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Review of Portsmouth Festivities Spice Island Art Trail 2015

For the third year running Portsmouth Festivities and a small army of artists took over some of the best historic buildings in Old Portsmouth for the Spice Island Art Trail 2015. Each year sees more and more talented artists from different fields be selected to exhibit and this year saw some incredible work on display to the public for free as well as a great local schools exhibition showing their GCSE, BTEC and AS level art student’s summer work. As for the last two years judges from Aspex Gallery, Ast Space Portsmouth, Portsmouth Guildhall and Strong Island wandered around the different venues seeing the work on show, meeting the artists and finally choosing the winners.

This year’s winners, who will be exhibiting their work at Portsmouth Guildhall are:

Overall Winners:
1st – Kim Whitby
2nd – Alison Lawley
3rd – John Townsend & Margaret Marks (joint third place)
4th – Peter Nicholson

Commended – Michael Wright and Chris Wood.

Schools awards:
1st – Brandon CHoi (Portsmouth Grammar School)
2nd – Yana Trebska (Ryde School)
3rd – Laura Pullem (Highbury College)
4th – Megan Gray (Chichester High School for Girls)

The first venue I visited at 11 when the doors opened to the public for the Arts Trail was the Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club. This imposing, historic building overlooks the sports fields and the Royal Garrison Church before wide panoramic views of the Solent. The artists work on display was itself surrounded by an incredible collection of treasured objects & paintings owned by the club, with groups of work on show in different rooms from the ballroom downstairs up to the library. The first artwork that caught my eye were the sketchbooks of Trudy Barber, with different figures of musicians caught in the moments of musical reverie with their musical instruments.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Trudy Barber
Sketchbook by Trudy Barber.

Working to the back of the building, past a wall of portraits for each of the clubs’ many members to receive a Victoria Cross plus cabinets of trophies for sailing, I checked out the work on display in the large ballroom space. First up was the paintings by Jacquie Woodfield, with a great mix of detail and colour. I really liked the deckchairs painting in particular.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Jacquie Woodfield
Paintings by Jacquie Woodfield.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Jacquie Woodfield
Painting by Jacquie Woodfield.

Also sharing the space was Chris Wood with a collection of different work but front and centre were some band new linocut prints inspired by Ben Ainslie Racing yachts and Southsea. We predicted well over a year ago that BAR, their distinctive yachts and the new HQ would permeate through to photographers & artists as a striking new local inspiration and Chris’ new work is really rather special. These prints are available to buy framed and unframed.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Chris Wood
Linoprint by Chris Wood.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Chris Wood
Linoprint by Chris Wood.

Another artist sharing the space was painter Mary Amos who had on display a series of landscapes of Portsmouth Harbour. Also on show were a collection of different watercolours, which I really quite liked. Something about watercolours, one of the first techniques learnt yet it takes so much skill and creativity to control the water, the mix of paint plus there is no room to fix any mistakes.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Mary Amos
Paintings by Mary Amos.

Taking up one side of the room were the large canvases of Kim Whitby, depicting views out of HMS Victory. These and other work on show were created during a residency on the 250 year old ship which included drawing and painting at Nelson’s table. Victory also featured in some wonderful, loose monochrome work plus the ship and the Dockyard also filled the pages of Kim’s fantastic sketchbooks, which not only showed the creative processes behind some of the pieces on display but could have also been exhibited all by themselves.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Kim Whitby
Victory by Kim Whitby.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Kim Whitby
Victory by Kim Whitby.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Kim Whitby
Sketchook pages by Kim Whitby.

In another room in the club were another great mix of work, beginning with the playful, detailed pencil-work by Will Stevenson.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Will Stevenson
Artwork by Will Stevenson.

The diversity of medium and subject is one of the great things about the Art Trail, with neighbours in the exhibition often having significantly different work meaning there was something for everyone. Next to Will Stevenson were the small, impressionistic paintings by Michael Wright. Each of the three paintings drew the viewer in to a what felt like the middle of a dark fairytale, with the artwork keeping the details secret.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Michael Wright
Painting by Michael Wright.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Michael Wright
Painting by Michael Wright.

The Naval club building is Georgian so all of the rooms are high ceilinged and very open with large windows, so after climbing the stairs the view out over the Solent had to be photographed before viewing the work on display by different artists, including Lyndon Richards’ Old Portsmouth houses painted on bricks. Lyndon was the artists in residence painting during the art trail.






Old Portsmouth by Lyndon Richards.


Lunch at Point by Jean Battye.


Book by Darn Funky.


Artwork by James Shreeve.

From here it was on to Portsmouth Cathedral to see the artwork on show in the Nave.


With the Sunday service completed the cathedral was busy with people now exploring the Nave and discovering the different photography, textiles, painting, ceramics and more on show. As I walked in the first work that caught my attention was the watercolour work on the pillars by Sue Colyer, a set of two colourful abstracts and a country scene.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Sue Colyer
Watercolour by Sue Colyer.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Sue Colyer
Watercolour by Sue Colyer.

Along to the corner of the cathedral where three large, striking and colourful photographs were on display by Peter Nicholson. The work is made with different coloured oils, waxes and more placed in suspension in a water tank and photographed throughout a lengthy process. These images were rich with detail and tones of colour that brought to mind Turner and the impressionist painters plus it reminded me of the large naval battle paintings in the Naval Club I had viewed earlier which had skies thick with cannon fire and the dense smoke of ships aflame.


Dark Trees by Peter Nicholson.

Also at the side of this historic building were paintings by Karl Rudziak. I’m a big fan of these detailed portrait paintings.


Painting by Karl Rudziak.

The far side of the nave was home to the intriguing & a little surreal ceramic figurework by artist John Townsend. It was great to chat with John and discover the ideas behind these wheel and then hand constructed ceramic forms, referencing back to the first photography that captured motion and movement.


Ceramic work by John Townsend.


Ceramic work by John Townsend.

Speaking of surreal, John’s artist neighbour was illustrator and painter Alison Lawley who had two incredible portrait paintings on display. The figure in both paintings was a hybrid of Alison’s friends and who was set in two different scenes relating to nature and wildlife, with surreal touches. The second painting had powerful eyes that would fix you in her gaze. Excellent work, looking forward to seeing more paintings from this new series by the artist.


Painting by Alison Lawley.

The schools artwork exhibition was in Beckett Hall, out the back of the cathedral, and was a collection of different student works from Ryde School, Highbury College and Chichester High School for Girls. Just like last year, you could spot a lot of talent on show in a wide variety of mediums, from printing to painting to 3D. This support of young artists from around the region through the Art Trail is a great way to see work normally not available to the public.










Once again the Art Trail was a great success in bringing dozens of artists and their many different works to Portsmouth and allowing the public free access to view the work, the wonderful buildings home to the exhibitions and creating an environment where you could speak to creatives from all walks of life involved in all different types of art. Looking forward to next year!

You can find out more about Portsmouth Festivities and the other great events happening throughout the rest of the month at:

www.portsmouthfestivities.co.uk

Photos From Portsmouth Pride 2015

Saturday afternoon saw the first Portsmouth Pride event for nine years start off from Guildhall Square, with a carnival atmosphere and lots of people lining the route to Southsea Common. Portsmouth photographer and University of Portsmouth student Sarkiz Mutafyan was on hand for Strong Island to photography the march and to capture the atmosphere. Great to see an event like this happing in Portsmouth.

“The atmosphere on Saturday presented a refreshing vibe throughout the city, attracting the attention of people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, nationalities, etc. and that, in a way, made the event all the bigger. It was wonderful to see people from all walks of life coming together to enjoy and respect the day.” – Sarkiz

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (1)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (3)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (4)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (5)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (6)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (7)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (8)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (9)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (10)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (2)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (11)

Portsmouth Pride 2015 by Sarkiz Mutafyan (12)

Record Coastal Sounds as Part of a National Project for the National Trust

The Sounds of our Shores project is a joint scheme between the National Trust, the National Trust for Scotland and the British Library and aims to create a collection of sounds from around the Uk shoreline and seasides to form an audible snapshot. With coastal erosion, the changes in tourism, wildlife, fishing, sailing, transport and much more the sounds of the shoreline of the UK have changed over the years and this project hopes to have the public help collect the sounds of today.

Musician Martyn Ware, a founder member of bands The Human League and Heaven 17, will use some of the sounds submitted by the public to create a piece of music for release in February 2016. The National Trust wants to use the thousands of recordings uploaded to build a digital map which will be curated by the British Library.

With Portsmouth being such a mix of wildlife, shipping, tourism and so much more we are in a perfect position to record and contribute to this project. Sounds like the foghorn over the Solent would be a perfect example.

At Strong Island Media we’ve actually worked on a few ‘soundscape’ projects in the last couple of years with schools in Chichester and Bordon. It can be really interesting not thinking about the visual (with photography and film) and to focus on the sounds around you. The project we worked on with Chichester High School for Girls at Chichester Harbour was a soundscape with video clips and a poem filmed and written by the students edited over the top. We’ll be submitting the raw audio to the Sounds of Our Shores project. You can have a watch/listen HERE.

Visit the Sounds of our Shores project website to find out how to get involved.






Photo from our soundscape recorded by Bordon Juniors.

Get Twitching in Portsmouth with the RSPB: Three Different Birds to Spot & Photograph This Summer

If you have read the write up from our recent RSPB trip around Langstone Harbour you’ll know that even though we live in such a densely populated city we’re lucky to have lots of wildlife living in and around Portsmouth. For birds each season brings flocks of new birds to call the city and harbours home, if only for a short while before travelling (sometimes thousands of miles) onwards.

We’re working with the local RSPB team to suggest three birds to keep your eye out for each season, beginning with summer. Summer attracts many birds to Portsmouth to nest and breed new generations of birds that will return year in year out. These first three birds are Langstone Harbour favourites and can be spotted fairly easily by the naked eye or with binoculars or a camera.

