Strong Island Co.

Who

Tristan Savage – Co-Founder and Professional Creative

Southsea creative and Strong Island Co-Founder Tristan Savage describes himself as a Professional Amateur. Working as a graphic designer by day and full time creative practitioner the rest of the time, he’s consistently trying new things and love’s the fact that there is always something different to practice, hence the Professional Amateur.

Paul Gonella – Co-Founder and Photographer/Filmmaker

Coming predominantly from a skateboarding and film making background I’ve been progressively falling in love with photography over the last 20 years. Although not principally the subject of my photography, skateboarding and it’s inherent eye for forgotten or ignored views of the everyday world definitely has a strong undercurrent in my own personal perspective as is time and it’s effects on the physical world and the subsequent emotional repercussions.

Stu Barker – Editor/Contributor

I had been a regular visitor to Strong Island since it began in 2008, so I was really happy when Paul and Tristan asked me to join the team. Through Strong Island I’ve been able to forge some great links around Portsmouth and Southsea, as well as taking part in some great projects including the Road to Blissfields, compiling the Strong Island Calendars, and the My Dog Sighs short story competition. I’m looking forward to playing a part in continued success of Strong Island.

Stu Barker Who Page

Sarah Nunn – Contributor

I’m Sarah – resident fashion and lifestyle writer. I enjoy buying clothes, eating food and travelling places! Having lived in and around Portsmouth all my life, I’m a big fan of the local community culture. When I’m not out enjoying all the restaurants, shops and events that Southsea has to offer, I’m glued to my laptop writing for my fashion blog. Portsmouth and Southsea are home to some of the most inspiring street style and talented fashion creatives that the South has to offer, and I can’t wait to showcase them here on the Strong Island online magazine.
Sarah Nunn 1

Louise Neville – Contributor

I’m a Southsea resident with a passion for travel, new discovery, culture and adventure. I love where I live and am just as excited by what’s on our doorstep in this great waterfront city. By day I work in PR and I also have my own blog, The Southsea Wanderer.

Southsea Wanderer

Chantelle Wyatt – Contributor

Crazy about Scuba Diving, travelling and writing, these things have and do take up most of my time. I have whipped around the world on several trips and been lucky enough to go to some fairly radical countries and live and work in them but nothing beats a British seaside town and this love brought me be back to sunny Southsea to settle. I love our cool and quirky city and all that we have going for us, a place filled with a fantastic community with all sorts going on. Its a great place to live and it is what linked me to Strong Island to help tell others all about it.

Ben Mills – Contributor and Events Organiser

I’m a former roadie and club DJ with a passion for music and football, i’m an avid Pompey fan and general sports enthusiast. I’m co-founder of Little Johnny Russells and co-owner of The Belle Isle down here in Southsea. My latest project is Victorious Festival of which i’m a founder, curator and director alongside studying an events degree.  I’ve been known to organise an event or two previously too, regarding the social side of living in this fair city.

Claire Sambrook – Contributor and Portsmouth University Lecturer

Heading to London in the 80’s enabled a thorough understanding of media and design whilst working with leading photographers and editors. A wealth of experience was gained in advertising and TV. Freelance photography and voluntary teaching for 3 years before working in web design and image consultancy with clients such as U2, Prince and Frank Zappa’s Estate. Currently a lecturer at Portsmouth University and also involved in running projects that showcase the creative elements of the city with students and local artists/designers.

I love doing things differently just to piss people off. Adore my old dog Twm and always have a camera with me.

Charlie Thompson – Contributor and Bon Viveur

If there is one thing that gets me going it’s cooking. Originally from Portsmouth but having spent a large wedge of my life living in Paris and Barcelona, the love of creating good food runs deep. You will find me at my happiest in my kitchen, with a large glass of red, BBC 6 Music in the background and something bubbling away in front of me.

My Dog Sighs – Street Artist

My Dog Sighs has been living in and decorating the streets Portsmouth since 1999. His philosophy of viewer friendly, interactive pieces have been placed on his wanders around this fair city as part of his ongoing Free Art Friday project as well as larger graffiti based murals dotted around the city. One of the founding members of the Portsmouth Creative Movement (PCM) he is keen to promote inclusive creative opportunities across the city. As well as the streets of Portsmouth his work can be seen in Galleries, private collections and walls across the globe.

