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Volunteers Needed This Week for the Strong Island Creative Cargo Project

Beginning back in 2011, we try and work on a major arts based project/exhibition every year, previous projects have included the Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower, The PRIMARY Photography Exhibition and The Creating Balance Project. The Strong Island main arts project for 2014 is the Creative Cargo project, which has the key aim of promoting the creative sector in the city of Portsmouth on a national and international level. The creative sector in the UK is one of the fastest growing in the economy and locally is going from strength to strength with local artists, designers, photographers, curators, agencies, organisations and businesses creating art, products and projects that packs a serious punch. We wanted to let the rest of the UK know just how creative, innovative, successful and inspiring the people and businesses that call Portsmouth home can be and Creative Cargo is how we aim to do so.

At the heart of the Creative Cargo project are ten vintage steamer cases that each will contain a curated selection of objects and products from these creative individuals and organisations in Portsmouth. Theses cases will be launched at a VIP event in London in September with each case destined to either be given to a person of national cultural influence or passed on to editors of national and international newspapers and websites focusing on culture, arts & design. A case will also be kept within Portsmouth to tour at key locations within the city to celebrate the creative sector locally.

We have the vintage shipping cases BUT we need to restore them and make them also representative of the city so will re-line them with textiles and paper designed and sourced locally. We need volunteers this week who would like to help us make these steamer cases look not only beautiful but also in their own way showcases that not only hold the project’s artwork and objects but are also works of local art themselves. We’re running the restoration from 11am to 6pm on Wednesday 13th August to Saturday 16th August at the Strong Island HQ Studio at 53 Albert Road and would love to have local people (skilled in textiles or furniture or just enthusiastic!) take part in the project, even if it is just an hour. With the cases restored we can then photograph them for the project website and the press pack to go to national and international press, websites & blogs. We are also producing a project book which will be full of the photography of the cases and which will be given to all the VIPs at the launch event…so everyone helping will not only have our huge appreciation and props but will also directly help this project make a positive difference in promoting the creativity in their city.

Also, if you have any textile or paper repeating designs/artwork that we could use to help restore these cases please get in touch too!

To find out more about volunteering or supplying possible artwork for lining the cases please email Kate at katethesmith@gmail.com.

If you can share this amongst your friends via Facebook & Twitter to get the word out it would really help!

We’ll have more details on the project soon. This project has been made possible with the support of Portsmouth City Council and Penny Mordaunt MP.

Volunteers Needed This Week for the Strong Island Creative Cargo Project

Sketch Crawl

I am genuinely pleased to see how strong and vibrant our creative community is becoming. It always seems to be shifting and growing in such a natural way. There seems to be more and more ways in which we can all participate. So when I got an invite to join ‘Sketch Crawl’ I again was reminded of how awesome our community is for its DIY and ‘all welcome’ attitude.

Sketch Crawl was created by local water colourist and urban sketcher Chris Webb.

Our first group sketch crawl. Meet at Manna Tea Rooms for a coffee or cup of tea then we shall move across the road to the Cathedral and then down to the Old Spice Island. Bring sketch/watercolour pad, pens, pencils and water for travel paints and finally refreshments and a portable seat or towel to sit on.

So come along on Saturday 16th August 2-5pm and meet at Manna Tearooms, 39 High Street, Old Portsmouth. All abilities are welcome and you can join the Facebook event for Sketch Crawl here.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos

In the six years we have been writing articles we have featured the progression of aerial photography in and around Portsmouth and Southsea, with photos from kites, planes and helicopters. Recently small, affordable remote helicopter drones have enabled people to film and photograph the city, allowing amateurs and professionals to share views of landmarks and locations like never before. We spoke to James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos who works professionally with drones to find out more:

How did you get started in aerial photography?
Photography in general has always been a passion of mine but the aerial part was inspired by my father who was a Flight Engineer on Jumbo Jet’s. He’s now retired but flew over 6000 hours in the cockpit of a 747 and captured some breath-taking photos. Following in his footsteps, about 5 years ago I got my Private Pilot’s Licence, not quite a 747 but I would use every spare penny to jump in a light aircraft armed with my Nikon SLR and shoot some really stunning photos. I’d post them on social media and get hundreds of likes. It was then that I realised there was a demand for this kind of photoghraphy but I never really had the time or the money to pursue it. I continued aerial photography in this way as a hobby until last year when I attended a conference on aviation safety and one of the hot topics was about ‘drones’. During the conference I had a light bulb moment and as soon as I got home began researching different drones, licences and the process to becoming a professional drone operator. About a week later I took the plunge and bought myself a drone, strapped a camera to it and it all took off from there really (pun intended).

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (1)
James landing at Lee-on-Solent in G-BKDH a Robin DR400 (Photo Courtesy of Ian Haskell)

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (2)
James’ Dad (Paul Harvey) in April 1994 at work in the cockpit of a 747-136 before take off for the return leg to Heathrow from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Flight Engineer in the middle).

Can you detail what is involved in flying a drone? Also what sort of height, range, etc?
To fly a drone you require much of the same skills as you do to fly a manned aircraft, good hand eye coordination, good reactions and good eyesight! The one new skill that flying a drone requires is the ability to maintain orientation for a remote distant object. For example a drone flying away from you has the same left or right as you do, but when the drone is flying towards you everything is reversed and this can easily catch you out if you’re not concentrating. Luckily drones are highly sophisticated bits of kit with lots of sensors and gizmos that make things a lot easier, we use the remote control to adjust height, speed and direction just like a manned aircraft. But unlike a manned aircraft, if you get in any trouble you simply let go of the controls and the drone will hold its height and position using GPS satellites. Another nifty feature if you have any difficulty flying or perhaps you lose visual sight of it, all you have to do is hit the red switch on the remote control and the aircraft will autonomously fly back to you and land safely where it took off from.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (2)
James flying a Drone.