Speaking of cameras, we’re running a competition where we want all you budding wildlife photographers to send in your photos of the three birds for the season. Photo each one and send them in and the RSPB team will pick their favourites for each bird. The three winners will win some Strong Island and RSPB prizes. Obviously, goes without saying, that we recommend you photo the birds from a distance where you will not disturb their nests, chicks, etc.

Send in your bird photos via email to paul@strong-island.co.uk and label the email RSPB and be sure to send them in by the end of AUGUST for a chance to win.

The three birds the RSPB suggest you keep an eye out for this summer are:

Oystercatcher
The oystercatcher is a large, stocky, black and white wading bird. It has a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs. In flight, it shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a ‘V’ between the wings. Because it eats cockles, the population is vulnerable if cockle beds are overexploited. They are commonly seen in the harbour, we know they breed here, though how successfully we don’t know.

Oystercatcher

Little Egret
The little egret is a small white heron with attractive white plumes on crest, back and chest, black legs and bill and yellow feet. It first appeared in the UK in significant numbers in 1989 and first bred in Dorset in 1996. The RSPB was formed to counter the barbarous trade in plumes for women’s hats, a fashion responsible for the destruction of many thousands of egrets and other species who’s plumes had become fashionable in the late Victorian era.

Little Egret

Sandwich Tern
The Sandwich tern is a very white tern, with a black cap on its head, a long black bill with a yellow tip and short black legs. In flight it shows grey wedges on its wings tips and it has a short forked tail. The Sandwich tern is one of 3 species of tern that breed in Langstone Harbour and this year looks to be promising so far. In the UK many of the important colonies survive because they are on Nature Reserves.

Sandwich Tern

We’re looking forward to seeing the results!

Roma May Design

Roma-May Daly is currently running a competition to win a bunch of brand new limited prints and design work. All you have to is LIKE and SHARE the following link for a chance to win. Please don’t delay as the winner is to be decided on 22/06!

www.facebook.com/romamaydesign

You can find out more about Roma’s work on her Behance, Etsy, Tumblr and Instagram @foundedbywolves.

Roma May Design

Roma May Design

Roma May Design

Island City Stories for 2015

Last year Island City Stories was created, a series of films about local creatives, businesses and organisations around Southsea and Portsmouth, all filmed and edited by 1st year BA Film & TV Production students from the University of Portsmouth. Island City Stories continued in to 2015 with over 10 new films in production. The first batch of these films are now online and include profiles on local radio station Express FM, Aspex Gallery, Pie & Vinyl, Al’Burrito, award winning Jewellery designer and goldsmith Barbara Tipple and Garbo’s Hair. More films to follow soon too.

Have a watch of the films below and keep an eye on the website:

www.islandcitystories.co.uk

Island City Stories (2)

Beats and Swing At The Bandstand

This Saturday the lovely people behind Beats and Swing take over the Southsea Bandstand. They have brought with them a selection of awesome musical talent.

Music begins from 12:30pm with the opening live performance coming from Big Child Man Child who will be taking stage at 1:15pm with a few friends for support. They will be followed by Basement 83. The diverse six piece cite their musical influences within swing, hip-hop, funk and dub.

Headlining the stage will be the awesome Ska/Reggae band Cuba Libré. The band are going to be busy touring this summer and are about to release their first EP titled ‘State of Emergency’ next month.

To find out more about the event check out the Facebook Page HERE.

Beats and Swin Bandstand

Strong Island Photo of The Year Competition Week 10 Winner and Runners Up

With a heavy dose of sun this week (week 10) sees a nice summer mix of photos from all corners of the city. To submit photos yourself via Instagram & Twitter for the Strong Island Photo of the Year Competition use the hashtag #SIPhotoComp2015 and you can always email photos in too to contact@strong-island.co.uk.

This week’s winning image is of low(ish) tide art dusk on Milton slipway, looking back from Langstone Harbour to the houses on shore, taken by Jon Neil.

Milton Slipway by Jon Neil
Milton Slipway by Jon Neil.

This weekly winner will now be entered into the finals of the competition which will happen in December where everyone can vote for their favourite weekly winning photos. This image will now become our Strong Island Facebook header image for the next 7(ish) days until next week’s winner.

Below are some of the runners up for this week. A huge thank you to everyone who submitted! Don’t worry if your photo didn’t win or make the shortlist, you can enter photos every week until the finals in December. You can now submit photos for this week’s weekly winner selection which will be chosen and shown next week. To enter simply email, Tweet or Instagram your photo that was taken in, on or around Portsmouth.

Ghost Sign by Howard Hurd
Ghost Sign by Howard Hurd.

Southsea Prom by Whim Biscuit
Southsea Prom by Whim Biscuit.

Boat Wreak by Sam Carter
Boat Wreak by Sam Carter.

South Parade Pier by José Crespo
South Parade Pier by José Crespo.

Langstone Harbour Quays by Johnny Black
Langstone Harbour Quays by Johnny Black.

Southsea Flats by David Ellis
Southsea Flats by David Ellis.

Southsea Beach by Nathan Jones
Southsea Beach by Nathan Jones.

Crane by Grzegorz Kopacz
Crane by Grzegorz Kopacz.

Southsea Skatepark by Chris Grant
Southsea Skatepark by Chris Grant.

Sun and Sea by Alessandro Salvatore
Sun and Sea by Alessandro Salvatore.

Southsea Night Markets in Old Portsmouth for the Summer

The Southsea Night Markets are returning to Portsmouth for a second year, to offer a touch of the Mediterranean night market to residents and visitors. The night markets will run from 4:00pm to 8:00pm every Friday in July, starting Friday 3rd July, on the site of the new ARTches project, where vacant arches between the Square and Round Towers will be converted into studio spaces.

Southsea Night Markets will build on the phenomenal success of the 2014 Markets in bringing together some of the best of Portsmouth and Southsea’s artists, artisans and makers to sell their handmade items on Southsea seafront. Visitors to the night market could find unique illustrations and prints; knitted and crocheted items; jewellery and accessories; or hand- thrown pottery and ceramics.

This year’s Markets move from the seafront to the area just in front of the Round Tower on Broad Street, on the way to Spice Island in Old Portsmouth. Also new for this year is the organisation of the Markets by the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium, doing so with the full support of Portsmouth City Council. The Council recognised the positive impact of the 2014 Markets and have been eager to facilitate the inclusion of this year’s Markets in Portsmouth and Southsea’s incredibly varied summer 2015 events schedule.

Co-organiser Tom West says one of the most positive outcomes from the 2014 Markets was how engaged visitors became with the sellers, “It was incredible to see people’s reactions to learning everything on offer was there because the person behind the stall had made it. There was immediate respect for the creativity, originality and skill of those involved.”

The Markets were set up following Portsmouth City Council’s 2014 decision to allow artists and artisans to sell their handmade wares along part of Southsea seafront for free, providing they held public liability insurance. This opportunity remains for those wishing to set up on the seafront; the Southsea Night Markets offers sellers the opportunity to come together as a united and passionate community that supports one another’s entrepreneurial efforts, as well as Portsmouth and Southsea’s vibrant creative scene.

Use #SouthseaNights on Twitter and Instagram to share experiences of the Markets, and visit the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium website at portsconsort.com to keep up to date with the latest news.

Southsea Night Markets


Photo by Matthew Cleveland.

Southsea SEGA Tee

Angela Morgan might be more commonly known to you as Ooberla. For a while now the Southsea based artist has been creating some of the most fantastic, if not always the scariest, monsters and beasts, using art forms such as painting, sculpture and drawing.

Ooberla has recently released a limited run of SEGA inspired Southsea t-shirts. They come in sizes small to extra large. If you’d like to get your hands on one then check just visit HERE.

Angela describes “I grew up in Southsea as a total nerd, obsessed with playing the Mega Drive, scribbling Sonic the Hedgehog on everything I owned. Combining my geeky nostalgia with love for my hometown seemed like a good idea.”

If you would like to know more about Ooberla then you can find an interview with our own Louise Bush HERE.

Ooberla can be found on her own website www.ooberla.co.uk, Facebook, Twitter @Ooberla and Instagram.

Sega Southsea

Sega Southsea

Southsea Sega Tee

Our Langstone Harbour Trip with the RSPB

On a grey yet thankfully dry Sunday morning if I had a Portsmouth bucket list, I had one of the items near the top ticked off with a boat trip with the RSPB. Personally, I’ve always loved Langstone Harbour. When I first moved to Portsmouth I lived at the Furze Lane Langstone campus of the University of Portsmouth and the harbour was on my door step and one of the first places I explored with my bike and camera. Throughout the years I’ve been lucky enough to explore every yard of its edge plus the sandbank and the Phoenix Breakwater with my camera, from high tide to low, but I haven’t had a chance to explore the islands.

The thing, for me, that makes Langstone Harbour extra special is that it is a wild habitat right on the doorstep of the most densely populated city in the UK. Considering the close proximity to well over two hundred thousand people, the harbour is surprisingly biodiverse and a key nesting location for birds on the south coast. More surprising is that for birds, Langstone Harbour has way, way more calling it home through the seasons than its neighbour Chichester Harbour. So…all of this wildlife shares Portsmouth with us, and us with them. Particularly at this time of year: nesting season. So for the very, very novice twitcher side of me, a boat trip out to see the birds with the RSPB was a fantastic opportunity.




We set off from the slipway at Broadmarsh Costal Park south of Havant with Wez at the boat controls and Dawn to help both myself and Tristan find out more about the wildlife and what the RSPB do in regards to the harbour and the bird populations. It was a good start with lots of Mute Swans seeing us off from the quayside and even a low flying Heron passing overhead. We travelled south, in parallel with the shore of Long Island, one of many different islands in the harbour that have (since the late 1970s) become protected bird preserves of the RSPB. We passed the southern tip of the island, which is one of the few areas where the public can land (we saw kayakers taking a break on the small shingle beach) before moving south west to Round Nap Island.