My Dog Sighs for Quiet Little Voices Exhibition (4)

Charlie Waddington – Long Live Cooperative and Pet Sounds

Founder of the Longlive Co-operative, Charlie has been playing in bands and DJing around Southsea for too long. He can be found at the One-Eyed Dog on Thursdays and Saturdays where he confuses revellers into dancing to everything from Aretha Franklin to Squarepusher. With other assorted folk he puts on parties at EQ and has provided over 50 Pet Sounds playlists for Strong Island on a semi-regular basis over the years, he now curates the ‘Friends of Pet Sounds’ series but still finds the time for one of his own now and then.

Features

Created Local – Instagram @philswitch.engage

In the fifth of our special features celebrating our favourite Instagram photographers with links with our city we are featuring Phil Tickner (@philswitch.engage).

Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth if no longer living here?

I was born and spent the first few years of my life in Portsmouth, specifically Fratton, before moving to live in Bedhampton and Havant. I returned to the island about six years ago and now I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Most of my free time is taken up by roller derby related shenanigans (I’m one of the official photographers for the Portsmouth Roller Wenches, and also play as one of the Portsmouth Scurvy Dogs) and what time is left is shared between cycling (when the weather allows it) and getting tattooed, mostly.

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?

I always had a massive problem with the whole idea of ‘Instagram photography’ for some reason, that was until I finally got myself a phone that could take a decent picture. It’s not always practical to lug round my usual DSLR kit so the idea of capturing a passing moment with something that fits in your pocket finally made a lot of sense. Currently using a poverty-spec iPhone 5c, but it does the job.

@philswitch.engage

@philswitch.engage

Can you tell us more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?

Photography has always been a hobby, and I’ve never had much in the way of tuition aside from the odd tip I’ve picked up from photographer friends. It’s always just been a case of getting stuck in and attempting to learn from my mistakes.

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?

I try to take photos primarily to please myself – when I tried to make a bit of money doing wedding jobs and the like, I found myself quickly losing my passion for photography as soon as I had to try and work around someone else’s idea of a good photo. I’m much happier just doing my own thing again. However, I’m not going to deny it’s a great feeling to have someone compliment my work, so I guess there’s a part of me that still tries to take some photos that I know people will enjoy looking at.

Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?

Personally my biggest preference for subject matter is the local street art scene – I’ve become good friends with many local creatives through it, and thoroughly enjoy documenting the work that appears around the city, both out in public and inside galleries and exhibitions. The greatest appeal to me is the fact that it’s not permanent – so having a record of pieces that I enjoy is extremely important, before they disappear for good.

Are their any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?

I tend not to take influence from anyone else, as such, and I don’t think the work I do has a particular style itself that anyone would be able to identify – I basically just make it up as I go along most of the time. Not really a good answer but I can’t do a lot better than that.

@philswitch.engage

@philswitch.engage

@philswitch.engage

The Strong Island Calendar 2017 Needs You! #SIC2017

Firstly from everyone at Strong Island and the Alzheimers Society we would like to thank you for your continued support of the calendar project. We hope that they are all taking pride of place in your kitchens, offices or wherever you’ve chosen to hang them.

We are now open to submissions for our 2017 calendar. We welcome submissions from photographers of all abilities whether you use an digital SLR or mobile phone. If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then we have made it even easier this year. As well as using the hashtag #SIC2016 you now submit your photos using the Strong Island Facebook page here. Simply click on the calendar option and then just follow the on screen prompts. Should you have any questions please just let us know.

There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth. This can include photos that have already been taken prior to today. We are especially keen to receive submissions from all over Portsmouth not just our favourite Southsea landmarks.

If you think you know someone who might be interested or is perhaps too shy to get in contact then please share this with them and encourage them to get involved!

Calendar Call 2017 FINAL2

A Strong Islander Abroad Part 2: Nepal

Nepal is a country that is full of natural beauty and the most breathtaking scenery. This leg of my trip was to visit the Himalayas and along the way introduce some new friends to Strong Island and to share tales of about our respective homes.

First stop was the bustling capital of Kathmandu with its busy roads and markets filled with trinkets and treasures. It wasn’t hard to bump into newbies curious about the anchor tee and my first meet was with Uttar, who later became my guide up into the mountains. He’s been a guide for over thirty years in the Himalayan region he was eager to wear my beanie on the cold mountain nights in tea houses and to show everyone the t shirt as we talked about where I was from and what it was like. He was fascinated by the fact that we did not suffer with the earthquakes and pollution and were blessed with being so close to the sea.

Nepal
Uttar

It was so interesting to meet a man who has spent his entire life in such a wonderful mountainous place, that visitors travel from all over the world to see and yet he was totally in awe of my tales and descriptions of Portsmouth. Explaining that I was going home in August and off to a local music festival (Victorious), blew his mind. He spent the next hour trying to teach me how to dance Nepali style so I could bust some moves when I got home.

