Archive for the ‘Staff’ category

Acting Alumni Win Big at Olivier Awards

Penelope Wilton © Pamela Raith

Penelope Wilton © Pamela Raith

Drama Centre London alumni Penelope Wilton and John Dagleish both scooped prizes in the Olivier Awards 2015 with Mastercard.

Penelope Wilton won Best Actress for her role in Taken at Midnight at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. She gave a harrowing and steely performance as a mother fighting for her incarcerated son in Nazi Germany.

John Dagleish was named Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of The Kinks frontman Ray Davies. He played Davies in Edward Hall’s production of Sunny Afternoon.

Alumnus Ronan Bell was also nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical, for the part he played in Memphis the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Since their inauguration in 1976, the Olivier Awards have been known as a mark of theatrical greatness. The winners are chosen by a mixture of distinguished industry professionals, theatre luminaries and members of the public.

More information:
Drama Centre London

Graduate Weaves Music into Textiles

© Beatwoven

© Beatwoven

Beatwoven, a company founded by BA Textile Design graduate Nadia-Anne Ricketts, has been given a £25,000 ‘Boost’ award by Creativeworks London.

Creativeworks’ new award teams academics with small businesses, to collaborate on a research project that benefits both partners. Beatwoven will be paired with Queen Mary, part of the University of London.

Building on Beatwoven’s expertise in translating music into textiles, Queen Mary will make an app that allows customers to upload their music and create bespoke patterns.

The app will be developed alongside a research project investigating copyright boundaries within the music industry.

© Beatwoven © Beatwoven

Stiff competition
There was strong competition for funding and Nadia-Anne’s team had to compete against 11 other start-ups and research teams.

Each team had to prepare a business pitch and deliver a five-minute presentation to a panel of industry professionals.

Judges included Chris Moore from UK Trade and Investment, Wendy Malem from London College of Fashion and Steve Clegg from IBM.

More information:
BA Textile Design

UAL and the General Election 2015

As the UK prepares to go to the polls for the 2015 General Election on 7th May, we bring you a selection of activity from across University of the Arts London (UAL).

Georgina Trestler - Creativity

London College of Fashion has been facilitating discussions on social media around fashion and politics, considering how can fashion be a force for good in all of our lives – from the wearer to the producer. This follows the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF)‘s event at the House of Commons last month, ‘I Stood Up’, which placed the spotlight on fashion’s ability to be a voice for change. This event explored how fashion can be used to spark cultural, social and political change with key politicians. Join the conversation on Twitter with #fashionpolitics

UAL Vice-Chancellor Nigel Carrington was asked by Design Week recently – ‘What’s the first thing you’d like to see the next government do to help the design industry?’ Nigel said:

“Government needs to see creative subjects as more than just a skill-set. Creativity is a way of thinking that leads to innovation, can be taught to anyone and used in any career.”

You can read Nigel’s quote and the feature in full on the Design Week website.

Nigel has also recently contributed a blog entry to Universities UK, the national body for higher education institutions in the UK, on the negative impact leaving the EU would have on the cultural diversity of higher education in this country.

Students from across UAL have been responding to a call-out from the Guardian asking for art and design students to design alternative election posters, such as the one above designed by Central Saint Martins MA Communication Design (Illustration) student Georgina Trestler. Submissions are being accepted up until election day on 7th May and are being featured in a gallery on the Guardian Witness site.

If you’re not yet registered to vote, there’s still time! The deadline is 20th Aprilregister now to ensure your voice is heard in electing our next government.

MA Interim Show Exhibits Work of 72 Students

AndrewBailey_MA Interim 2015

Last Thursday saw the opening of ‘You’re the reason our kids are ugly’, this year’s MA Interim Show. The exhibition which took place over three days showcased the developing work of 72 talented first year students from our MA Art and Science, MA Fine Art and MA Photography courses.

The evening was a great success with guests ranging from artist John Stezaker, visitors from The Hague:  Aparajita Dutta Head of International Affairs Royal Academy of Art and Nineke van Beers, Head of Marketing and Recruitment at the Royal Academy of Art.

View the image gallery below to see more of the student’s work from the show.

AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015 AndrewBailey_Interim Show 2015


Printmaking in Changing Contexts

Paul Coldwell: Symposium - Printmaking in Changing Contexts

Paul Coldwell, Material Things: Sculpture and Prints.

Symposium: Printmaking in Changing Contexts
30th April , 1- 3pm
Cartwright Hall, Bradford

In response to Paul Coldwell’s exhibition Material Things: Sculpture and Prints at Gallery II, University of Bradford (13th March – 7th May 2015) there will be an afternoon discussion about printmaking, past, present and future. Printmaking in changing contexts will be held at Cartwright Hall, Bradford on Thursday 30th April  (1 – 3pm).

The event will be chaired by Sonja Kielty (Curator, Exhibitions, Bradford Museums and Galleries) and Andy Abbott (artist and University of Bradford) and will include a presentation by Coldwell outlining his long association with printmaking and Bradford.

Further details:

Free event, all welcome.