Long Island.


I’ve always been intrigued by the harbour’s islands and as they are off limits to the public this was my first chance to see them up close. Round Nap Island is quite small and at high tide seemed like a very flat and precarious home to the nesting birds and visiting birds too. On the shingle we saw Black Headed Gulls with their brown, fuzzy and big chicks who will be very soon flying themselves. Also on the island we saw quiet Cormorants taking a rest from fishing and curious Oyster Catchers exploring the shingle and waterline for food.


Round Nap Island.


Cormorants on Round Nap Island.

The RSPB routinely (at times, daily) check the nesting islands to ensure the birds aren’t effected by the many different dangers to them, their nests and their young. At low tide some of these islands are accessible by the mudflats so some islands have electric fences to protect against foxes and other predators. Another serious danger to these birds are storms and surging tides. Recently a storm washed away nests and seriously effecting the breeding of some of the harbours most important visitors.




Black Headed Gull.

From Round Nap Island we set off to the much larger South Binness Island, the most southerly of the islands in the harbour. As we travelled along the southern shore of the island we saw hundreds and hundreds of Black headed Gulls and their young plus the sharp edged Sandwich Terns, Common Terns and our first sighting of the beautiful Little Terns that visit the harbour each year. The Little Terns have struggled in recent years to raise young due to weather and tides and in 2013 this island was raised up with 500 tonnes of aggregate with the hope that their ‘scrapes’ would be better protected.


South Binness Island.


Oyster Catcher and Black Header Gulls on South Binness Island.


South Binness Island.


Black Headed Gull chicks on South Binness Island.


South Binness Island.


Sandwich Tern.

Little Terns are very special visitors to Portsmouth. Unknown to me until fairly recently, Portsmouth and Langstone Harbour is home to one of the largest colonies of these special birds, along with Blakeney Point and Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and Minsmere in Suffolk. You might find the birds in much smaller groups around the coast of the UK, including Scotland…but right here in Portsmouth is a key nesting site in the UK. Sadly these birds have difficulty in producing young as our weather has been bad in consecutive years but they will continue to try through the rest of the season. There are only 1,900 (approx.) breeding pairs in the UK so the work done locally by the RSPB to support and help these birds is vital. To put it in context, on South Binness Island alone in 2008 the island had 4,886 nesting pairs of Black Headed Gulls.


Little Tern.


Little Tern.


Wez.

We travelled west past the island and out to a place I have wanted to visit for years, Oyster Island. Many years ago this small island was home to an oyster watchman’s house built in 1819. I had heard that you could still see the foundations and remains of the house (which was possibly washed away in a storm) still on this tiny island south of Farlington Marshes. As we approached you could clearly see on this tiny island the timber beams of the house plus bricks and more. Hard to believe that someone could live out here, right on the harbour.


Oyster Island.


Oyster Island.

From here we travelled to Baker’s Island with it’s northerly wild side. The RSPB obviously tries to not disturb the birds but there are occasions when it is necessary to land on one of the islands. Routinely the RSPB need to count the nests and check for any issues. Sometimes they have to fix fencing and maintain signs, etc, on this occasion Wez had to replace the electric fence battery so we grounded the boat on the beach for a few minutes. Obviously it is vital these islands are not visited by the public so this was an unexpected privilege to see this habitat up close for a minute or two.


Baker’s Island.


Oyster Catcher on Baker’s Island.


Surrounding the boat at Baker’s Island.

We set off from here and travelled east across the harbour and midway saw a large commercial vessel leave the quay at the Lafarge Tarmac site and travel towards the harbour entrance. It was a good reminder that despite being a quiet harbour there is still commercial activity on a day to day basis. There are also fishing vessels that work within the harbour too.


Commercial vessel passing Round Nap Island.




Tris.

The old oyster beds on Hayling Island’s north westerly edge (next to the ‘Billy’) have a long history, from farming huger amounts of oysters for consumption in London (ending due to pollution) to them being neglected until recent years when they were restored and made a protected RSPB area. These interlinking beds are now home to many different birds and access is prevented from Hayling Island as well as from boats. From here we saw a harbour favourite the Little Egret and also a solo Great Crested Grebe before it dived under the water and disappeared. On the way back to Broadmarsh we were lucky to see about a dozen Common Terns feeding, with them circling, hovering and then diving in to the harbour waters. We also saw some Little Terns too, who only feed around one kilometre from their nesting sites.


Little Egret at Hayling Island Oyster Beds.




Diving Common Tern.


In only a matter of two hours we had an incredible trip around the harbour and were introduced to not just the birds that call Portsmouth home but also the dedicated work by the RSPB, who with a very small team have to protect the habitats and birds. If you want to keep up to date with the work done by your local RSPB team be sure to follow their blog HERE. A huge thank you to Wez and Dawn for the trip!

Interested in seeing some of these birds yourself? It is actually pretty easy from the shoreline of the city of Portsmouth. We’re working with the RSPB on a series of articles starting tomorrow and we’ll be running a competition too. More details tomorrow.

Strong Island Creative Graduates to Watch Award 2015 – Illustration Winner Oliver Tubb

For the second year running we awarded three graduates at the University of Portsmouth Graduate Show with our Strong Island Creative Graduates to Watch Awards, a winner for Photography, Illustration and Graphic Design. We previously announced the winner Harry Stewardson for Graphic Design and Lina Ivanova for Photography now we’re looking at Illustration.

One of the first things we wanted to do when creating these awards last year was to not focus on academic achievement, and with that we check all of the graduates’ work and choose our favourites before we even chat with staff about the people behind the work. Due to us getting all a bit split up during the graduate show it meant that the judges (myself and Claire Sambrook) checked out Illustration separately. After taking in all the work by all of the dozens and dozens of Illustration students we independently ended up choosing the same person as the winner for this year’s award. The winner? We’re happy to announce that the winner of the Strong Island Creative Graduates to Watch award for Illustration is Oliver Tubb.

As you may have already guessed from the review of the Illustration exhibition that geometric patterns and forms hand screen printed always catch the eye. Oliver’s work seemed to be an exploration of the purpose of these patterns through different perspectives such as light, layer structure and even exploring how humans relate to these shapes and forms. The attention to detail and the quality of hand printing was immense and with the option to even deconstruct and manipulate these patterns, it meant that both Claire and I were in awe at the creativity behind all of the work on show by Oliver.

We had a chat with the staff and Oliver after presenting the award and it seemed like Oliver is on to big things already, exploring options on further study towards a masters or working creatively locally, pushing his work in new directions. As we said on the night handing out these awards, these aren’t meant to indicate that the winners are due to blow up in the next 12 months, just that we see the innovative and creative spark within these artists’ work and the drive to push it forward in exciting new directions in their future.

We’re looking forward to seeing the bright futures lying ahead for all of this year’s winners!

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Oliver Tubb

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Oliver Tubb

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Oliver Tubb

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Oliver Tubb

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Oliver Tubb

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Oliver Tubb

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Oliver Tubb

Nature Garden on Kings Road in Southsea

Not really sure when I first noticed the little patch of land on Kings Road in Southsea that has been given over to nature. I used to pass it all the time years ago going down to university and home again and it must have caught my eye. In a part of Southsea that was almost wiped clean off the map during the Blitz and 1960s redevelopment, Gloucester Terrace looping around to Gloucester Place (and backed with Gloucester View) is one of the few pieces of the original Kings Road area still intact.

This old road and its old buildings surround a small, gated park much like a smaller version of those fenced garden squares in London. This garden on the other hand has been given over to nature as a small preserve, slap bang in busy Southsea. Whilst the people of the city go about their work, studies and life, this little part of the island sees insects, plants, trees and birds (and probably snakes and lizards) go about their own lives too.

As Portsmouth gets even more developed and continues to be the most densely populated city in the UK, I hope this little area dedicated to a wilder version of city life goes on untouched.

If you know more about this small garden, please let us know.

Nature Garden on Kings Road in Southsea (1)

Nature Garden on Kings Road in Southsea (2)

Nature Garden on Kings Road in Southsea (3)

Nature Garden on Kings Road in Southsea (5)

Mini Wheelers for 3-7 Year Olds at Southsea Skatepark on Saturday Mornings

Southsea Skatepark is a local treasure, not just a heritage gem for Portsmouth with it being a local focal point of youth culture in the city for generations but it is also a park looking to the future too. Introduced this summer by the Southsea Skatepark trust (the independent charity that runs the park) is Mini Wheelers, a fun session at the park for 3 to 7 year olds who can learn lots of different activities such as BMX, skateboarding, scooters and more in a safe and friendly environment. This special session runs from 9am to 10am and is only £2.50 for each child.

Over the years Southsea Skatepark has seen some really talented individuals grow up riding & skating the park, these guys have gone on to being incredible, winning, young talents, maybe the Mini Wheelers this summer could be the next in the long line of talent to develop in Southsea?

You can find out lots more details about Southsea Skatepark at their website below or on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

southseaskatepark.com

Mini Wheelers for 3-7 Year Olds at Southsea Skatepark on Saturday Mornings
Poster artwork by Mark Allerton.

University of Portsmouth CCI Graduate Show 2015 Pt. 7 – Illustration

Our final part of our review of this year’s University of Portsmouth CCi Graduate Show focuses on the exhibition of the work of Illustration graduates. As always, this exhibition is a hot house (literally as the top floor always seems very warm each year) of creative talent, pushing Illustration in lots of intriguing directions. Each graduate had a wall space and packed it with prints, designs, 3D objects, cards, toys, portfolios and much more. Another great reason for visiting each year is to pick up some artwork at the Illustration course stall where they sell work by many of the graduates.

