dice logo

Democratic Beach Paintings by Andrew Holmes Preview Event Thursday 23rd July at Jack House Gallery

Jack House Gallery will be holding a preview event on the evening of Thursday 23rd July for ‘Democratic Beach’, a series of paintings by artist Andrew Holmes. This exhibition is the third in the gallery, there’s still time to catch 16 Greenwich Printmakers, a wonderful selection of prints in a range subjects and media by the very best printmaking collective in town as well as Richard Colson’s spirited and evocative oil paintings on the fine art of fencing. These two shows continue until 1st August.

“Whether bright sunlight or overcast, the rich starkness of the figures’ forms silhouettes against the warm, pale sea and this is the most important image I hold in my emotional and visual memory. After returning to the studio in London and working from scribbles made on the beach, I wanted the drawings and paintings to reflect these figures and scenes as I saw them.” – Andrew Holmes.

Andrew Holmes will be here in the gallery on Thursday evening when his show opens from 6:30pm until 8:30pm and if you can’t make it the exhibition runs from Friday 24th July through to the 5th September.

Find out more at the Jack House Gallery website:

'Democratic Beach' Paintings by Andrew Holmes

Jack House Gallery

Photos from Saturday’s Photography Walkshop at Hilsea Lines & Foxes Forest

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.

Southsea Sangha at Portsmouth Yoga

Southsea Sangha is a peer led Buddhist meditation group, based at Portsmouth Yoga Studio, Albert Rd, and is organised and founded by volunteer Meditation Teacher, Daniel Sutton-Johanson and Yoga Teacher Lucy Barlow. The group, run entirely on a Dana (Generosity) basis, began meeting with just a few practitioners once a month in May 2014, and has grown exponentially since. After meeting the costs of each meeting, any surplus dana is donated to local homeless and rape crisis charities. Having recently celebrated their 1st birthday and having hosted several international Dharma Teachers, they now have news of another evening event with international teachers and details of a new weekly, open access meditation group for anyone interested in learning more about or developing their own meditation practice.

Dan and Lucy

Visiting Dharma Teachers

On Sunday, August 9th, 6-8pm, Southsea Sangha host dharma teachers Thanissara and Kittisaro, who both trained in the Forest School of Ajahn Chah practicing as monastics for 15 & 12 years respectively. Thanissara, is a staunch environmental activist, feminist and racial rights activist, and is involved in a number of initiatives, including recently speaking at The White House on issues of racism & climate change, The Peoples Climate March in New York, and the Buddhist Climate Action Network in galvanizing the Buddhist community, as a strong ethical and engaged force for a sustainable planet. Among the many places they visit, both teach at Spirit Rock in the U.S and are familiar faces at Gaia House Retreat Centre in Devon.

Than and Kitt

Due to huge attendance at their last teacher event with Martin Aylward earlier this year, advance booking is now required. Tickets are £10 and can be purchased online HERE. For a limited number of low income concessions please contact

New Weekly Meditation Groups

The aim of Southsea Sangha is to create a safe and supported environment for all who come to practice or are simply curious about meditation. The Sangha are super pleased to announce that in addition to their main 2hr meeting with Daniel on the last Sunday of every month, which involves guided meditation, dharma talks and some Q&A, they are now able to provide shorter 1hr group meditation meetings, every Sunday from 6-7pm. The teachings and meditation practices shared by Daniel are influenced by the Vipassana (insight) tradition and all levels of experience are welcome. These new weekly Sunday classes, facilitated by other Sangha members, are more informal and consist of a 30 minute meditation session and a chance to chat and meet other members of your community.

Portsmouth Yoga

By sticking to the core teaching of the Buddha, other cultural traditions and “add ons” that often come to be associated with Buddhism or religious practices are set aside and Southea Sangha welcomes people from all racial, economic, sexual, social, political and religious backgrounds and preferences. Daniel said “I believe this Sangha has a chance to adopt the lessons from our American cousins at Against the Steam Buddhist Meditation Society, and express the teachings and practice of getting your arse on the cushion and going against the habitual chatter and tendencies of the mind and body, in a way people outside the conventional spiritual community can relate to.”

Just Sit

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Vintage Photography by Richard Baker

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.

