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Strong Island’s Portsmouth Cultural Takeover...

Strong Island Takeover

Strong Island’s Portsmouth Cultural Takeover of Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery

SHARING PORTSMOUTH & SOUTHSEA’S ARTS, FOOD, FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY

Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery is a pretty special place, this gem of a British modern art gallery is tucked away in a side street lined with historic townhouses and buildings yet is a striking architectual mix of a beautiful Georgian mansion and the sharp lines of a contemporary extension. Last year Pallant reached out to Strong Island with the aim to see if we could work together and this began with a number of really successful summer Photography Walkshops around the centre of the city.

Back in the spring of this year we booked in new dates for photo walkshops for this summer, this time inspired by the abstract colour paintings of Ivor Hitchens, the new main exhibition (you can find out more and book HERE). As well as the photo walkshops the guys at Pallant also offered us the exciting opportunity to takeover the gallery on their first Summer Late events. Summer Late events run once a month on a Thursday evening and other organisations with Summer Lates this summer include Design Collective Chichester, Chichester Festival Theatre and Chichester University.

As well as the photo walkshops the guys at Pallant also offered us the exciting opportunity to takeover the gallery on their first Summer Late events…

Samo and My Dog Sighs painting at Strong Island Takeover
The busy courtyard at Strong Island Takeover

…Combining a mix of a live street art jam, film screening, photography exhibition plus some excellent street food the gallery was down…

For us at Strong Island, the offer was a bit daunting at first. We haven’t run a Strong Island event for a while (the last was out 10th birthday) and this would be the first time we had run an event outside of Portsmouth…who would come over from Portsmouth? Who would come from Chichester. On top of that Tristan was super busy with the Portsmouth Seafood Festival that happened just day’s before the date we had for the Summer Late.

With just over a month before the event we drew up a plan that we hoped showcased just a small part of the incredible art and culture we love in this city. Combining a mix of a live street art jam, film screening, photography exhibition plus some excellent street food the gallery was down, so our first stop in Portsmouth right after the meeting was Play Dead, to see if Samo was interested in getting involved. Samo was keen so we hit up old SI friends My Dog Sighs and Fark and with thumbs up all round we were on a roll. It turned out that it would be the first time these guys had painted together in Chichester together and an amazing opportunity to see these artists getting creative.

With the live street art jam organised for the courtyard of the gallery we spoke to Pete at Need Street Food. The gallery has a cafe and restaurant but we wanted to bring over something representing some of the incredible food on offer in Southsea at the moment. Need also have charitable aims and funds food parcels to a program that treating malnutrition.

Pallant had offered thier workshop space The Studio for us to create a pop-up photography exhibition, so we DMed on Instagram at very short notice some of our favourite local photographers hoping they might be able to contribute some prints to show on the night. A big thank you to photographers Ryan Convery-Moroney, Howard Hurd, Five Architects, Matt Maber, Tom Goss, Charlie Thom, Tom Benjamin, David Tuckwell, Tony Palmer, Sarah Marston, Lisa Mundy, Will Hutchinson, Emma Oliver, Lizzie Barrett, Christine Matchett, Sue Woodbridge, Billie Cawte and Michael Mackenzie.

We also wanted to screen a number of films by local filmmakers in a screening space up by the main exhibition gallery so a big thank you to Sam Mason-Bell and Howard Hurd too!

…we DMed on Instagram at very short notice some of our favourite local photographers hoping they might be able to contribute some prints to show on the night…

Samo painting at Strong Island Takeover
Film screening at Strong Island Takeover

…it was really something special to see these two neighbouring scenes come together…

Thursday 11th July we headed over to the gallery to set up in mid afternoon and the guys at Bear Metal Industries went to work getting the 8′ x 8′ art panels built by the wall of the huge Georgian house. In no time it was 6pm and we were open!

We can’t begin to say how stoked we were with the Takeover, a huge thank you to everyone who came from both Portsmouth and Chichester and everyone who helped make it all happen, in particular, Laura and the team at Pallant. It was awesome to see all the children and young people stoked on seeing the artists at work in the early evening. All the hugely positive feedback we had from everyone we feel really showed how important it is to shout about how incredible arts and culture in Portsmouth are. Over 200 people dropped by and it was really something special to see these two neighbouring scenes come together.

If you couldn’t make it on the night and want to see the street art and catch the photography exhibition, the gallery are kindly leaving them on show until the end of July, so plenty of time to head over to Pallant House and also take in thier exhibitions and collections. We’re aiming to head back next summer and can’t wait. We’ve also had an offer or two to bring our Strong Island Takeover to some other locations…we’ll keep you posted.

My Dog Sighs painting at Strong Island Takeover
Fark painting at Strong Island Takeover

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  1. MatthewM

    22 July

    Thanks for this Paul and SI crew!

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