It is nigh on impossible to go through all of the work on show in the Illustration exhibition so this review is going to scratch the surface…but that is all the more reason why you should make this course a must visit each year. So after a walk around and a good look through the different levels and style of work the first person’s artwork to catch my eye was Paige Alexis Jones. The key items of Paige’s exhibition space were a selection of intricate illustrations of creatures, revealing their inner skeletal forms.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Paige Alexis Jones

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Paige Alexis Jones

I really liked the screen printed work by Meredith Phipps, layered colours of portaits and patterns taken from nature, all drawing you in.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Meredith Phipps

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Meredith Phipps

Karen Treleaven had a real mix of work on show all seemingly with inspirations from the shoreline and coast: from laser etched natural forms, use of wood and weathered materials plus clean, airy illustrations of the sea.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Karen Treleaven

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Karen Treleaven

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Karen Treleaven

Continuing the inspiration from nature, Amber-Jane Hudson-Peacock pulled together work with a feel of scientifically analysing and extracting the colour from different creatures.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Amber-Jane Hudson-Peacock

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Amber-Jane Hudson-Peacock

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Amber-Jane Hudson-Peacock

One of my personal favourites from the exhibition were the clean architectural structures and meshes by Aline Dovlatyarian. Through the different prints on show you could see London landmarks stripped back to their base structure, using hand drawn lines and software to construct beautiful hybrid cityscapes. Other work had a sense of classical architectural design drawings. Something about the London landmark print really caught my eye, so much so I bought an A1 print of the work. Would love to see a Portsmouth inspired version.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Aline Dovlatyarian

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Aline Dovlatyarian



UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Aline Dovlatyarian

Next up was the boundary breaking print work of Dale Silvester. It has been great to see Dale’s work develop over the last year and I really liked the prints that only functioned with human interaction, these pieces used cutting edge inks and paints for screen printing. The lung print changing colour with human breath, the heart print changing colour from the heat of the touch of a hand. These seemingly scientific, almost sterile and functional forms, come to life with colour when they come in contact. Dale even used some very special electrically conductive ink for one print, with the ‘circuit’ connected by human touch. With just enough of this special ink to have two tries to screen print this piece, it showed the dedication and skill required to turn an innovative idea in to practical reality.

Dale also won the Anglepoise competition run with graduate students where different ‘scrolls’ were created, each interpreting the iconic lamps in different ways. Dale’s showed a lamp’s perspective on a journey.

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Dale Silvester

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Dale Silvester

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration - Dale Silvester


We’ll announce the final winner of a Strong Island Creative Graduates to Watch award, this one for Illustration, later this afternoon. Below you can see more photos from the show and you can see more over on our Flickr too as well as all the photos from the Graduate Show 2015.

Looking forward to next year’s graduate show already!

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

UoP CCi Graduate Show - Illustration

Art Space Portsmouth Open Studios Weekend 27th & 28th June

It is that time again when local artists studios and exhibition space Art Space Portsmouth hold their Open Studios weekend. This is a once a year opportunity to come and catch a rare glimpse into the studios of over 30 local, professional artists and view the work of an additional 15 artist members. Explore the space, meet the artists, buy artwork and enjoy the award-winning studio garden.

“Open Studios is an amazing way to experience Portsmouth’s arts scene, it’s a chance to see some incredible work, to meet the artists’ and to see inside the world of their studios. It is a unique event and if you are interested in a career as an artist, then this is a perfect time to visit and discover more.” – Art Space Studio Coordinator Letty Clarke

Art Space Portsmouth is home to some of Portsmouth’s leading artists, including painters, print makers, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, digital and installation artists. For art collectors and those keen to support the arts, the Open Studios event is also an opportunity to purchase artworks directly from artists at studio prices. New and exciting artworks will be on display throughout the building and in GASP Gallery. THere is also the chance to win a choice from a varied selection of artworks in the Art Space Raffle.

Find out more at:

artspace.co.uk

Art Space Portsmouth Open Studios Weekend 27th & 28th June

Strong Island Recordings & Torn Speaker Present Gang, Puppy, Red Seals & Protein Window At The Cellars

On the July 8th, Strong Island Recordings are teaming up with Torn Speaker to bring Gang and Puppy, two of the most exciting new bands in the UK today down to Portsmouth where we takeover The Eastney Cellars for one last time that also includes splendid Portsmouth favourites, Red Seals and Protein Window, all for just £4.

Headlining the evening will be Strong Island Recordings label family, the incredible grunge pop  trio, Gang. The guys recently tore down the house at our Great Escape party at Bleach with their brain melting, blistering live set that was one of the highlights of the whole Great Escape weekend. With their insanely heavy live show (as some of you may have seen last year at Southsea Fest), plus releases including ‘Sandscrape’ on Strong Island Recordings and the more recent ‘Silverback EP’ on the excellently titled ‘Sexx Tapes’, Gang should well be one of your new favourite bands come July 8th.

Main support for the night comes from one of the most exciting new bands in the UK at the moment, London’s Puppy. The power, grunge pop outfit have only been on our radar over the last few months but are already one of our favourite new bands in the UK. Coated in infectious vocals whilst power riffs blaze through, Puppy are going to be bringing the pint spilling, party anthems to the Eastney Cellars. Local support comes from a couple of Portsmouth cult favourites being post-punk, grunge outfit Red Seals as well as drone rock-doom sludge trio, Protein Window.

So that’s four incredible bands for just £4 entry. This will be our last ever show at The Cellars so come and say goodbye with us in the only way we know how, in a noise filled, sweat-pit. Doors are at 8pm and you can find out more about the show on the Facebook event here. See you on the 8th July.



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New Issue 2 of Portsmouth’s Rise Magazine

About a year or so ago a team from Portsmouth City Council and Shaping the Future of Portsmouth put together a special magazine entitled Rise, which aimed to promote the city of Portsmouth to people and businesses outside the city. The magazine broke the mould of this type of publication, with a striking cover, different size and format and packed with considered design, striking photography and profiles on some of the best businesses and creatives in the city. The magazine is hands down one of the very best for this sort of publication, right up there with places like Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, etc.

Last month Portsmouth City Council with the University of Portsmouth published issue 2 of Rise, which will now be distributed to a variety of different locations, events and businesses, again with the aim to entice inward investment. This new issue features Sir Ben Ainslie on the cover and continues inside with an exclusive interview. Also profiled in issue 2 are Anglepoise, G! Boutique Hotel, Victorious Festival, CCi faculty of the University, unmanned robot company ASV, Brittany Ferries, Barclays, Centre of Maritime Intelligent Systems, Pearsons, Innovation Space and Strong Island: with an article looking at our Creative Cargo project.

If you get the chance be sure to pick up a copy or you can read Rise issue 2 online HERE.

New Issue 2 of Portsmouth's Rise Magazine (1)

New Issue 2 of Portsmouth's Rise Magazine (2)

New Issue 2 of Portsmouth's Rise Magazine (3)

New Issue 2 of Portsmouth's Rise Magazine (5)

New Issue 2 of Portsmouth's Rise Magazine (6)

New Issue 2 of Portsmouth's Rise Magazine (7)

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities

Throughout the coming weeks of June Portsmouth will be home to a group of international artists from Beijing who will be on artists residencies, exhibiting work and running workshops, all at different locations around the city. The artists are visiting thanks to The Kings Theatre in association with Portsmouth Festivities, with events starting from today!

Supported by the Arts Council of England these artists will make Portsmouth their home as they absorb the architecture, landmarks, landscape and people to create new works, and inspire others to get creative. Following their visit to Portsmouth they will go to Oxford for a residency as part of the Oxford Arts Festival.

The visiting Beijing artists are:

Nicola Rivelli is an Italian sculptor who has made a home and career for himself in Beijing, China. His sculpture ‘The Tajshan Kid’ (7.5 metres tall, 1200kg bronze statue) became the mascot for the 2008 Olympic Games and drew world-wide attention.

Han Zhibing is president of China’s painting and calligraphy art research institute Mountain. He works with both oil and acrylic paints. The lotus colours of his works mark the transition between traditional and contemporary style.

Zhong Yan is an abstract painter who’s work as the ‘Oriental Picasso’ combines the cultural elements of East and West, using a unique pen to create a powerful breadth of space, which handles colour and changing light levels. Zhong Yan has travelled and exhibited in Malaysia, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Hong Kong, Shanghai and more.

Vittorio Guida is a photographer Born in Naples who originally trained as a set designer before moving into photography. His works spans film, portraiture, architecture and reportage and has featured in books and exhibitions world-wide. He moved to Beijing in 2009, and now divides his time between China and Italy.

Residencies

The visiting artists will be in residence at a few different locations around the city where you will be able to see them at work:

16th June to the 27th June
Zhong Yan will be in residency at HMS Warrior and Han Zhibing will be working in the Kings Theatre.

19th June to the 27th June
Nicola Rivelli will be in residency at HMS Warrior and Vittorio Guida will be at the Kings Theatre.

Visiting either of these Portsmouth locations during these next two weeks will give you an insight of the visiting artists at work.

Exhibitions

The following exhibitions are at Southsea exhibition spaces and both free entry!

Zhong Yan and Han Zhibing Exhibition Open Evening
Friday 19th June
Coastguard Studio, 91 Clarendon Road, Southsea, PO4 0SA
6-8pm Free

Nicola Rivelli and Vittorio Guida Exhibition Open Evening
Monday 22nd June
Kings Theatre, Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 2QJ
6-7pm Free
Following Exhibition Open Hours
Thursdays and Saturdays, 10.30am – 2pm

Meet the Artists

A series of events at different Portsmouth cultural and heritage locations allow you to meet the artists in person and find out more about the practice and their current work.

Meet the Artists: Nicola Rivelli
Wednesday 24 June, 1-2pm
On board at HMS Warrior 1860, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, PO1 3QX

Meet the Artists: Vittorio Guida
Wednesday 24 June, 3-4pm
No. 28 Kings Theatre Portsmouth, Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 2QJ

The artist talks are free but booking in advance is recommended!

Workshops

A series of fantastic workshops have been arranged by The Kings Theatre where you’ll be able to work in small groups with the individual artists on different creative techniques and processes. Booking via The Kings Theatre box office is highly recommended and these one off opportunities to work with international artists will book up quick.