Southsea Typeface

When ever possible I like to do the odd piece that’s just for me, just for fun. This came about off the back of something I was doing for work. Messing around with pens and pencils, then putting it through the computer. Maybe I’ll tackle Strong Island at the weekend! Oh, and for those that know him it’s Borneos birthday this Friday. KST then on to Albert Road. Be sure to check my flickr photostream to see the carnage.

Click the read more link to see a whole variety of colours.


Strong Island Easter Bike Ride Video II

Sharpie just sent me over his edit from the Bike Ride last April 4th. He attached one of those fancy Flip Cameras onto his handlebars and he was away. Really cool to be able to see the ride from different perspectives. Cheers buddy.

£800 raised at our 3rd Birthday Charity Raffle

Wow. Another Incredible success. Myself, Paul and the Strong Island Crew owe a MASSIVE thank you to all the people who donated, helped out, attended and of course bought those ever so important raffle tickets.

With your generosity we managed to raise an amazing £800 for The Portsmouth Autism Support Network and The Portsmouth Lifeboat Station.

Everyone had a great time and got fully involved in the atmosphere of the night. Free Strong Island Iced Teas were flowing, and the buffet was awesome. Pet Sounds kept the musical vibe alive and the crowd did the rest. A really good turn out of Strong Islanders made sure The Belle Isle was packed and the charity tin was full.

Well done to all the people who were lucky enough to get one of the prizes. If not more. Winners win prizes…..

Thanks to everyone who came down, all of the very generous prize donators and of course extra special thanks to Paul, Graham, Ben, James, Andy and all The Belle Isle staff for letting us hold our party and making sure no one went thirsty. Cheers guys.

Without the support from our readers, contributors and friends Strong Island would not be in the position to hold such an event, and we greatly appreciate it.

Prizes were very kindly donated from the following people: LJRs / The Belle Isle / Sopranos / Southsea Skatepark / Caravan Gallery / Michelle So Scone / Boed / Southsea Boutique / Dead Mans Glory / Lou Bush / Helen at Kings Theatre / Geoff at The Wedge / Love Southsea / Mikey Ayling / Mark Persuad / Southsea Gallery / james Porter / Parmiters, Ian & Sue / James Weaver / Alanna Smith / Matt Howarth / Bruce Jamieson / Jamie Olivers (Megatron) / Diana Goss / James Batchelor / Fran Bierton / Paul Thurlow / Bonzo Studio / Head Hairdressers / I Love Dust / Holgarama / Stuart Trett at Ye Olde Bike SHoppe. Apologies if I forgot your name.

We’re already looking forward to our 4th Birthday Party next year. Hope you can make it. All the best and thanks again.

Tristan & Paul

Photos: Matt Saxey

It’s going to be a Strong Movember – Join The Team

Righto chaps, keep that mighty moustache on the grow in support of Movember for The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. For 30 days of November you can help support and raise awareness through selflessly parading your top lip for charity.

You can sign up yourself, as I’m sure many of you already have, or you can join the Strong Island team and seek out sponsorship as a team. Through the Strong Island Movember page you can ask people to join the group, make donations, upload photos and post updates via the MoSpace page, Facebook and Twitter.

Head over to our MoSpace if you would like to get involved and grow a Strong Moustache to help raise awareness, or simply head over to and sign up to personally raise money.

The funds raised in the UK support the number one and two male specific cancers – prostate and testicular cancer. The funds raised are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. Together, these channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.

Poster: Tristan Savage

Old Cycle Race

At some point between the wars this was taken during a cycle race at the Alexandra Park velodrome up in Tipner, which is still there.

Cycle Race
(Click on image to see a larger version)

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.




By The Castle

Apologies for a little self-linkage, but I’ve added some photos from a July day down by the castle on Forever Circling (a photography, etc blog I update daily).

It’s sunny today too, roll on spring and summer.

Around the Castle

Strong Island Easter Bike Ride Video

The guys over at have put together a nice little edit from the Bike Ride on April 4th. It really shows the vibe of the day well. Good times. I better get on the phone and book the Police escort for August.

Amazing Vintage Naval Posters

I found these truly amazing posters on one of my many Flickr travels. All circa 1930s and all fantastic. Click the images for the direct links to Flickr.

Strong Island Clothing Co.