The use of drones is not yet fully integrated into the rest of the aviation world so current regulations prevent us from flying more than 400ft high (manned aircraft are not allowed to fly below 500ft so this ensures a safe buffer between the two). We must also remain within 0.5km from the pilot or within visual line of sight (whichever is closer).

What sort of camera equipment, lens, etc do you use?
My current camera of choice is the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition. This surprises many people, especially professional ‘ground’ photographers but when you compare it to a Digital SLR (for purpose of aerial photography) the GoPro comes out on top, everytime! The video quality is amazing, it shoots anything from 1080p HD all the way up to 4K (cinema quality), it can shoot video and take photos simultaneously and most importantly it’s small and light. Connected to the camera I have a 5.8GHz Video Transmitter which streams live footage from the aircraft down to me on the ground through an HD screen, this allows me to frame up shots and allows the customer to preview the footage.

My aircraft of choice is a DJI Phantom 2, this is the go to drone for many operators as it works straight out the box and only takes a few modifications and some soldering to get it photography ready.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (3)
James’ DJI Phantom 2 enjoying the sunset on the River Hamble.

Working commercially, what projects have you been involved with?
Using drones for aerial photography is a fairly new concept to the general public, we’ve been getting on fine without them for so many years so it’s not easy to convince people this is the future. Sometimes the word ‘drone’ doesn’t help because this often conjures up images of military drones with weapons but this is just something that will take time to get used to. Despite this I’ve been quite busy, mostly from home owners and estate agents. An aerial photo of a large property in all its surrounding is a real eye grabber. One of my first customers was for a lady in Brockenhurst who had an old aerial photo from years ago taken from a helicopter and she wanted an updated one. Back then the aerial photo would have cost hundreds but today we can use a UAV with the same results (if not better) for a fraction of the cost.

Other projects I’ve got coming up include an aerial survey of some flood attenuation in Newbury for a well-known infrastructure and construction company and I will also be providing aerial photos and videos of Wickham Festival.

Do you use the drone for fun too? What locations do you like to shoot?
Oh yes, I take every opportunity to fly! If I’m going somewhere I think might have some aerial potential I’ll always pack my equipment. My favourite locations for aerial work are the English heritage and historical sites dotted around the country. They are such great landmarks to view from the air.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (4)
Titchfield Abbey.

What is your favourite local location?
My all-time favourite location so far has to be Southsea Castle, it was one of the first aerial videos I took and I loved every minute, despite getting up at 4:30am to get the sun rise! I remember I had a massive smile on my face the whole time I was chopping and shaping it into a video. The site is truly wonderful from the air and has so much character. I also run a social group (Portsmouth Happy Hour) and recently 70 of us went to the Southsea Castle for their weekly summer champagne night and it was such a great night, if you haven’t experienced it I thoroughly recommend it.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (5)
Southsea Castle.

How do you see this type of photography developing in the future?
The future for aerial photography is very bright! Drones are getting cheaper and the technology is advancing at a scary rate, there is already technology on the market that can make your drone completely autonomous and hands off, i.e. you can plan a flight program on your laptop hit enter and the drone will takeoff, fly the route, circle and photograph landmarks and land autonomously. This has great potential for aerial photography but also opens up other uses such as aerial surveillance for security purposes. I have no doubt that aerial photography using drones will increase significantly over the coming years (the House of Lords has even recognised it’s increasing popularity and begun an inquiry into them). I do see them being a common sight in some key areas though; Fire Brigades will use aerial drones armed with thermal imaging cameras to help assist firefighters to efficiently and safely fight fires, Power Companies will use drones to perform regular safety inspection of pylons and electricity cables, News Reporters will use drones to obtain footage of natural disasters or other hazardous scenarios, Police will use them track criminals or find missing persons…the list is endless and it’s a really exciting time to be a Drone pilot.

See the photos from Southsea and Southsea Common (including the set up of the Southsea Show) below and to find out more about Hampshire Aerial Photos and see more of James’ work visit: www.hampshireaerialphotos.co.uk

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (7)

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (8)

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (9)

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #5 Public Service Broadcasting

In our latest Victorious Festival preview we are featuring Public Service Broadcasting. By using samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material the London-based duo have created the catchiest songs you’ll hear all weekend.

Their debut album ‘Inform – Educate – Entertain’ was released in May last year and received widespread critical acclaim and was also selected by BBC 6Music as in the top ten albums of 2013.

You will be able to catch Public Service Broadcasting on the Seaside Stage on Saturday 23rd August. If you like what you see then you can also check them out at this years Bestival on the Isle of Wight.

For more information check out the duo’s Facebook, Twitter @PSB_HQ, SoundCloud and YouTube.

PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August, adult day tickets are currently available for £20. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

Matt O’Donovan Exhibition

This evening Matt O’Donovan will be exhibiting his latest body of work “Aesthetics and Variable Systems” at White Elephant, 48 Cromwell Road, Southsea. Matt describes the “the work features a series of evolving and process driven abstract compositions that use the 1930′s concrete art manifesto as a conceptual point of departure.”

You can find out more about Matt on his website www.mattodonovan.com.

Matt O'Donovan Exhibition

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers

Last week’s Southsea Comedy Festival was a huge success, bringing international and national stand up comedy stars to Southsea Common and audiences packed with local people. Local photographer and friend of Strong Island Matt Ankers was in the big tent and backstage with his camera to capture the atmosphere of this new event and major highlight of the summer calendar in the city. You can read our review of the festival by Stu HERE.

Check some of Matt’s photos below and over on our Facebook page for more plus be sure to take a few moments to check out Matt’s awesome photography over on his website: Matt Ankers.