Spaces will be limited, please RSVP: 01274 431212,

A review of Material Things can be found on the following link:  CV: Material Things

Graduates Break Cyanotype World Record in India

The finished cyanotype © Melanie King and JJ Hastings

The finished cyanotype © Melanie King and JJ Hastings

Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science graduates Melanie King and Jaden Hastings recently broke the record for the world’s largest cyanotype at the Story of Light festival in Goa.

In January 2015, the pair travelled to India to take up a residency at the old British Defence Colony in Porvorim. With the help of students from the local college, they produced a huge prussian-blue ‘light print’ the size of several bedsheets.

To create the cyanotype, Melanie and Jaden coated a bolt of cloth with potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate in a temporary darkroom. When it had dried for four hours, they ran the cloth outside for the student volunteers to lie on.

After ten sweltering minutes holding their poses in the midday sun, the volunteers leapt to their feet. Everyone gathered the cyanotype into a bin of water and washed off the remaining chemicals. Where the paper had been exposed to the sunlight, an insoluble blue dye had stained the cloth.

 People and the universe

The artwork drew attention to how connected people are to the universe. Melanie says: “We often feel that we are separated from space, but actually we have a very strong connection with it.

“This is an attempt to demonstrate how the sun’s energy affects materials on earth and highlight our connection with the broader universe as a source for creativity and inspiration.”

Melanie plans to break the cyanotype record again on 2 May 2015, at the Wellcome Collection’s On Light weekend even series. She is also curating and exhibiting at UAL Showroom’s Aether event in April and convening a photography symposium in May.

More information:
– MA Art and Science

New degree to tackle costume-making skills shortage in the performing arts

Royal Opera House, University of the Arts London (UAL) and South Essex College have formed a new partnership to deliver a BA (Hons) degree in Costume Construction, specifically to address the current shortage of people with high quality costume making skills.

Robin McGrorty and Mal Barton Photo by Sim Canetty-Clarke

The new degree course will focus on the cut and making of costumes for theatre, opera, film and TV with professionals from the Royal Opera House (ROH) working with the students on live briefs for new productions for both The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet.

The students will be taught how to make costumes that are lightweight and flexible for Royal Ballet dancers to perform in, as well as costumes that are made to last many years as some productions remain in the ROH repertory for up to four decades. They will also learn how to make a range of different styles of costumes from leotards for contemporary ballets, to historically accurate costumes for opera productions set in specific periods of history.

The BA (Hons) Costume Construction degree will be validated by UAL and receive its first intake of students in September 2015. The course will be based at the new Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre currently being built at High House Production Park in Thurrock where the Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Production Workshop is already based.

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said: ‘This course is a fantastic example of industry and higher education coming together to invest in young people, training them alongside the very best professionals in their field, and giving them skills that employers so desperately need. The skills the students will learn on this course will give them the foundation to work not only in opera and ballet, but also in theatre, film or fashion, expanding the job opportunities even wider for the graduates’.

Louisa Troughton 1 - Photo by Sim Canetty-Clarke

Angela O’Donoghue, South Essex College Principal and Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to be delivering this unique degree in Thurrock. It is wonderful that local people will benefit from such an outstanding opportunity. The partnership with the Royal Opera House is a superb example of how colleges and universities can respond to a shortage of skilled workers in a particular industry.”

Nigel Carrington, UAL Vice-Chancellor, said: “We’re delighted to be helping to provide this degree which will give students the vital skills to flourish in the performing arts industry. The UK creative industries are worth more than £76billion to the UK economy and we are proud to support them by helping to develop the creative workforce of the future.”

Modules over the three years will include hand sewing techniques, pattern cutting, garment construction and the history of costumes throughout the years, plus plenty of live brief opportunities and work experience placements.
As well as the degree course being taught from the new Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre, the building will also house more than 20,000 Royal Opera House costumes and wigs from productions in the ROH repertory. The historic costumes from the ROH Collection will also now be stored in the building and be used as a basis for part of the degree course focusing on costume preservation and conservation.

The Costume Centre is the latest development at the High House Production Park which is also home to Acme Artists’ Studios, who provide low-rent studio spaces for artists and the Backstage Centre, run by Creative & Cultural Skills, where young people are trained in backstage skills such as lighting and sound. The addition of the Costume Centre further confirms the High House Production Park as an international centre of excellence for the creative industries.

Photos by Sim Canetty-Clarke

UAL selected to host one of six debates celebrating 10 years of AHRC

University of the Arts London (UAL) has been selected as one of six universities to participate in a debate series celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Books and the Human

 The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects,  Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore, 1967

The theme of the series is ‘The Way We Live Now’ and the debates will examine key aspects of the human world, the ways in which these subjects are changing and shaping our lives, and will explore the ways in which the arts and humanities can help us understand this changing world.

UAL was selected from over 40 universities to take part in this prestigious series of events, and will be hosting its debate entitled ‘Books and the Human’ in December 2015 at Central Saint Martins. The debate will pose the question: what are the primary relationships between books and knowledge, and between books and human beings? This question will be addressed through expanded debates which draw together the fields of philosophy, history, politics, sociology, literature and creative practice. Additional events held at Central Saint Martins and other UAL colleges will explore how books are conceived, crafted, experienced and shared.