Surrounded by Prayer flags we captured this lovely snap after the three day trek to the top, the only time in fact that I got to wear the hat because he loved it so and insisted on wearing both as often as possible to look cool and because his hat had been chewed by a rat in a place called Ghorepani so his ears were always cold.

Nepal 1

Nepal 1

The Nepal adventure progressed down to Chitwan National Park, a place of sincere beauty with absolutely stunning wildlife. A conservation area looked after by guys like of Yanic, a 17 year old from the area who had grown up breeding and training elephants in the park. He introduced me to his own elephant, 33 year old Nala who had been mistreated and was terrified of humans until he and his family worked with her and nurtured her.

Nepal 2
Yanic and Nala.

As we walked through the park Yanic calls a friend over, Suganda, another local teen who also worked in the park and whom he had gone to school with. He grabbed him and chatting in Nepali for a brief few moments excitedly then asked if his friend could have a pic in the t shirt, of course I obliged and Suganda was thrilled at this shot overlooking a rhino mating ground, no mating rhinos though thankfully. Not sure how pleasant that would have been to see before dinner!

Nepal

Heading onwards to Pokhara I bumped into some English guys who come to Nepal to trek Everest Basecamp together sixteen years ago and were now returning for another adventure. Getting to know each other over several lunches and no mention of Portsmouth, Simon started talking about his son who was working in the Navy in the South of England. Portsmouth I asked? Yes, how did you know that he replies. So stories were exchanged and he asked son who was impressed to find his father hanging out with myself on the other side of the world.

Overheard by Salvatore from neighbouring France joined us in conversation, he was travelling with his fiancé in Nepal. Even in the most remote parts of the world I discover those with links and knowledge of Portsmouth!

Nepal is yet another country that always manages to surprise you, whether it be freak hail storms with golf ball size pellets out of nowhere or little mountain folk who drink milk chia and enquire constantly about your foreign land, it’s a place of magic and religion that is well worth a visit.

Looking over the mountains and onto the next chapter of the journey I thought excitedly about Thailand and the next part of A Strong Islander Abroad.

image7

Nepal

Transitional Objects Exhibition by Immy Smith at Strong Island Co

We’re really pleased to say that our new exhibition up in Strong Island Co is by artist (and doctor) Immy Smith. Immy we featured on a special Created Local article a while back and she focuses on bringing science and art together. This exhibition is the first time her Transitional Objects drawings have been on show to the public.

“There is a constant recycling in all living systems; and in the process, life leaves debris. It gradually becomes unrecognisable, and perhaps disconnected from its origin. What if we try and translate the pieces left behind into new stories? Can we find comfort in building a new story from our own debris, before it is completely recycled? In psychology, a transitional object is an item used to provide emotional comfort, especially in unusual or unique situations, or at stressful times of transition.” – Immy Smith.

Immy Smith merges these ideas of brevity and security, change and consolation, to build new storylines from human litter and biological fragments. The drawings in the Transitional Objects series seek reassurance in the constant impermanence of life, and offer the idea of playing and creating new narratives. These original works are for sale and prints are also available too.

You are more than welcome to view the exhibition any time during the Strong Island Co opening hours (10am to 6pm, Tuesday to Saturday) and we are having a special artist party for Immy on Thursday 14th April, from 7pm to 9:30pm with free drinks and the chance to meet the artist and find out more about her many and varied artistic work. Check the Facebook event for more information HERE and you can find out more about Immy’s work at:

www.immysmith.com

Transitional Objects Exhibition by Immy Smith at Strong Island Co

A Strong Islander Abroad Part 1: India

On a trip to New Zealand some years ago, I arrived in the early hours of the morning at my Auckland based hostel, Base, and was met immediately by a guy from Southsea wearing a Strong Island T-Shirt. At first I thought, what the hell are the chances of that but after traveling for several months alone it was not only a really nice reminder of my home town but also of a brand that I really associated with and was proud to say was from where I lived and so after a chat with lovely Lara of Strong Island Clothing Co the idea of ‘A Strong Islander Abroad’ was born.

A somewhat unplanned trip around the globe this year sparked an idea to spot travellers abroad wearing Strong Island Tee’s and to introduce it to people along the way. My first stop was India and it really wasn’t long before I bumped into people who had seen the brand before and said “I know where your from!”. I also decided to tag stickers in cool places as I went along in the hope that other Southsea dwellers might have the same nice experience I had in finding something familiar in an un-suspecting place.