Workshop: Zhong Yan – Abstract Painting
Monday 22nd June, 1pm
On board at HMS Warrior 1860, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, PO1 3QX
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced Workshop limited to 5 participants.

Workshop: Vittorio Guida – Photography
Tuesday 23 June, 2-4pm
The Wedgewood Rooms, 147b Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO4 0JW
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced Workshop limited to 5 participants.

Seminar: Vittorio Guida – Photography
Thursday 25th June, 10am-12noon
Mountbatten Centre, Alexandra Park, Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth PO2 9QA
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced.

Workshop: Han Zhibing – Chinese Calligraphy
Thursday 25th June, 1-3pm
Mountbatten Centre, Alexandra Park, Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth PO2 9QA
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced Workshop limited to 5 participants.

Workshop: Nicola Rivelli – Traditional Wax
Thursday 25th June. 1-3pm
On board at HMS Warrior 1860, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, PO1 3QX
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced Workshop limited to 5 participants

Workshop: Han Zhibing – Chinese Calligraphy
Friday 26 June, 1-3pm
Kings Theatre Portsmouth, Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 2QJ
£25 (inc. all materials), must be booked in advanced Workshop limited to 5 participants

Further information about this very special international arts project plus booking online for the events and workshops can all be done at The Kings Theatre website:

www.kingsportsmouth.co.uk

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities (1)

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities (2)

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities (3)

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities (4)

Beijing Artists in Portsmouth with The Kings Theatre and Portsmouth Festivities (5)

Southsea Art Fair At The One Eyed Dog

On July 4th, the One Eyed Dog will be hosting the Southsea Art Fair which will feature a host of local creatives including Kendal James, Stu Linfield, Jennifer Hillier, Hannah Gordon, Chris Webb and April Lovelace.

Items available will range from canvases, t-shirts, small handmade charms, knitted delights, quirky stickers, pretty cards and stunning illustrations.

Southsea is renowned for it’s artistic flare, vibrant locals and art fairs like this are a fantastic credit to all who take part and make them happen and the city itself. Doors open from 1pm but if you would like to find out more then check out the Facebook page HERE.

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Kitsch N D’or, Eldon Street

Kitsch N D’or is a family run restaurant in Eldon Street, Southsea. The restaurant and it’s owners specialise in provincial French cuisine and believe that the key to their success is good food at affordable and realistic prices, that everybody can enjoy.

All ingredients used to create their dishes are sourced locally. Where possible ingredients come direct from France, using small, independent companies to enrich a sense of community and authenticity.

The menu includes delicious options including, slow cooked pork belly, served with butter mash and a French cider mustard Jus and Harissa baked cod fillet with chorizo Migas with a hot, green pepper salsa. All can be enjoyed with a flavorous bottle of wine.

The Kitsch N D’or is definitely worth a visit. Entertainment includes regular Jazz nights with performances that won’t disappoint you. They run a great value daily lunch time deal, you can get two courses for less than £10 between Tuesday to Friday!

The restaurant also runs some great wine tasting evenings, these are held throughout the year with the next on this Thursday (18th June). Contact the restaurant directly for more information on this and to book a table. You can find contact details on the website www.kitschndor.co.uk.

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Portsmouth Festivities Spice Island Art Trail This Sunday

Not long now until the 3rd annual Spice Island Art Trail as part of Portsmouth Festivities. Portsmouth Festivities runs from Friday 19th June through to Sunday 28th June with the Spice Island Art Trail this Sunday (21st June) beginning at 11am and running until 4pm.

This year again sees artists from Southsea, Portsmouth and along the south coast exhibit their work in a variety of amazing venues in Old Portsmouth. Last year saw people flock down to explore the historic locations, discover the artwork, chat with the artists and have an awesome, free, cultural day out.

The Spice Island Art Trail starts this year at the Square Tower, where a classical guitarist will provide a soundtrack for visitors as they take in ‘Crafts in the Tower’ – and perhaps enjoy tea and cake in the vintage tearoom. From there, take a leisurely stroll to the beautiful and historic Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club, where art will be taking over two floors. If you haven’t visited these spaces before it is a perfect time to see the architecture, history and even the panoramic views from the windows of the Royal Naval Club.

On then to Portsmouth Cathedral, where artworks of all kinds will line the Nave, and local schools have their own pop-up gallery. In previous years the schools exhibition has been exceptional, with work by young people from all around the Solent ranging from graphic design, print work, paintings, sculpture and much more.

Then wander up Old Portsmouth High Street, dropping into the recently opened Jack House Gallery before finishing the trail at the historic Portsmouth Grammar School.

Portsmouth artist Lyndon Richards, who has a solo exhibition at this year’s Art Trail, says, “Last year, the buzz on the day was wonderful. So many visitors took time to talk to the artists about their work, and the variety and quality of art on display was magical”.

Once again this year, a panel of judges from Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth Guildhall and Strong Island will pick work to be displayed in a special exhibition at the Portsmouth Guildhall. Previous winners have been exceptional and this is becoming a coveted prize.

The Spice Island Art Trail is just one of the special events in this summer’s Portsmouth Festivities, the city’s annual arts extravaganza. Portsmouth Festivities is all about celebrating arts, culture and heritage in the city. Check out the full programme – from theatre, music and dance to film, talks, outdoor and family events, at:

portsmouthfestivities.co.uk

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Peter Jarvis

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Julie Alice Chappell

Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Kas Williams



Spice Island Art Trail 2014 - Chris Wood

Sky Ride Local: Portsmouth

Skyride-2

Portsmouth residents are being urged to get on their bikes and take part in free guided rides throughout the summer as part of the council’s partnership with British Cycling and Sky.

Starting on Sunday 14 June a total of 20 Sky Ride Local rides will be held, which will see trained British Cycling ride leaders guide groups across distances from three miles up to more adventurous 30 mile routes.

The Sky Ride Local events are part of a national campaign to get more people cycling for fun and fitness, and offer a fantastic range of themed guided bike rides taking place throughout the summer months.

The rides will explore different themes from city streets and parklife to waterway and woodland and the opening ride is an easy going four mile ride from Mountbatten to Cosham park.

Portsmouth is the ideal city to discover by bike, so now’s the time to pump up tyres, oil gears and check brakes.

Stewart Kellett, British Cycling’s Director of Recreation and Partnerships, said: “What better way to get some exercise, get outdoors and see your area in a new way than to join some of the themed Sky Ride Local bike rides taking place in and around Portsmouth this summer.

“The rides begin on 14 June, so there’s no time like the present to get your bike out. Whether you want to build your cycling confidence or already comfortable on a bike and looking for a challenge, now’s the time to register your free place on a Sky Ride Local bike ride in Portsmouth.”

To register for a free guided bike ride and find out more about getting into cycling, visit: goskyride.com/Portsmouth

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Tribe Hunters Kickstarter by Kingsley Nebechi

Yesterday one of my favourite local graphic designers and illustrators Kingsley Nebechi launched his ‘Tribe Hunters’ Kickstarter campaign. Kingsley is looking to raise enough money to print an art book featuring characters in environments from a post apocalyptic world.

Kingsley describes the background to the book, “it is set in the aftermath of the final war, civilization has collapsed. Nature has begun to reclaim the environment forcing humans to adjust to cities in ruins and return to the jungles and woodlands. Amongst the survivors are the Tribe Hunters, a community of people who combine their varied skills to help each other overcome the challenges of the extreme conditions.”

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 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 awesome project happen!

www.kickstarter.com/projects/1371892560/tribe-hunters

If you would like to know more about Kingsley and his previous work check out his website www.kingsleynebechi.co.uk. Alternatively you can find him on Tumblr, Twitter @KingsleyNebechi and Instagram.

Tribe

Tribe Hunters Book

Tribe Hunters

Pie & Vinyl New Summer Menu

Last Saturday our friends over at Pie & Vinyl introduced some really exciting new pies to their menu, as well as some old favourites. There are not just the new pies, there is also a new range of pasties available plus some delicious sweet pies, perfect with a healthy dollop of ice cream.

Another great addition to the menu is their ‘Seed to Salad’ campaign. In conjunction with Southsea Greenhouse, the guys have been very busy bees growing their own salad on the Pie & Vinyl allotment, which will be available along with red cabbage coleslaw as a Summer alternative to mash and peas. Seed to Salad is an attempt to do their part in becoming more environmentally aware and grow as much produce as they can themselves, giving their customers the peace of mind that the salad on their plates has been planted, picked and prepared by the team, locally.

The P&V drinks menu has also had some new additions, incorporating classic cordials and some amazing new tea blends from Wonky Tea in Wickham.

Be sure to drop in the Pie & Vinyl Cafe in Castle Road to get stuck in plus you can always find out more information on the new menu, new vinyl and much more at:

pieandvinyl.co.uk

Pie & Vinyl New Summer Menu (1)

Pie & Vinyl New Summer Menu (2)

Pie & Vinyl New Summer Menu (3)

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Creative Census

Do you work in the Creative Industries in Portsmouth? We are running the Creative Census project throughout the summer of 2015 with the aim to measure the creative temperature of the city. Please take a minute to complete the census questions and please share with the hashtag #CreativeCensus. You can enter the census and find out all the details at:

www.creativecensus.co.uk

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Strong Island Sounds

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Features

Strong Island and Hampshire Police Cycle Security Event

Portsmouth as a city possesses a high number of bicycle enthusiasts. Whether you are using your bike to commute to work, racing or just getting from A to B. Sadly bicycle theft is a relatively easy crime to commit. With their increased usage over the summer months we need to do as much as we can to deter criminals and assist the Police in recovering the bike if the worst is to happen and your bike is stolen.

In partnership with Hampshire Constabulary we are going to be hosting a free Cycle Marking event at Strong Island HQ on Saturday 11th July between 10am-midday.