The debate series will be launched with the Curating the Nation debate on 11th  June at the British Museum and will run for several months, with further details to follow over the next few months.

Programme Director and Course Leader of MA Communication Design at Central Saint Martins Rebecca Wright, who was part of the team to put forward UAL’s application, said of being selected for the series: “We’re delighted that UAL has been chosen to take part in this debate series to celebrate ten years of AHRC. The Graphic Communication Design programme at Central Saint Martins has a long and rich history of association with typography and book design, dating back to 1896 as the Central School of Arts and Crafts. Hosting this AHRC national debate provides an exciting opportunity to explore the form, function and future of the book from the perspectives of making and thinking, integrating design with the wider humanities. Our interest is in how the book is intimately linked to the way we live now.”

New Course Discourse // BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design


Digital installation.

In our latest New Course Discourse feature, we chat to Programme Director Ben Stopher to find out more about the new BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design course.

So Ben, can you explain a little bit about the course and its aims?

Well this new course is highly digital and its design lead, so really the core of the course is about putting information design and interface design in this more digital context. There are three key specialisms that make up the course, UX and UI, data visualisation and graphic and information design.

If you’ve ever want to make websites, or build apps and data-visualisations, or even just something screen based and visual then this is the course for you.


Gephi network graph, Ben Stopher, 2015.

What can students expect from the course in terms of structure?

So in the first year you do graphic design, typography and information visualisation. You also do graphic design animation coding for the web, which is a really valuable skill to develop.

In year two you start to work in the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design studio, then you do interactive data visualisation and a major industry project. In both of these units we visit studios and also get live briefs from industry.

Why is this course unique?

It’s highly industry aligned and highly digital. We’ve offered this very specific area because there is definitely a gap. No one else explicitly teaches UX and UI design and no one else explicitly teaches interactive based visualisation so those three things are really unique to this course.


Gesture capture data visualisation, Ben Stopher, 2015.

In terms of careers and futures, where could this course lead its students?

You can be a UX designer, you can be a UI designer, basically anyone who wants to work with how things look on screen; phone apps, websites, any kind of digital interactive content. There’s tons and tons of work for people with those sorts of skills.

One of the main selling points of this course is that it is highly industry aligned, and designers that have those kind of digital skills – that can work with data – are going to be highly sought after.

The industry really struggles to find designers with that digital skill set – and so that’s partly why we developed this course.


Introduction to Infographics Workshop, 2015.

So what skills or qualifications are you going to be looking for in students?

We take students from foundation but we would also consider students straight from A level, if they know that they want to do digital design then we will look at their portfolios. Students will have similar qualities to applicants for Graphic Media Design, but also an awareness of what UX and UI is.

If you are an A level student who knows what those things are then you are highly likely to be a person that would be relevant for us to look at. I don’t expect schools to have a clue about the nuance of this course, but it’s about if the applicant has enough presence of mind to know what these things are, and thinks they might want to do them, then I’ll look at anything.

inter 2

LCC student with digital work.

Any last words?

It’s a super future relevant digital course. Graduates are going to be highly sort after because it isn’t a massive course, there are only 25 places. Students will get a brand new studio and a whole new team of tutors.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design.

The post New Course Discourse // BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

World Theatre Day 2015

To celebrate World Theatre Day 2015, we asked Course Leader of BA Theatre & Screen: Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts Lucy Algar to tell us how theatre can be used as a positive force for change and understanding.

“For many centuries cultures from all over the world have turned to performance as a way of celebrating change and important events, of marking the passage of time and as a means by which people can question their very existence. Theatre offers us glimpses into other worlds and helps us to make sense of contemporary and historical issues.

From the Olympic Opening Ceremonies to the most intimate one to one performances people are affected and influenced by music, words, moving bodies and extraordinary design. This influence can change peoples’ perception of others and so it is through theatre that communities, both small and on a world scale, can develop new understandings and enjoy life.”

Theatre Day

Image from collaborative project run by Lucy Algar and 3rd year theatre designers with choreographer Angela Woodhouse from Middlesex University and her 3rd year dance/choreography students – performed at Wimbledon College of Arts in February. Set design by Qinzi Huang.

Course Director of MA Theatre Design at Wimbledon Michael Pavelka recently wrote a piece for the Guardian Culture Professionals Network on how to become a theatre designer, listing patience, grit and resourcefulness as essential attributes for budding designers:

“Life in the theatre is not kind to the shy and retiring, so you have to be able to give (consistently) 100%, made up of the clichéd but no-less-truthful 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. What if you don’t find “that spark” in a project? If you want the job, you’ll just have to, to challenge yourself.”

On Wednesday 25 March MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Arts opened ‘Work from the Collections #3: Jocelyn Herbert and Samuel Beckett’, a new exhibition held at Wimbledon College of Arts exploring the working relationship between acclaimed theatre and film designer Jocelyn Herbert and iconic playwright and author Samuel Beckett. The materials for the exhibition, including sketchbooks, set and costume drawings and annotated scripts, have been selected from the Jocelyn Herbert Archive at the National Theatre, the NT’s only archive dedicated to a theatre designer. The exhibition runs until 10th April.