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (1)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (2)
Adam Hills
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (3)
Russell Kane
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (4)
Russell Kane
Marcus Brigstocke
Marcus Brigstocke
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (5)
Dana Alexander
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (6)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (7)
Russell Kane

Aspex Gallery Contemporary Makers Fair: Exhibitors Announced

Regional artists and designer-makers will exhibit and sell their work to the public on this weekend on the 9th and 10th of August. After the success of the inaugural event back in February, Aspex will once again be handing over its main exhibition space to showcase some of the very best contemporary craft in the region.

A full list of the exhibitors selected by aspex is now available, and features some of the very best contemporary craft in the region, across a range of artistic media, including jewellery, ceramics, printmaking, glass, textiles, amidst others.

Aspex Venue Co-ordinator, Julia de Klerk, said: “The team at aspex were really excited by the response we have had to our second Contemporary Makers Fair, which demonstrates the wealth of talent in the region. Events like this allow our audience to interact directly makers and artists, revealing the creative process and providing a valuable opportunity to sell direct to the public”

The Contemporary Makers Fair will be open from 11-5 each day, admission is free.

Aspex Gallery Contemporary Makers Fair

Full List of Exhibitors:
Catherine McGinness
Laura Bennett
Petting Zoo Prints
Kate Bishop
Julie Chappell
Suzie Darcell
Carina de Jager
Catrin Dudfield
Aniko Gajdosci
EM Jewellery
Charlotte Leftley
Carly Mann
Kelly Ottesen
Vicky Saragouda
Linsey Sinclair
Kathy Williams
Sally Woodford

Honesty Dome Necklace
Laura Bennett ‘Honesty Dome Necklace’
Nature of Fragility - Thistle Ring
Laura Bennett ‘Nature of Fragility – Thistle Ring’
Forest by Kroma
Kate Bishop ‘Forest’
Carina De Jager
Carina de Jager
Suzie Darcel
Suzie Darcel
Julie Chappell The Rosy Nibbler Circuit Board Beetle
Julie Chappell ‘The Rosy Nibbler Circuit Board Beetle’
EM Jewellery
EM Jewellary
Sally Woodford
Sally Woodford

Omega Printmakers Printing Courses for Autumn

The Omega Printmakers have released details of their printmaking and screen printing courses they will be running in the Autumn at the Omega Centre. Classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays with Mary Stephens, details of the courses are below:

Printmaking
These lively and informative classes offer the opportunity to learn and explore a variety of printmaking techniques. Working with both relief and intaglio processes, this course will provide a firm foundation on which to build your printmaking practice. Classes are small to ensure individual attention from the tutor and to enable students to develop their own styles, approaches and ideas.

Screen Printing
Learn how to create screen prints using a variety of water-based methods including stencils and photo emulsion. These popular classes will provide an opportunity to learn basic techniques or to continue developing your work. Experienced students are welcome to continue individual printmaking projects within these sessions. Classes are small and suitable for all abilities.

Monday class starts on 15th September 2014
Screen Printing 10am-1pm
Autumn term 15th September – 10th November (Half term 27th October)
Cost £155 per eight week course.

Wednesday classes start on 17th September 2014
Screen Printing 10am-1pm
Printmaking 1.30pm-4.30pm
Autumn term 17th September – 12th November (Half term 29th October)
Cost £155 per eight week course.

If you would like to print all day on Wednesday you can book both courses for the special rate of £260. You may wish to use this opportunity to learn in one session and continue your practice in the other. Basic materials will be provided and extra materials will be available at reasonable prices.

Mary Stephens is an experienced printmaking tutor as well as a practicing artist. She has an M.A. in Printmaking and is a founder member and facilitator of Omega Printmakers.

To book in advance or if you have any questions, please contact info@omegaprintmakers.co.uk. Classes will take place in the well equipped print rooms at The Omega Centre Omega Street Portsmouth PO5 4LP.

Omega Printmakers Printing Courses for Autumn

Portsmouth FC launch Their Home Kit For 2014/15

Portsmouth Football Club have today launched their new home kit for the upcoming season. The shirt pays tribute to the ‘Pompey Pals’ who are soldiers from the city who died in First World War. The Pompey Pals were the 14th and 15th battalions of the Hampshire Regiment, and were recruited at Fratton Park.

Unveiled on the 100th anniversary of Great Britain’s involvement in that conflict, the kit replicates the look of the Blues’ 1914 version and also contains the names of all 1,400 members of the Pompey Pals who died.

The kit is on sale today at the Pompey Store, with shirts priced at £39.99 for adults and £34.99 for children’s sizes.

Portsmouth FC 2014/15 Home Shirt

Portsmouth FC 2014/15 Home Shirt

Portsmouth Football Club have also unveiled a ‘Pompey Pals’ memorial at Fratton Park. You can find out more about the memorial HERE.

Pompey Pals Memorial

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #4 Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip

Our latest Victorious Festival preview features hip hop duo Daniel Stephens and David Peter Meads, perhaps better known as Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip.

After previously working as solo artists, they teamed up in 2007 and released their debut album ‘Angles’. Most of which was recording in a friend of Scroobius Pip’s shed, and in Dan Le Sac’s back bedroom in Essex. The pair are signed to Rob Da Banks Sunday Best Records and their most recent release ‘Repent, Replenish, Repeat’ is available to buy and download now.

The duo are best known for their hip-hop sounds combined with electro beats with sung, spoken, and rapped lyrics. Over the years they have gained the reputation for being one of the UK’s premier live hip hop acts. They’re no stranger to festivals, they have regularly appeared played at Glastonbury, Bestival, Coachella, Pukkelpop and Fuji Rock Festival.

Le Sac and Pip announced earlier this year that they will be taking a break for a few years to focus on other projects. So make sure that you check them out on the Seaside Stage on Sunday 24th.