Whatever type of bike you ride get yourself and your bike down to the store, you will find local Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be on hand to offer cycle security advice as well well as FREE cycle marking which can help identify your bike as yours if the worst were to happen and it was stolen.

Please share this event with friends, family and anyone you think would be interested. You can find out more information in the build up to the event on Facebook – www.facebook.com/events/703740506418243/.

Strong Island x Hampshire police

Strong Island Calendar 2016 #SIC2016

Yet again we were overwhelmed with the interest and success of our 2015 Calendar. I hope that you are all enjoying them and it is inspiring you to get involved and submitting your photo’s for inclusion for next years calendar.

We are excited to announce that we are taking submissions for our 2016 calendar. If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. 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.

Along with Instagram we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

We have a couple of our 2015 Calendars left but if you are interested then get in quick as these are likely to go within the next week or so! You can get your copies from the Strong Island shop HERE.

Strong Island Calendar Poster 2016

Review of Portsmouth Festivities Spice Island Art Trail 2015

For the third year running Portsmouth Festivities and a small army of artists took over some of the best historic buildings in Old Portsmouth for the Spice Island Art Trail 2015. Each year sees more and more talented artists from different fields be selected to exhibit and this year saw some incredible work on display to the public for free as well as a great local schools exhibition showing their GCSE, BTEC and AS level art student’s summer work. As for the last two years judges from Aspex Gallery, Ast Space Portsmouth, Portsmouth Guildhall and Strong Island wandered around the different venues seeing the work on show, meeting the artists and finally choosing the winners.

This year’s winners, who will be exhibiting their work at Portsmouth Guildhall are:

Overall Winners:
1st – Kim Whitby
2nd – Alison Lawley
3rd – John Townsend & Margaret Marks (joint third place)
4th – Peter Nicholson

Commended – Michael Wright and Chris Wood.

Schools awards:
1st – Brandon CHoi (Portsmouth Grammar School)
2nd – Yana Trebska (Ryde School)
3rd – Laura Pullem (Highbury College)
4th – Megan Gray (Chichester High School for Girls)

The first venue I visited at 11 when the doors opened to the public for the Arts Trail was the Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club. This imposing, historic building overlooks the sports fields and the Royal Garrison Church before wide panoramic views of the Solent. The artists work on display was itself surrounded by an incredible collection of treasured objects & paintings owned by the club, with groups of work on show in different rooms from the ballroom downstairs up to the library. The first artwork that caught my eye were the sketchbooks of Trudy Barber, with different figures of musicians caught in the moments of musical reverie with their musical instruments.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Trudy Barber
Sketchbook by Trudy Barber.

Working to the back of the building, past a wall of portraits for each of the clubs’ many members to receive a Victoria Cross plus cabinets of trophies for sailing, I checked out the work on display in the large ballroom space. First up was the paintings by Jacquie Woodfield, with a great mix of detail and colour. I really liked the deckchairs painting in particular.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Jacquie Woodfield
Paintings by Jacquie Woodfield.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Jacquie Woodfield
Painting by Jacquie Woodfield.

Also sharing the space was Chris Wood with a collection of different work but front and centre were some band new linocut prints inspired by Ben Ainslie Racing yachts and Southsea. We predicted well over a year ago that BAR, their distinctive yachts and the new HQ would permeate through to photographers & artists as a striking new local inspiration and Chris’ new work is really rather special. These prints are available to buy framed and unframed.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Chris Wood
Linoprint by Chris Wood.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Chris Wood
Linoprint by Chris Wood.

Another artist sharing the space was painter Mary Amos who had on display a series of landscapes of Portsmouth Harbour. Also on show were a collection of different watercolours, which I really quite liked. Something about watercolours, one of the first techniques learnt yet it takes so much skill and creativity to control the water, the mix of paint plus there is no room to fix any mistakes.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Mary Amos
Paintings by Mary Amos.

Taking up one side of the room were the large canvases of Kim Whitby, depicting views out of HMS Victory. These and other work on show were created during a residency on the 250 year old ship which included drawing and painting at Nelson’s table. Victory also featured in some wonderful, loose monochrome work plus the ship and the Dockyard also filled the pages of Kim’s fantastic sketchbooks, which not only showed the creative processes behind some of the pieces on display but could have also been exhibited all by themselves.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Kim Whitby
Victory by Kim Whitby.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Kim Whitby
Victory by Kim Whitby.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Kim Whitby
Sketchook pages by Kim Whitby.

In another room in the club were another great mix of work, beginning with the playful, detailed pencil-work by Will Stevenson.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Will Stevenson
Artwork by Will Stevenson.

The diversity of medium and subject is one of the great things about the Art Trail, with neighbours in the exhibition often having significantly different work meaning there was something for everyone. Next to Will Stevenson were the small, impressionistic paintings by Michael Wright. Each of the three paintings drew the viewer in to a what felt like the middle of a dark fairytale, with the artwork keeping the details secret.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Michael Wright
Painting by Michael Wright.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Michael Wright
Painting by Michael Wright.

The Naval club building is Georgian so all of the rooms are high ceilinged and very open with large windows, so after climbing the stairs the view out over the Solent had to be photographed before viewing the work on display by different artists, including Lyndon Richards’ Old Portsmouth houses painted on bricks. Lyndon was the artists in residence painting during the art trail.






Old Portsmouth by Lyndon Richards.


Lunch at Point by Jean Battye.


Book by Darn Funky.


Artwork by James Shreeve.

From here it was on to Portsmouth Cathedral to see the artwork on show in the Nave.


With the Sunday service completed the cathedral was busy with people now exploring the Nave and discovering the different photography, textiles, painting, ceramics and more on show. As I walked in the first work that caught my attention was the watercolour work on the pillars by Sue Colyer, a set of two colourful abstracts and a country scene.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Sue Colyer
Watercolour by Sue Colyer.

Spice Island Art Trail 2015 - Sue Colyer
Watercolour by Sue Colyer.

Along to the corner of the cathedral where three large, striking and colourful photographs were on display by Peter Nicholson. The work is made with different coloured oils, waxes and more placed in suspension in a water tank and photographed throughout a lengthy process. These images were rich with detail and tones of colour that brought to mind Turner and the impressionist painters plus it reminded me of the large naval battle paintings in the Naval Club I had viewed earlier which had skies thick with cannon fire and the dense smoke of ships aflame.


Dark Trees by Peter Nicholson.

Also at the side of this historic building were paintings by Karl Rudziak. I’m a big fan of these detailed portrait paintings.


Painting by Karl Rudziak.

The far side of the nave was home to the intriguing & a little surreal ceramic figurework by artist John Townsend. It was great to chat with John and discover the ideas behind these wheel and then hand constructed ceramic forms, referencing back to the first photography that captured motion and movement.


Ceramic work by John Townsend.


Ceramic work by John Townsend.

Speaking of surreal, John’s artist neighbour was illustrator and painter Alison Lawley who had two incredible portrait paintings on display. The figure in both paintings was a hybrid of Alison’s friends and who was set in two different scenes relating to nature and wildlife, with surreal touches. The second painting had powerful eyes that would fix you in her gaze. Excellent work, looking forward to seeing more paintings from this new series by the artist.


Painting by Alison Lawley.

The schools artwork exhibition was in Beckett Hall, out the back of the cathedral, and was a collection of different student works from Ryde School, Highbury College and Chichester High School for Girls. Just like last year, you could spot a lot of talent on show in a wide variety of mediums, from printing to painting to 3D. This support of young artists from around the region through the Art Trail is a great way to see work normally not available to the public.










Once again the Art Trail was a great success in bringing dozens of artists and their many different works to Portsmouth and allowing the public free access to view the work, the wonderful buildings home to the exhibitions and creating an environment where you could speak to creatives from all walks of life involved in all different types of art. Looking forward to next year!

You can find out more about Portsmouth Festivities and the other great events happening throughout the rest of the month at:

www.portsmouthfestivities.co.uk

Get Twitching in Portsmouth with the RSPB: Three Different Birds to Spot & Photograph This Summer

If you have read the write up from our recent RSPB trip around Langstone Harbour you’ll know that even though we live in such a densely populated city we’re lucky to have lots of wildlife living in and around Portsmouth. For birds each season brings flocks of new birds to call the city and harbours home, if only for a short while before travelling (sometimes thousands of miles) onwards.

We’re working with the local RSPB team to suggest three birds to keep your eye out for each season, beginning with summer. Summer attracts many birds to Portsmouth to nest and breed new generations of birds that will return year in year out. These first three birds are Langstone Harbour favourites and can be spotted fairly easily by the naked eye or with binoculars or a camera.

Speaking of cameras, we’re running a competition where we want all you budding wildlife photographers to send in your photos of the three birds for the season. Photo each one and send them in and the RSPB team will pick their favourites for each bird. The three winners will win some Strong Island and RSPB prizes. Obviously, goes without saying, that we recommend you photo the birds from a distance where you will not disturb their nests, chicks, etc.

Send in your bird photos via email to paul@strong-island.co.uk and label the email RSPB and be sure to send them in by the end of AUGUST for a chance to win.

The three birds the RSPB suggest you keep an eye out for this summer are:

Oystercatcher
The oystercatcher is a large, stocky, black and white wading bird. It has a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs. In flight, it shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a ‘V’ between the wings. Because it eats cockles, the population is vulnerable if cockle beds are overexploited. They are commonly seen in the harbour, we know they breed here, though how successfully we don’t know.

Oystercatcher

Little Egret
The little egret is a small white heron with attractive white plumes on crest, back and chest, black legs and bill and yellow feet. It first appeared in the UK in significant numbers in 1989 and first bred in Dorset in 1996. The RSPB was formed to counter the barbarous trade in plumes for women’s hats, a fashion responsible for the destruction of many thousands of egrets and other species who’s plumes had become fashionable in the late Victorian era.

