Strong Island Co.

Who

Tristan Savage – Co-Founder & 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.

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Paul Gonella – Co-Founder & 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.

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Ben Mills – Contributor & 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.

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Claire Sambrook – Contributor & 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.

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Charlie Thompson – Contributor & 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.

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Lou Bush – Contributor & Artist

Im Lou also known as ‘ooh la lapin’ my alter ego. I spend most of the day making and crafting in my studio at the back of a tiny house. I have soft spot for taxidermy owls and listening to Americana and Folk music. My perfect day in Southsea is visiting the Butterfly House followed by chips and beer on the beach. Then stopping off on Albert Road to do some shopping.

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Stu Barker – 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 competiton. I’m looking forward to playing a part in continued success of Strong Island.

Stu Barker Who Page

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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.


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Charlie Waddington – Long Live Cooperative & 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.

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Chantelle Wyatt – Contributor and Director of Scuba Chan Ltd

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.

Scuba Chan

Features

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

Strong Island Summer Portsmouth Photography Walkshops

Through Strong Island Media we have delivered photography workshops over the last 3 years to over a thousand people of all ages and abilities across the south coast. Working with Chichester Harbour Conservancy, University of Portsmouth, Making Space, Hampshire Cultural Trust plus many schools and youth groups we’ve developed Walkshops, where rather than sitting down in a classroom you actively learn different photography skills and techniques out and about with your camera, with support from a professional photographer.

We’ve delivered dozens of these Walkshops from Worthing through to Bournemouth and as far north as Surrey but for the first time we’re now offering them to the budding photographers in Portsmouth. We’re blessed with a visually rich and diverse city, with harbours, beaches, woodland, wildlife and lots of heritage to explore through photography. These photography workshops throughout the summer will take place at different locations around the city and will involve a leisurely 2 hour walk with fun & creative photo activities allowing you to find out much more about your camera and how to get the best from it in the future. We’ll be looking at composition, perspectives, textures, leading lines, creating narrative and also how to take control of aperture and shutter speed.

All you have to do is bring along your camera to take part. It can be anything from a digital compact through to an SLR and if you want to shoot 35mm film, cool! If you don’t have your own camera we have a selection of digital compacts you are free to borrow for the workshop. We can even offer 35mm SLRs for you to use if you like. Even if you just bring along your cameraphone you’ll learn loads that’ll make a big difference to your mobile photography.

Walkshops are 2 hours long (from 10am to 12pm) and cost £10 either in advance (booked online) or in person at the start of the workshop. Group size is limited to 15 per workshop. All ages welcome.

Walkshop dates and locations are as follows:

20th June – Old Portsmouth, meeting at the Round Tower
4th July – Southsea Seafront, meeting at Clarence Pier
18th July – Hilsea Lines/Foxes Forest, meeting at Hilsea
8th August – Eastney, meeting at Hayling Ferry Point
15th August – Southsea Castle
19th September – Southsea Seafront, meeting at Rose Gardens

You can book online on any of these walkshops right HERE using Eventbrite & PayPal. For more information give Paul a call on 07752 007101 or email paul@strongislandmedia.com.

Seal Primary Academy

Conservancy Sunset Workshop

Chamberlayne Photography Workshop

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 B 2016

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

Common People Ticket Competition

It’s less than a month until Common People takes place on Southampton Common. Artists performing include Fat Boy Slim, DJ Yoda, De La Soul, Band of Skulls, Grace Jones and Isle of Wight’s Plastic Mermaids. As well as friends of Strong Island Dead Rabbits, Rickyfitts and The Boy I Used To Be playing the Uncommon Stage.

Rob Da Bank and the team behind Common People have kindly donated a pair of tickets for us to give away. All you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answers to the following questions before midnight this coming Sunday. The winner be contact directly and announced on social media soon after.

1) Which South coast football team is Norman Cook aka Fat Boy Slim known to be a big supporter of?
2) Castle Road’s Pie & Vinyl will be in attendance at Common People. Name any of the artists signed to their record label?
3) Can you name the James Bond film in which Grace Jones starred?

To avoid disappointment you tickets are available from Ticketline from £30 and reductions for children and teens.

Common-People-line-up

To stay up to date on all things Common People you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter @cpeoplefest and Instagram @commonpeoplefestival.

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 2016

Strong Island Clothing Co.

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