You can find out more about them on Facebook, to their individual Twitter accounts @danlesac and @scroobiuspipyo.

dans le sac vs scroobius pip

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August, adult day tickets are currently available for £20. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

Declaration of War at Portsmouth Guildhall Square Tonight

As you are no doubt aware, today is exactly 100 years since the outbreak of the Great War, as part of the events remembering this centenary in Portsmouth there is Declaration of War, starting this afternoon and running until late at Portsmouth Guildhall Square.

From 6.30pm to 9pm the Big Screen will be showing live coverage of the commemorations from the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Belgium, where British, Commonwealth and German soldiers are buried alongside each other. Poems and testimonies will be read by serving British and German soldiers as musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic perform together to mark the occasion with British and German music.

At 9pm, the Big Screen will be showcasing the Portsmouth Festivities ‘FACES’ film, depicting life in Portsmouth on the eve of the First World War, retold by current residents of the city through the diaries and letters of residents from a century ago.

From 10pm a narrator will guide the audience through the events that led to the outbreak of the First World War and the impact on the city and the residents who lived here. Themed readings, music, extracts from war diaries and poetry will help to retell the story and provide a context to the event.

From 10.30pm a candlelight vigil will be held as a moment for the current residents of Portsmouth to reflect on the events a hundred years ago and to pay their respect to the lost generation that never returned. The candles will then be extinguished as part of the nationwide ‘Lights Out’ initiative whereby we will be joining in with other villages, towns, cities and communities across the UK in marking the Centenary by the lights being turned off and candles being extinguished. A single candle will remain lit as a focus for reflection.

At 11pm the Declaration of War transcript will be read out, signalling that war has been declared. The remaining candle is extinguished to reflect the famous words of Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary: ‘The Lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime’. War Bells are rung out across the city and Royal Navy vessels sound a siren ringing in the war. A bugler will play the Last Post followed by a two minutes silence.

Reflecting the events that happened in London on the outbreak of the war, the National Anthem will be played. At first there was much excitement at the prospect of a war with thousands signing up across the country, many from Portsmouth. The evening reflects this with uplifting music of the period.

At 11.20pm a telegram was sent to forces across the British Empire confirming that Britain and her Empire were now at war: ‘WAR. GERMANY. ACT’. The tone of the event takes a more sombre tone as the true picture of war becomes uncovered, portrayed through some of the poetry of the First World War: ‘Dulce et decorum est’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘In Flanders Field’ by John McCrae, whilst a WW1 Ambulance enters the square symbolising the true cost of the war that follows. The evening ends with the famous poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon, followed by the bugler playing the Last Post and the names of those who were killed, continue to be shown on the Big Screens.

Throughout the evening, a particular focus for the event will be remembering Portsmouth’s sons who were killed during the First World War. This event is dedicated to the 5,988 who didn’t come back to our city, their home. Their names will be shown on the Big Screen during the event as the residents of Portsmouth, today, pay respect to them, of yesterday – a lost generation. Members of the public will also be invited to write a personal message on a cut-out of a First World War soldier.

This is a free event and no tickets are required. Bring a chair, a blanket and wear warm clothes.

Declaration of War at Portsmouth Guildhall Square Tonight

Read Rees book launch at Blackwell’s

Literature lovers can head down to Blackwell’s bookshop this Saturday for the Portsmouth launch of Read Rees, the long-awaited new book by local author Gareth Rees.

Read Rees contains stories of war, theology, blackberry crumble and the oppression of cleaning staff. ‘Forty years’ wanderlust, menial labour and mindful rebellion.’

A graduate of the University of Portsmouth (UoP), Gareth has written for The Guardian, The Contemporary Review and the award-winning No Such Thing as a Free Ride? series of travel anthologies.

Read Rees is published by 137 Albion Road Books, a project involving another UoP alumnus, the photographer and writer Alexander Sebley, and Tom Sykes, Lecturer in Creative Writing at UoP and regular contributor to the New African magazine.

At the launch there will be readings plus a Q&A with Gareth. Copies of the book will be on sale priced £6.

Summery snacks and drinks will be served.

The launch is in association with the School of Media and Performing Arts at the University of Portsmouth.

7pm, 2nd August, Blackwell’s bookshop, Cambridge Road, Portsmouth.

Writer Gareth Rees

ARTches Project Receives £1.75 Million from Coastal Communities Fund

Some fantastic news has been announced today by Portsmouth City Council that the ARTches project to turn the Hotwalls arches in Old Portsmouth into a collection of artist studios and exhibition space has received key funding totalling £1.75 million from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. As we have previously covered in the last few years (you can read our previous articles, dating back to 2010, and opinion on the project HERE) the ARTches project will revitalise an area that despite being one of the highest footfalls in the city with locals and visitors throughout the year has been chronically underused and for many years closed off. The Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower in 2011 with many thousands of visitors in just two weeks showed that this area has fantastic potential.

Many cities and town across the south and the UK have projects and areas that actively aim to support and develop creativity in their local area by providing low cost artist studios, acting as stepping stones in the career progress of the creative industries including art, craft, jewellery, etc. Local examples include Making Space in Leigh Park, The Arches in Southampton and, The Sorting Office in Eastleigh. These projects provide a sustainable model of supporting artists with studio facilities, exhibition space, business and marketing support and more. Sadly despite Portsmouth’s active and fast growing creative sector we do not have such a local resource to benefit not just local artists, crafters, photographers, jewellers and more but also bringing in income in to the local economy. The creative industries are the fastest growing sector in the UK economy, generating £8 million an hour that generates direct and indirect employment for many, the ARTches project will be a key driver in developing this sector in Portsmouth in the future, with PCC estimating over 23 jobs to be created as a result of the funding and 82 positions indirectly.