So first stop India…


Setting off from the UK.

7 days in and Tony Beety, who I worked with in Indonesia during the summer months, as if on cue asks me why I didn’t bring him any anchor tee’s from Portsmouth over a bottle of Kingfisher in Tantra Bar in Goa. Ha, I replied, as if totally pre-organised I pull one from my bag and he wore it for the day, also sporting my woolly hat which seemed completely ridiculous in 32 degree heat but what a shot I thought!


Tony Beety from Cleethorpes, in Goa.

My onward journey and strong island mission helped introduce me to many other travellers who mentioned the tee and were more than happy to wear it for a snap. It also got locals interested and prompted them to want a photo of them wearing it, which really was a great conversation instigator and to me encompassed that idea of bringing people together with the same likes and getting people talking.


Becky Merchant from Brighton & Zoe Gale from Australia at the Taj Mahal.

A walk through the flea market a few days later and another interested party said she liked the shirt, this time a young Indian girl called Resme. The shot cost me 550 rupees in the form of two pairs of cool lounge trousers but she was really beautiful and so excited to wear the t-shirt at her clothes stand.


Resme at Goa Flea Market.

All of a sudden people we approaching me for photos wearing the shirt and it as awesome! Mostly it was crazy that locals were so interested of something so unknown but it was great to share the brand with other people and get feedback, and so my strong island abroad journey began.

If you have a cool photo of you or anyone you know wearing one of our tees abroad please send it in and we will share them. Let’s find as many strong islanders abroad as we can! See some more photos below.


Ali & friends.


Bantego Street trader in Old Varanasi.


Jenny at Jungle Hostel in Goa.


Chantelle at Parashakthi Temple.


Street sign in Mumbai.

Created Local – Instagram @no1son

In the fourth of our special features celebrating our favourite Instagram photographers with links with our city we are featuring Scott Birnie (@no1son).

Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth if no longer living here?

I am a graphic, web and UI designer and based in a shared office space in beautiful Emsworth. I originally come from Aberdeen, Scotland and moved “dan saff” in the year 2000. We moved to Havant in 2006 as my wife is originally from here. All her family is here and my own family moved near the area too.

I work in Emsworth and commute (on bike mostly) to the office from Havant.

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?

I only tend to use my iPhone 6 for Instagram shots as it is quick, easy and always in my pocket ready to capture that perfect pic. I also run some of the shots through various camera and visuals apps. My favourite and pretty much go to app is called Sanpseed. I then run it through some favoured processes and what I like to think gives me a certain style to my shots. For some of the more abstract shots on my Instagram feed i have used other apps like Fragment and Layout (Instagram’s native one).

Scott Birnie

Scott Birnie

Can you tell us more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?

I went to Grays School of Art in Aberdeen and photography has always been something I have done through the course and since. I have an honours (2.1) degree in Design and Craft so like to think I have some kind of eye for it! I have always enjoyed taking photographs and experimenting with effects, composition, dynamic shots etc. I like seeing what others have done and covered in terms of subject matter and like to try out my own too.

I feel confident that my shots must be at least a little good and hit the mark as I have been featured in your awesome Strong Island calendar (2015), had one of my shots on a Redbull promotional billboard advertisement and won some random competitions to have my favourite shot printed 🙂

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?

A bit of both really. I like taking some shots just to record and document, I also like to take some just because it captures a moment (sorry very cliche) and other times I like to take them to experiment with shape, form and composition.

I love a sunset and sky shots, as you can tell from my feed! So I guess that is for me. But others appreciate my shots when I do post them and a lot of people have asked from framed copies of them. I really do need to try and get onto selling some of my shots. No excuse really as i have all the tools required to do so.

Scott Birnie

Scott Birnie

Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?

I love Emsworth and Langstone harbours and coastal routes. So of my best and favourite shots have been created simply by pointing and shooting these areas. I have also had quite a few good shots up at Staunton Country Park where I take kids sometimes. The natural surroundings and historic buildings provide a lot of opportunities.

I also like Chichester (where I have worked in the past too) Old Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays too. I do need to get out a little more to these areas and take some time out of the office to refresh the batteries and the creative mind by going “walk about”.

Are their any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to check out?

Mike Kus is superb. I used to share an office space / floor with him and think his work is awesome. He definitely has a certain style that has lead to him taking shots for some top clients and getting some nice pay in the process! He has been on instagram since the beginning and with how many followers he has he obviously does something right!

I also follow Dan Rubin, who is a veteran of instagram.

Scott Birnie

Scott Birnie

Scott Birnie

Strong Island Clothing Co.

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