Little Egret

Sandwich Tern
The Sandwich tern is a very white tern, with a black cap on its head, a long black bill with a yellow tip and short black legs. In flight it shows grey wedges on its wings tips and it has a short forked tail. The Sandwich tern is one of 3 species of tern that breed in Langstone Harbour and this year looks to be promising so far. In the UK many of the important colonies survive because they are on Nature Reserves.

Sandwich Tern

We’re looking forward to seeing the results!

Our Langstone Harbour Trip with the RSPB

On a grey yet thankfully dry Sunday morning if I had a Portsmouth bucket list, I had one of the items near the top ticked off with a boat trip with the RSPB. Personally, I’ve always loved Langstone Harbour. When I first moved to Portsmouth I lived at the Furze Lane Langstone campus of the University of Portsmouth and the harbour was on my door step and one of the first places I explored with my bike and camera. Throughout the years I’ve been lucky enough to explore every yard of its edge plus the sandbank and the Phoenix Breakwater with my camera, from high tide to low, but I haven’t had a chance to explore the islands.

The thing, for me, that makes Langstone Harbour extra special is that it is a wild habitat right on the doorstep of the most densely populated city in the UK. Considering the close proximity to well over two hundred thousand people, the harbour is surprisingly biodiverse and a key nesting location for birds on the south coast. More surprising is that for birds, Langstone Harbour has way, way more calling it home through the seasons than its neighbour Chichester Harbour. So…all of this wildlife shares Portsmouth with us, and us with them. Particularly at this time of year: nesting season. So for the very, very novice twitcher side of me, a boat trip out to see the birds with the RSPB was a fantastic opportunity.




We set off from the slipway at Broadmarsh Costal Park south of Havant with Wez at the boat controls and Dawn to help both myself and Tristan find out more about the wildlife and what the RSPB do in regards to the harbour and the bird populations. It was a good start with lots of Mute Swans seeing us off from the quayside and even a low flying Heron passing overhead. We travelled south, in parallel with the shore of Long Island, one of many different islands in the harbour that have (since the late 1970s) become protected bird preserves of the RSPB. We passed the southern tip of the island, which is one of the few areas where the public can land (we saw kayakers taking a break on the small shingle beach) before moving south west to Round Nap Island.


Long Island.


I’ve always been intrigued by the harbour’s islands and as they are off limits to the public this was my first chance to see them up close. Round Nap Island is quite small and at high tide seemed like a very flat and precarious home to the nesting birds and visiting birds too. On the shingle we saw Black Headed Gulls with their brown, fuzzy and big chicks who will be very soon flying themselves. Also on the island we saw quiet Cormorants taking a rest from fishing and curious Oyster Catchers exploring the shingle and waterline for food.


Round Nap Island.


Cormorants on Round Nap Island.

The RSPB routinely (at times, daily) check the nesting islands to ensure the birds aren’t effected by the many different dangers to them, their nests and their young. At low tide some of these islands are accessible by the mudflats so some islands have electric fences to protect against foxes and other predators. Another serious danger to these birds are storms and surging tides. Recently a storm washed away nests and seriously effecting the breeding of some of the harbours most important visitors.




Black Headed Gull.

From Round Nap Island we set off to the much larger South Binness Island, the most southerly of the islands in the harbour. As we travelled along the southern shore of the island we saw hundreds and hundreds of Black headed Gulls and their young plus the sharp edged Sandwich Terns, Common Terns and our first sighting of the beautiful Little Terns that visit the harbour each year. The Little Terns have struggled in recent years to raise young due to weather and tides and in 2013 this island was raised up with 500 tonnes of aggregate with the hope that their ‘scrapes’ would be better protected.


South Binness Island.


Oyster Catcher and Black Header Gulls on South Binness Island.


South Binness Island.


Black Headed Gull chicks on South Binness Island.


South Binness Island.


Sandwich Tern.

Little Terns are very special visitors to Portsmouth. Unknown to me until fairly recently, Portsmouth and Langstone Harbour is home to one of the largest colonies of these special birds, along with Blakeney Point and Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and Minsmere in Suffolk. You might find the birds in much smaller groups around the coast of the UK, including Scotland…but right here in Portsmouth is a key nesting site in the UK. Sadly these birds have difficulty in producing young as our weather has been bad in consecutive years but they will continue to try through the rest of the season. There are only 1,900 (approx.) breeding pairs in the UK so the work done locally by the RSPB to support and help these birds is vital. To put it in context, on South Binness Island alone in 2008 the island had 4,886 nesting pairs of Black Headed Gulls.


Little Tern.


Little Tern.


Wez.

We travelled west past the island and out to a place I have wanted to visit for years, Oyster Island. Many years ago this small island was home to an oyster watchman’s house built in 1819. I had heard that you could still see the foundations and remains of the house (which was possibly washed away in a storm) still on this tiny island south of Farlington Marshes. As we approached you could clearly see on this tiny island the timber beams of the house plus bricks and more. Hard to believe that someone could live out here, right on the harbour.


Oyster Island.


Oyster Island.

From here we travelled to Baker’s Island with it’s northerly wild side. The RSPB obviously tries to not disturb the birds but there are occasions when it is necessary to land on one of the islands. Routinely the RSPB need to count the nests and check for any issues. Sometimes they have to fix fencing and maintain signs, etc, on this occasion Wez had to replace the electric fence battery so we grounded the boat on the beach for a few minutes. Obviously it is vital these islands are not visited by the public so this was an unexpected privilege to see this habitat up close for a minute or two.


Baker’s Island.


Oyster Catcher on Baker’s Island.


Surrounding the boat at Baker’s Island.

We set off from here and travelled east across the harbour and midway saw a large commercial vessel leave the quay at the Lafarge Tarmac site and travel towards the harbour entrance. It was a good reminder that despite being a quiet harbour there is still commercial activity on a day to day basis. There are also fishing vessels that work within the harbour too.


Commercial vessel passing Round Nap Island.




Tris.

The old oyster beds on Hayling Island’s north westerly edge (next to the ‘Billy’) have a long history, from farming huger amounts of oysters for consumption in London (ending due to pollution) to them being neglected until recent years when they were restored and made a protected RSPB area. These interlinking beds are now home to many different birds and access is prevented from Hayling Island as well as from boats. From here we saw a harbour favourite the Little Egret and also a solo Great Crested Grebe before it dived under the water and disappeared. On the way back to Broadmarsh we were lucky to see about a dozen Common Terns feeding, with them circling, hovering and then diving in to the harbour waters. We also saw some Little Terns too, who only feed around one kilometre from their nesting sites.


Little Egret at Hayling Island Oyster Beds.




Diving Common Tern.


In only a matter of two hours we had an incredible trip around the harbour and were introduced to not just the birds that call Portsmouth home but also the dedicated work by the RSPB, who with a very small team have to protect the habitats and birds. If you want to keep up to date with the work done by your local RSPB team be sure to follow their blog HERE. A huge thank you to Wez and Dawn for the trip!

Interested in seeing some of these birds yourself? It is actually pretty easy from the shoreline of the city of Portsmouth. We’re working with the RSPB on a series of articles starting tomorrow and we’ll be running a competition too. More details tomorrow.

Blissfields Festival 2015 Competition

Blissfields festival is just round the corner and the team behind the event have kindly donate two tickets for one Strong Island reader. The festival takes place between

Artists confirmed this year include The Horrors, John Grant, Simian Mobile Disco, Grandmaster Flash, Glass Animals, Public Service Broadcasting, Dub Pistols and the awesome Cosmo Sheldrake. As ever our city is going to be well represented with Strong Island favourites Big Child Man Child, Kassassin Street, Luke Ferre, Curxes, Popobawa and Floella Grace.

All you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answers to the following question before midnight on Thursday 11th June. The winner be contact directly and announced on social media soon after.

1) What year did Strong Island favourite Laurel perform a the Road To Blissfields Portsmouth event?

You can also follow the festival for updates on Facebook and Twitter @Blissfields.

Blissfields Poster

Archives

The Abrooks

The infamous 1980s Southsea locals Mark & Barry Abrook, doubles on the halfpipe at the skatepark from 1990.

Abrooks

Review of Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition at Coastguard Studio

Coastguard Studio this past weekend was host to it’s fifth (if I remember right) exhibition in a matter of six months or so, this one being a spin-off show to to the hugely successful Under the Spotlight exhibition earlier this year. Under the Spotlight | Photography brought together 30 photographers who are either based in Portsmouth or have strong ties with the city and the large open plan gallery space was packed full of diverse and engaging work.

I started off in the bar area, grabbing a beer and then checking out the panels lining the walls to this back space of Coastguard Studio. The first series that caught the eye were a pair of medium format, multiple exposures by Matt Ankers. I’ve seen a lot of Matt’s digital and commercial work (such as Victorious) so it was great to see his more personal work. The two images complemented each other well with emotive seaside scenes shot locally. Great to see film well represented in the exhibition. Next door on the wall was a series of film-noir inspired portraits by University of Portsmouth student Harry Murphy. This small wall right from the get go showed the incredible diversity of work produced for the exhibition and the different backgrounds of the contributors.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Matt Ankers
Work by Matt Ankers.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Harry Murphy
Work by Harry Murphy.

Another eye catching and intriguing panel was by Deborah Holton. The panel of 4 matched images showed x-ray collections of objects found on beach walks, going back over a decade or more. Each individual beach collection was kept in a 35mm film canister and could consist of beach glass, stones, sand and more. The idea behind the project and the dedication and composition consistency elevated this work to a highly conceptual piece that I’m sure inspired a few people to consider striking up their own ambitious concepts and projects in the future.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Deborah Holton
Work by Deborah Holton.

Also in this space were works by Andrew Hayward whose photography we’ve featured on a few occasions on Strong Island. On display were a small set of Andrew’s personal project capturing the oasis feel of service stations at night (also recently exhibited in a solo show with Aspex Gallery and Portsmouth Guildhall). The different garages shot in the same compositional style created a sense of consistency in the panel, drawing the eye in to discover more about the lit forecourts and bringing to mind the memories of late night road trips with friends and finding a sanctuary of fuel for the car and for the passengers. We’re actually exhibiting Andrew’s latest project in Strong Island Co very soon, keep an eye out for details.