The project’s planning permission decision previously proved to be controversial with petitions for and against the development but with the active support of English Heritage permission was granted and with this new funding plus £100,000 from PCC and the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) contribution of £40,000 the ARTches project is quickly becoming a reality. We’re looking forward to seeing more news on the project soon, including more details on the business plan, the artists to be engaged with for studio space, etc.

ARTches Proposal Consultation (2)

ARTches Proposal Consultation (4)

ARTches Proposal Consultation (3)

ARTches Proposal Consultation (5)

Southsea Comedy Festival

Wow! So I’ve just got home from an amazing night of comedy on Southsea Common. A lot of laughs were had by all, and it was great to see such a good crowd turn out for the very first Southsea Comedy Festival.

The sun was shining bright as the crowd entered the festival site. I managed to arrive early enough to enjoy some sunshine and an ale from our friends Kings Street Tavern. I ventured into the comedy tent to see local compere James Alderson greet the crowd and introduce Larry Dean. I didn’t know very much about Dean before tonight but I quickly became a fan. I’m sure we will see much more of him in the future.

After a brief interval, 8:30pm rolled around and it was time for Alderson to introduce the headline act, Mr Eddie Izzard. When Izzard walked on stage the crowd gave him a huge round of applause, what a welcoming bunch we are! In return he put on a very funny show, covering obscure topics such as French speaking kings of England, how to improve dressage and the Lord of the Rings. He even handled the departure and arrival of a noisy Hovercraft like a pro! I wouldn’t want to risk any spoilers before Friday evenings performance but you are in for a treat. If you don’t have a ticket then I urge you to check out the Comedy Festival website to pick up and of the remaining tickets (if there are any?). It was that good that I will be going back tonight to see it again.

Southsea Comedy Festival is part of the build up to tomorrows Southsea Show which is also being held on Southsea Common.

You can follow the Southsea Comedy Festival on Twitter @SouthseaComedy and the Southsea Show @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Comedy Festival

Southsea Comedy Festival

Eddie Izzard Southsea Comedy Festival Logo

FREE Strong Island Clothing Co. Tees

With payday just around the corner we’re offering a free tee to the first 10 people to make a full price purchase of any Strong Island Clothing Co. tee over at Shop Ahoy. This offer is only available on Friday 1st August 2014 so you’ve got to be in it, to win it…

Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 - Dell Quay

Strong Island Clothing Co. Collections - Summer 2014 (5)

Strong Island Clothing Co. Collections - Summer 2014 (2)

Strong Island Clothing Co. Collections - Summer 2014 (8)

The Southsea Show Competition Winners

The Southsea Show returns next weekend. If you’ve been passed Southsea Common you will have seen the tents and marquee’s going up in preparation. It looks like this years event is going to be even bigger and better than last years!

The Southsea Show team have kindly donated two sets of family tickets to give away, so thats two adults and two children. These tickets can be redeemed on a day of your choosing. All you had to do to win this prize is answer the following question…

Hampshire based Batala Portsmouth are a local samba band playing authentic Afro Brazilian Samba Reggae music. They are returning this year and can be found performing on Sunday 3rd August. What three colours make up their uniforms?

The answer was of course Red, White and Black. The two lucky winners are Jean-Philippe Soulie and Nathan Jones.

Tickets for the event are £8 or £5 for concessions and are available on the website HERE. You can follow all things Southsea Show on their Facebook and Twitter @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Show 2014

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #3 Felt Tip

Our next Victorious Festival preview features Felt Tip. The British Indie Pop band hail from London and feature former Southsea resident Jade Spranklen on bass, James Tyler (vocals), Tom Rapanakis (drums) and Anton Trampon (guitar).

The band have have just announced the exciting news that they have been picked up by X-Ray Touring, who also manage Pulp, Damon Albarn, Nick Cave and Franz Ferdinand. As well as continuing to tour over the autumn, Felt Tip are will be busy writing and recording their next release.

Felt Tip have had a busy summer playing live and promoting their new EP ‘Simple Things’ which is available on iTunes for £2.49 HERE. After the first listen the title track ‘Simple Things’ will be stick in your head all day, and you won’t mind one bit.

I encourage you to check them out for yourself on the Seaside Stage on Saturday 23rd August.

You can find out more about the band and stay up to date on the latest news, shows and releases via their Facebook, Twitter @FeltTip and SoundCloud.

Felt Tip by Maximilian Hetherington 2
Photo by Maximilian Hetherington

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August, adult day tickets are currently available for £20. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

Surf ‘n’ Turf Polar Skateboards UK Tour Visits Southsea Skatepark on 10th August

In the last few years Sweden’s Polar Skate Co have become one of the most influential small skate brands (with the likes of London’s Palace) in both Europe and the USA, in no small part to their all terrain ripping, lead by owner and pro Pontus Alv. The Polar team are visiting the UK in August with stops off at Oxford, Bristol, Bournemouth, Guildford, London and Southsea! David Stenstrom, Kevin Rodrigues, Paul Grund, Dane Brady, Michal Juras and Pontus Alv will be in Bored of Southsea from 5pm for a meet up with everyone before popping down to Southsea Skatepark from 6pm to 8pm. Prepare to see the vintage 70s park concrete get shredded. Remember if you want to come down and watch and not skate/ride visitors to the park can come along for free. Seriously recommended, this will be the first demo in Portsmouth for a year or two and not to be missed.

Check the poster artwork below for full details and have a watch of their latest promo below:

Surf´n´Turf Polar Uk Tour

Operation Tanktop @ Victorious Festival

The Feel Yourself Campaign are getting together with Earth Wool & Fire to yarn bomb the tank outside the D Day museum during this year’s Victorious Festival, with permission from the organisers and the museum of course.

Contributions are flooding in but more are needed! If you can knit or crochet and can spare the time to donate a square or rectangle of any size to this project, your contribution will be greatly appreciated. If you can’t but you know someone who can, please pass this on them.

Op Tanktop

For more information and to stay up to date on the project, please check out the Facebook Event Page HERE.

Op Tanktop

Joseph Loughborough ‘The Mountain’

Portsmouth ex pat Joseph Loughborough has just released a limited edition print ‘The Mountain’. This is a follow up to ‘The Tide’ which was released in March.

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

You can get you hands on ones of the beauts HERE.

You can find out more about him at www.josephloughborough.co.uk and through Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook.

Joseph Loughborough

Joseph Loughborough

Little Johnny Russell’s | Silent Disco

You all know the drill by now. Two DJs, one set of headphones, two channels to choose from, and one dance floor full of people singing and dancing in a room with no music. Get involved!

You can follow Little Johnny Russell’s on Facebook and Twitter @JohnnyRussells

LJR Silent Disco

Here to be Performed by Southsea Shakespeare Actors at Rosie’s Vineyard from 28th to 30th July

Do you fancy seeing a spot of theatre and supporting a fledgling director, all in the lovely setting of Rosie’s wine bar? Jennie Rawling, our strong island contributor for all things theatre and literature, is directing Michael Frayn’s play Here for the Southsea Shakespeare Actors (SSA), to be performed at Rosie’s wine bar tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday at 8pm.

The play follows the daily life of Cath and Phil, a young couple who move into a studio flat, as they bicker, banter and struggle to stay on the same page while creating their own little space. All this happens amidst the rather inconveniently-timed interruptions from the landlady living downstairs, Pat.

We spoke to Jennie about the rehearsal process, drama school, and how she feels to be directing to the public for the first time:

Why did you choose this play to direct? Isn’t the SSA a Shakespeare company?
Our main focus is Shakespeare (Southsea Shakespeare Actors – the name says it all!), but we also try to put on smaller, more contemporary productions throughout the year. It’s a good way of showcasing our work to people who may be normally put off by Shakespeare, and it gives our actors a chance to try something different.

I came across Here when I was looking for audition pieces for drama school – it didn’t have any big enough chunks that I could use as a monologue for Cath, but I loved the banter between the couple and thought I’d like to have a go at directing it. I love the way it exposes the minutae of daily live in a couple living together – I think there’s something everyone who’s ever lived with a partner will recognise in Cath and Phil’s to-ing and fro-ing.

This is your first time directing to the public – how does it feel?
A bit terrifying! I directed an in-house production for the Southsea Shakespeare Actors a few years ago but as that was just to company members and friends it was less scary. There’s so much more to think about when you’re directing to the public at an external venue, and more logistical issues to sort out. There’s also the company’s reputation to uphold!

Here to be Performed by Southsea Shakespeare Actors at Rosie's Vineyard from 28th to 30th July (3)

Were there any challenges you faced along the way?
Yes! There are always challenges with any production, because you never have everything perfect (set, venue, timing, props, budget), so you just have to think around any problems and be creative. In the play there’s a scene where Cath and Phil are wearing identical jumpers, and at one point they’re both in the same jumper. So we needed to find two matching jumpers but in slightly different sizes – easy, right? Not so easy when you’re trying to buy big stretchy jumpers in the middle of June! After nearly garrotting Faye, who plays Cath, several times with one jumper, we finally found a pair of v-necks that fit the bill.

We also needed a threadbare toy dog – Theodore – which features heavily in the play. We managed to find one in a charity shop but he looked too pristine, so we were discussing how to mucky him up a bit and maybe tear an ear and I realised I just couldn’t do it. I guess the big kid in me couldn’t bear the thought of ‘hurting’ a soft toy haha. It’s become a bit of a joke – the others had to inflict the matting of fur with paint and toothpaste and coffee on him as I chickened out.

You can read a bit about Theodore and find out what we got up to in rehearsals on the SSA blog at ssaproductionblog.wordpress.com.

Here to be Performed by Southsea Shakespeare Actors at Rosie's Vineyard from 28th to 30th July (2)

You’ll be going to drama school in September to do the MA Acting at East 15 acting school. Do you think you’ll return to directing once you’re a professional actor?
Definitely, if I have the opportunity to. I want to focus on acting, but I really enjoying the directing process as well. It’s a different kind of creativity, and I like the project management side of it. Plus you get the opportunity to work with some very talented actors and guide them through the process whilst trying to get the best out of them.

Here is showing at Rosie’s Vineyard, Elm Grove, 28th–30th July, 8pm. Tickets: £9 (£7 students and unwaged). Book online at ssa.ticketsource.co.uk, or for more information go to www.southseashakespeareactors.com.

Here to be Performed by Southsea Shakespeare Actors at Rosie's Vineyard from 28th to 30th July (1)

Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 14 Drop Now Available

The initial drop of the new summer 2014 collection by Strong Island Clothing Co. is now available to buy online in the Shop Ahoy store HERE. We’ve also put together a quick video lookbook from the recent Dell Quay shoot to, have a watch below. To coincide with this drop we’ve given the website a little tidy up and fixed a few things here and there too.

www.strongislandclothingco.com

Check the full lookbook HERE and below are a few photos of the new designs and colours:












The Southsea Show Competition

The Southsea Show returns next weekend. If you’ve been passed Southsea Common you will have seen the tents and marquee’s going up in preparation. It looks like this years event is going to be even bigger and better than last years!

The Southsea Show team have kindly donated two sets of family tickets to give away, so thats two adults and two children. These tickets can be redeemed on a day of your choosing. All you have to do to win this prize is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answer to the following question…

Hampshire based Batala Portsmouth are a local samba band playing authentic Afro Brazilian Samba Reggae music. They are returning this year and can be found performing on Sunday 3rd August. What three colours make up their uniforms?

The deadline for entries will be midnight Wednesday 30th July with the winners being announced on Thursday morning.