Also shown in the room was work by Billie Cawte with her series of photos of projections shot around Portsmouth. These carefully considered images matched a location with a projection of a vintage image, shot at night, instilling a sense of continuity of a sense of place extending beyond normal, individual perceptions of time. These also, in a pleasantly strange way, bring to life forgotten functional corners of buildings. There was lots more to see in this space with other work by local photographers, I spent a little more time looking around before moving in to the large, open main exhibition space.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

Straight away it was great to see the place so busy. It was early-ish on the Saturday night and the place was full of people of all ages checking out the work and chatting. Its always great to take a step back in an exhibition and just see people enjoying it. There is way too much work to go through individually here but a few panels really caught my eye for very different reasons. In one corner were a series of 360 images taken by Guilhem Brandy which showed different, familiar, spots around the city in an interesting new way. Changing up perspectives of familiar places is something I personally really like and this series from Albert Road, Southsea Seafront, Garrison Church and Guildhall Square drew you in to find out more.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

One of the many great things about a shared exhibition is that the work touches on so many different subjects, drawing out many different thoughts and feelings from the people viewing the work. In a matter of a few steps you could take in the B&W film street photography by Matt Maber exploring the physical, social and cultural boundaries of Fratton Park on a Saturday afternoon through to the questioning and bold nudes by Ashton Keiditsch. In particular the powerful image of a lady with a partial mastectomy meant that the exhibition tackled some heavyweight subjects and these honest and questioning portraits looking at contemporary body image issues rightly raised discussion. The work reminded me of the recent series by Bryan Adams and also The Battle We Didn’t Choose.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Ashton Keiditsch
Work by Ashton Keiditsch.

Also panels that caught the eye included: the photos of Diana Goss whose work has a foot in each of her professions: photography and psychotherapy, the long exposures by both Elmer Maniebo and Jon Neil, the portraits by Aaron Bennett, the views on old age by Yasmin Collins and so, so much more. Hopefully the photos below give you a glimpse.

If you want to see the work in person the exhibition is open until Friday from 12pm to 2pm. Check the Coastguard Studio Facebook page for more information HERE.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Yasmin Collins

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Aaron Bennett

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

Guildhall After WWII

On 10th January 1941 during a heavy bombing attack on Portsmouth the Guildhall was hit by several incendiary bombs which heavily damaged the structure and the resulting fires quickly spread throughout the whole building, turning it in to just a shell. It took almost 15 years to rebuild the Guildhall in to what we have today, which was officially reopened by the Queen on the 8th June 1959. This photo from Stan Webb from a collection of photos collected by Portsmouth College shows how totally destroyed the building was, leaving just some of the frontage and most of the tower.

Guildhall

Ben Schroeder Skating Southsea

Back in the 80s and early 90s Southsea would regularly be on the list of skateparks visited by American skaters as they toured the UK and Europe. Sometime around 1990ish the pool was built to replace the old reservoir at the end of the slalom and not long after American pro skater Ben Schroeder came through and (figuratively) destroyed the new bowl and the halfpipe, so much so that his frontside ollie transfer out of the bowl, over the platform and landing in the steep bank is legendary.

To cut a long story short Ben got in contact recently with some footage from the day. I’m going to go through the old skate magazine archives and hunt around for photos but for now, here is that footage. To find out more about Ben check out his Juice Magazine interview.

Created Local – John Illsley

We got sent a link to John Illsley’s website recently, loads of amazing photos including many from all over Southsea and Portsmouth, be sure to check it out. Here are a few examples:

John Illsley

John Illsley

Created Local Special: Immy Smith and the Brain Tumour Research lab at the University of Portsmouth

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

Cellular & Molecular Neuro-Oncology (Brain Tumour) Research laboratories

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.

Staff at Cellular & Molecular Neuro-Oncology (Brain Tumour) Research laboratories

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

Heterogeneity Experiment: Ink, SciArt, and Brain Tumour Heterogeneity

Heterogeneity Experiment: Ink, SciArt, and Brain Tumour Heterogeneity

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

Ugly Objects

Ugly Objects

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:

connectingnarratives.tumblr.com
immysmith.com
imaginingscience.com

Immy Smith

Strong Island Easter Bike Ride Video

The guys over at www.saftandboneless.co.uk 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.

Created Local – Cat Vaughan

Cat from the Inksquatch collective has some of her prints available for purchase in The Southsea Gallery on Albert Road. They should be in and ready for sale this weekend, 3rd July. Some nice little illustrations as always. Go and grab a local bargain.






Nike Football’s ‘Risk Everything’ by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust – Exclusive Interview

In the last few weeks Nike launched ‘Risk Everything’ their new football marketing campaign that features the England football team as well as other players from all around the world including Cristiano Ronaldo & Neymar Jr. Risk Everything also includes the new England kit for the 2014 World Cup with striking imagery of the players and the three lions. The artwork & branding of this vast, international marketing campaign by one of the largest brands in the World was created by Portsmouth’s very own award winning ilovedust design studio, located at the heart of the city. Established in 2003 the company and design team have grown dramatically, working with international brands as well as on local projects. Strong Island caught up with ilovedust’s Matt Howarth, senior designer, and found out more about ILD’s involvement with Nike’s Risk Everything:

ilovedust has been working with Nike for some time, can you give us a quick history of how you hooked up with them initially? Some of the past projects with them that you guys have been particularly stoked on?

We’ve been working for Nike for the last 7 years, it all started off with an illustration for a Jordan x Levis 501 project back when we were a small 4 man studio, i guess we did a pretty good job and the word spread internally at Nike world headquarters that ilovedust knew their shit! Since then we’ve grown our relationship year on year and been lucky enough to meet some inspiring people and work on some great projects along the way.

Can you give us some background on when and how you guys got involved in the England World Cup promotional branding and Risk Everything?

The initial brief for the “Risk Everything” campaign came from advertising agent Wieden & Kennady (W+K) in Portland, Oregon, over the years we have a made a few friends there and they emailed us way back in September saying they’ve got the perfect project for us! The project became so big that we ended up working directly with the Nike Football department directly.

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust

From what has been released already I’ve seen the mural on the Southbank of Jack Wilshire & Wayne Rooney the backdrop for the England team for their World Cup kit, retail displays and more, it is clearly a huge project, can you break down what is involved in a project of this scale?

Oh god… where to start!! Initially W+K briefed us to create illustrations for their 5 top footballers to be used in a print campaign (these will released in a couple of weeks), then Nike Football tasked us with creating illustrations for 7 different countries which Nike will be sponsoring at the World Cup, these would be used online and across retail destinations in each of the 7 countries. Since all of these have been completed we’ve been contacted by W+K London, Amsterdam, Rio and Tokyo for additional illustrations, this is where the Wayne Rooney/Jack Wilshere piece comes in to play, curated by W+K London and currently on display on the Southbank.

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust (5)

With Risk Everything you guys have stamped your distinct signature style all over it, what level of creative control do Dust and the team have in the collaboration with Nike?

When the brief came in it referenced a lot of our work, the client had a distinct idea of what they wanted, we took it, run with it, and made it better. Luckily we have good, open relationships with our clients, and we know a thing or two about football, so they trusted us.

As well as having your main studio in Portsmouth you have a studio in Portland, working with a brand the size of Nike and a project of this scale have there been practical issues with working with a brand on the other side of the World? Advantages?

We’ve visited Nike HQ 3 times during this project and our small studio in Portland has allowed us to work on the project in real time with the clients. We’re used to being 8 hours ahead of them everyday, and working until midnight is not uncommon, so being able to work and get feedback instantaneously was a real advantage.

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust (1)

The ilovedust lion is the striking backdrop for the England team in the new Nike kit in the run up to the World Cup, what design constraints did you experience (if any) with working with essentially a national sporting icon? Were the FA involved in sign-off?

This project was a fun one to work on with hardly any design restraints, and as far as we know The FA were not involved in sign-off, but as with all Nike work it had to go through legal checks, we we’re pretty safe with the 3 lions.

The lion and associated artwork are already gracing huge sports retailers’ windows plus on TV adverts, how does if feel seeing your work on this level in the UK?

It’s always nice to see months of hard work pay off when it’s released to the world – a bit surreal to see it in shop windows in your hometown!

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust

I’m assuming there is still much more to come in the run up to June and the World Cup? Will you guys be getting out to Rio?

Yes, lots more to come. The “Risk Everything” campaign will run beyond the World Cup and into next season so we have started to work on a different style of illustration for Europe’s top clubs; Barca, Man Utd, PSG, Juventus etc etc

ILD is home to some die hard Portsmouth FC fans, ever think about what you could do in regards to the club in respect to design? Maybe a new kit for 2014/2015 season?

Ha, the current kit’s not too bad but i’m sure we could improve it if given the chance!

Without letting too many cats out of the bag, what other projects are you guys working on for 2014?

Some very cool projects in the pipeline, one for Pepsi which is also World Cup related, we’re continuing to work with Microsoft for the launch of Xbox One’s Sunset Overdrive computer game in 2015, hmmm what else… lots more Nike that’s for sure, a few bits for Red Bull and a couple of top secret projects which you’ll have to wait for… sorry!

The Risk Everything artwork continues to roll out through the press and on TV, below are some images of the artwork already in the wild, be sure to keep up with the ILD website, blog, Twitter, Instagram & Behance to see more.

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust (3)

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust (4)

Local Photographer – David Jacobs

Based in Chichester but a constant visitor to Southsea, Portsmouth, Hayling and all of the Chichester harbour area, David Jacobs’ photos capture the warmth of the local light and and the inspiring natural views of the local landscape and coastline. To see more of David’s photos be sure to click ‘Read More’ below and check David’s Flickr.

Southsea

Hayling