Tickets for the event are £8 or £5 for concessions and are available on the website HERE. You can follow all things Southsea Show on their Facebook and Twitter @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Show 2014

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #2 Tom Odell

In our second Victorious Festival preview we are featuring Tom Odell. Tom could even be considered one of the local artists performing this year, he was born a stones throw away from Portsmouth in Chichester, West Sussex.

After being discovered by Lily Allen, she signed him to her own record label ‘In The Name Of’. Earlier this year he won the BRITs’ Critics’ Choice Award, previously won by artists such as Adele, Emeli Sandé and Florence and the Machine. They have done alright for themselves since!

Tom was also named ‘Songwriter Of The Year’ at the this years Ivor Novello Awards. The prestigious Ivor Novello Awards honour excellence in British and Irish songwriting. They are judged by the songwriting and composing community, making the award quite an honour, and something to cherish.

Tom shot to fame with the hit single ‘Another Love’ and admits that most of songwriting is inspired by heartbreak. You can clearly hear a vulnerability in his records, akin Jeff Buckley.

It has been a busy summer, he’s played the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury and still has V Fest, Kendall Calling to come. He will also be racking up plenty of air miles by performing at festivals in Spain, Switzerland, Romania, Austria, Hungary, Belgium and Ireland. Tom finishes manic summer at Victorious on the Seaside Stage. Possibly saving the best til last?

Find out more about Tom Odell on his website www.tomodell.com, Facebook or on Twitter @tompeterodell.

Tom Odell

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August, adult day tickets are currently available for £20. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

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Victorious Festival 2014

Like many, I loved the Dockyards as a venue and was excited to see how Victorious would look in it’s new home on Southsea Seafront. Victorious Festival 2014 surpassed all my expectations, it has evolved into a far superior event that will rival all others in the South of England.

The site looked impressive with two large stages situated on Castle Field and the Southsea Bandstand. Just north situated around Southsea Skate Park were the Silent Disco, Beer Festival and it was great to see so many market stalls selling a whole variety of different crafts, fashion and gifts from local artists and vendors.

My one regret of the weekend is the amount of things I missed, this wasn’t for the want of trying, there was simply so much great stuff going on.

On Saturday afternoon friends and I camped out at the Castle Stage underneath the most photographed sight of the past five days, the Victorious sign at the top of the hill. While enjoying a few ciders I was treated to a bit of a throw back to my college days with Sophie Ellis Bextor and Razorlight. The highlight of the day was unquestionably Dizzie Rascal. He had the whole crowd bouncing and it was a great way to end day one. If only it did end there for me though!

On Sunday morning I woke up with after very little sleep and with a slightly sore head. Never the less I was determined to get back down the seafront to catch some of the amazing music on offer.

Early in the afternoon The Day of the Rabblement amassed a bit of a crowd at the Pie & Vinyl Tent which was situated amongst the market stalls. After some food and a bimble round the arts area, some of my favourite local bands then took over the Seaside Stage. Blackfoot Circle, Burning Beaches and Kassassin Street all entertained large crowds, and by the way they were dancing around; the crowd were enjoying what they were hearing.

Next on stage were Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. They must have had the largest crowd of the day so far, and the Essex pair had most of them jumping up and down to their unique blend of Hip Hop and Electro beats.

The band I was most looking forward to was easily British Sea Power, and they didn’t disappoint! As dusk was settling in, the band treated us to hits including ‘Carrion’, ‘Machineries of Joy’ and ‘Remember Me’. You could see some of the more die hard British Sea Power fans had even brought their own tree branches to wave in the air.

As a flood of people passed me coming into the Seaside Stage for Ocean Colour Scene, I made my way over to the Castle Stage to check out another of my musical heroes, Seasick Steve. With a host of home made instruments in tow, he put on a typically great show and got a great reception from the crowd. To say I was jealous of my Strong Island colleagues watching in back stage would be an understatement. I know how hard they were worked on our stall over the weekend so I can’t begrudge them that treat! Obviously it would be criminal not to compliment the closing DJ set of the festival by 2manyDJs, a large crowd were not put off by the incoming rain and they were witness to another top performance by the Belgian duo.

I don’t think I was alone in using Monday as a day of recovery, however I still couldn’t quite shift that feeling that I wanted to do it all over again. Although perhaps not in that rain! Special mention has to go to the group of friends who made it such a fun weekend. it was the perfect way to make me forget about my imminent birthday and turning yet another year older.

It’s great to hear that the overwhelming majority shared my positive views and experiences. Everyone I encountered was in high spirits and was having a great time. I’m proud of everyone I know who were involved, the boys and girls done good, very good! I hope the staff involved had a chance to enjoy it as much as we all did. They have thrown an event which all of Portsmouth can be proud of!

Be sure to keep and eye out on our Strong Island and Victorious Festival‘s Facebook pages to see some of the amazing photo’s. I’ve had a sneak peak of what the photography team have produced and it looks great!

Photos below are by Matt Ankers, Tom Langford and Todd Lawton

TomLangford_CrowdGirl_230814

Todd Lawton Victorious

Todd Lawton

Todd Lawton Victorious

TomLangford_Bandstand_230814

Sub Focus - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

Dizee Rascal - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

British Sea Power at Victorious by Matt Ankers

Victorious Todd Lawton

Tristan Savage

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

With it being World Photo Day I thought it would be a good time to remind you that we are still taking submissions for our 2015 Calendar. We have got an awesome short list of images coming together but we still have space for more!

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 #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year 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.

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are a couple of snaps which I can confirm will be included in our 2015 Calendar.

Jonathan Taff O'Donnell SIC2015
Jonathan O’Donnell
Angela Chick
Angela Chick

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. This is a great chance for you and a plus one to see the likes of Seasick Steve, British Sea Power, The Southsea Alternative Choir, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and tons of other awesome artists.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park.

If you would like to win the tickets, then all you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answers to the following questions. Because I am a nice guy I’ll give you a clue, some of the answers can be found in our Strong Island Victorious Festival Previews.

1) What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
2) Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
3) Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?

The deadline to enter the competition is midnight on Thursday, with the winners to be announced on Friday morning.

Victorious James White
Photo by James White

If you don’t want to risk missing out then you can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014

Volunteers Needed This Week for the Strong Island Creative Cargo Project

Beginning back in 2011, we try and work on a major arts based project/exhibition every year, previous projects have included the Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower, The PRIMARY Photography Exhibition and The Creating Balance Project. The Strong Island main arts project for 2014 is the Creative Cargo project, which has the key aim of promoting the creative sector in the city of Portsmouth on a national and international level. The creative sector in the UK is one of the fastest growing in the economy and locally is going from strength to strength with local artists, designers, photographers, curators, agencies, organisations and businesses creating art, products and projects that packs a serious punch. We wanted to let the rest of the UK know just how creative, innovative, successful and inspiring the people and businesses that call Portsmouth home can be and Creative Cargo is how we aim to do so.

At the heart of the Creative Cargo project are ten vintage steamer cases that each will contain a curated selection of objects and products from these creative individuals and organisations in Portsmouth. Theses cases will be launched at a VIP event in London in September with each case destined to either be given to a person of national cultural influence or passed on to editors of national and international newspapers and websites focusing on culture, arts & design. A case will also be kept within Portsmouth to tour at key locations within the city to celebrate the creative sector locally.

We have the vintage shipping cases BUT we need to restore them and make them also representative of the city so will re-line them with textiles and paper designed and sourced locally. We need volunteers this week who would like to help us make these steamer cases look not only beautiful but also in their own way showcases that not only hold the project’s artwork and objects but are also works of local art themselves. We’re running the restoration from 11am to 6pm on Wednesday 13th August to Saturday 16th August at the Strong Island HQ Studio at 53 Albert Road and would love to have local people (skilled in textiles or furniture or just enthusiastic!) take part in the project, even if it is just an hour. With the cases restored we can then photograph them for the project website and the press pack to go to national and international press, websites & blogs. We are also producing a project book which will be full of the photography of the cases and which will be given to all the VIPs at the launch event…so everyone helping will not only have our huge appreciation and props but will also directly help this project make a positive difference in promoting the creativity in their city.

Also, if you have any textile or paper repeating designs/artwork that we could use to help restore these cases please get in touch too!

To find out more about volunteering or supplying possible artwork for lining the cases please email Kate at katethesmith@gmail.com.

If you can share this amongst your friends via Facebook & Twitter to get the word out it would really help!

We’ll have more details on the project soon. This project has been made possible with the support of Portsmouth City Council and Penny Mordaunt MP.

Volunteers Needed This Week for the Strong Island Creative Cargo Project

The Southsea Show Competition

The Southsea Show returns next weekend. If you’ve been passed Southsea Common you will have seen the tents and marquee’s going up in preparation. It looks like this years event is going to be even bigger and better than last years!

The Southsea Show team have kindly donated two sets of family tickets to give away, so thats two adults and two children. These tickets can be redeemed on a day of your choosing. All you have to do to win this prize is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answer to the following question…

Hampshire based Batala Portsmouth are a local samba band playing authentic Afro Brazilian Samba Reggae music. They are returning this year and can be found performing on Sunday 3rd August. What three colours make up their uniforms?

The deadline for entries will be midnight Wednesday 30th July with the winners being announced on Thursday morning.

Tickets for the event are £8 or £5 for concessions and are available on the website HERE. You can follow all things Southsea Show on their Facebook and Twitter @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Show 2014

Southsea Comedy Festival Competition Winner

The first ever Southsea Comedy Festival opens with Eddie Izzard performing his most recent show ‘Force Majeure’ on 31st July and 1st August. Last week we gave you the chance to win two tickets to see Eddie Izzard on Thursday 31st July. The lucky winner is Si Bunting, he correctly answered the three following questions…

1) What is the name of the character voiced by Eddie in Cars 2?
Sir Miles Axlerod
2) In which American city did Eddie begin his 2014 tour Force Majeure?
Washington DC, America
3) For which charity did Eddie run an incredible 43 marathons in 51 days?!
Sports Relief

If you aren’t lucky enough to be Si’s plus one, then you can still get your Southsea Comedy Festival tickets by calling 0844 847 2362 and online at www.southseacomedyfestival.co.uk. You can follow the Southsea Comedy Festival on Twitter @SouthseaComedy.

Eddie Izzard Southsea Comedy Festival Logo

Southsea Comedy Festival

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Old Cycle Race

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

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

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)

Southsea Ramblers Association – Watership Down

We burst the bubble again last weekend for a pretty epic ramble, or should I say hike. Taking the advice of the Guardian Newspaper we embarked on a 6 hour walk across the North Wessex Downs. Although the walk is a good 45 minute drive away it’s well worth the journey and the reward at the end is one of the finest pubs I’ve ever eaten at, the Roayl Oak. Check out my Flickr for the full set.

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Spinnaker Tower

Soaring 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent, the Spinnaker Tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben and has already established itself as a national icon for Britain. Get yourself down to Gunwharf Quays and check out the panoramic views over the city and the Solent. Don’t forget your camera. Oh, and if you’re a Portsmouth resident you get cheap entry if you provide proof.

Aerial Photographs of Portsmouth

Webb Aviation have hundreds of aerial photographs to purchase from all over the country. Click the link to see the Portsmouth Aerial Gallery and view photos from over Gosport looking across Gunwharf, all the way down to the Hayling Ferry.

aerial photograph by www.webbaviation.co.uk

aerial photograph by www.webbaviation.co.uk