Archive for the ‘Research’ category

Research Student, Samson Kambalu wins AHRC funding for a summer fellowship at Yale

Two Mushroom Clouds UAL Samson Kambalu

Samson Kambalu is a PhD student at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, his research project, 13th Room:  The General Economy in Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art is funded by the AHRC. Samson has recently been awarded funding for a fellowship at Yale Center for British Art for the Summer of 2014. Samson says of the opportunity,

Yale is an exciting opportunity for me both as a student and an artist. My time there will not only offer me rare material resources and expertise regarding psychogeography and themes of sovereignty in William Blake and Romantic art, but will also be a unique opportunity for me to develop my research and practice while in communication with world class researchers, curators and artists. I would hope that these connections could lead to long term, collaborative opportunities.

My practice as a cosmopolitan artist of African origin has involved travelling to various cities popular with African diaspora, such as London, New York and Paris, and being inspired by their psychogeography. Coming to New Haven will enable me to carry out this endeavor while deepening my knowledge of how Romantic and African ideas of sovereignty, such as the Nyau masquerade tradition of my father’s tribe the Chewa, can be translated within contemporary art and the everyday life.

Sasha Bowles – Future Map 2013 exhibitor on her postgraduate student experience

Wimbledon College of Arts catches up with MFA Fine Art alumna, Sasha Bowles on her experience as a postgraduate student, her current practice and what’s next for Sasha as an artist.

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Sasha Bowles, ‘It Went By’. Oil on Linen 40 x 30 cm

WCA: What was your time studying at Wimbledon like?

SB: Really intense. Having not been in education for a while, I felt I had been thrown in at the deep end. Drowning at times, feeling exposed, but finding support was there when it was needed. I felt it was a privilege to have had 2 years to really explore what my work was about and  learn how to articulate it.

WCA: What did you find was the most valuable transferable skill you learnt whilst studying the College?

SB: Researching. Feed your practice.

WCA: Tell us about your current practice.

SB: My current practice is predominately painting and mostly dealing with subject matter relating to memory. The fallibility of memory, how it morphs and folds in upon itself. I use landscape as a trigger for memories; incorporating, real, imagined and appropriated images. The paintings are either small and intimate or large and foreboding.

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Sasha Bowles, ‘The Disproportionate Loss of Self in an Altered Landscape’. Oil on Canvas 150 x 180 cm

WCA: What has been your proudest moment as a practicing professional so far?

SB: Recognition for my work by selection for various exhibitions including Future Map.

WCA: What is next for you?

SB: Further explorations into my practice, continuing to push at the seams. Inclusion in The Open West, Oriel Davies exhibitions. Working towards several group shows in London.

WCA: Any advice for future Fine Art students?

SB: Embrace everything. The time goes really fast. Use all the facilities. Leave your comfort zone. Be prepared to fail again and again. Collaborate with your peers. Go to every show you can. Build networks outside college as well. Trust and challenge your tutors. Claim your practice. Have fun.

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Sasha Bowles, ‘Swept Through the Woods’. Oil on Linen 40 x 30 cm

Sasha graduated from MFA Fine Art 2013.

To find out more about our Postgraduate Courses, book onto one of our Postgraduate Open Days.

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Fashion can be so much more says the Craft of Use project

Craft of Use exhibition at LCF featuring photography by Kerry Dean. Model: Jean Woods.

Craft of Use exhibition at LCF featuring photography by Kerry Dean. Centre model: Jean Woods.

Conversations on alternative forms of fashion have flowed from the success of Craft of Use hosted by LCF and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, and led by researcher Kate Fletcher.

The event, which saw artists, academics and fashion designers come together to discuss fashion beyond consumerism, generated lively thoughts and stories online and on site.

As Kate writes,

“Fashion is seen as the poster child of consumerism, but it can be so much more.”

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Exploring new visions of fashion with Craft of Use at LCF

Craft of Use at LCF

Craft of Use at LCF

Yesterday, LCF and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion hosted artists, academics and environmental campaigners to explore fashion in a new light.

‘The Craft of Use’ was developed by LCF’s Kate Fletcher as part of her Local Wisdom project, as a way of seeking and collecting stories about fashion which help us think beyond consumption. Kate explained more at the opening of the conference:

“Fashion is cut into the cloth of consumerism and it’s normal to think that our main interaction with fashion is shopping. The stories of ‘Craft Of Use’ are a counterweight to these narrow definitions of fashion.”

Those stories are made up of an international effort to photograph and document how people live their lives with their clothes – sharing them, mending them, changing them, inheriting them.

Leading environmentalist, Sir Jonathan Porritt kicked off the day of workshops and discussion by talking about sustainable transformations within the fashion industry:

“In many cases, the fashion industry is the embodiment of consumerism at its worst. It is an industry that desperately needs more innovation because we know that fashion touches peoples’ lives.”

He added,

“In terms of making progress towards sustainability, things are still getting worse, but more slowly.”

Calling for ‘zero fibre to landfill’, Jonathan urged designers and those who shape the industry to use tomorrow’s challenges as a stimulus for innovation. He spoke about the Rana Plaza disaster, the anniversary of which is next month, to illustrate quite how devastating the industry can be if it does not evolve.

Throughout the day, poetry from Sabrina Mahfouz helped bring the stories of lives touched by fashion to life, revealing a human relationship with fashion that helps us overcome the dangerous whirl of consumption and destruction. Meanwhile, workshops asked attendees to collaborate to create and articulate these innovative ideas for the future of fashion.

  • Photo by Ana Escobar

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Discovering more about a career in research at the Graduate School Festival 2014

Postgraduate students talk

Postgraduate students talk with Professor Lucy Orta about a career in research

As part of the Graduate School Festival, postgraduate and MA students joined academics, artists and publishers to talk about finding a career in research beyond their studies.

In conversation were UAL’s Chair of Art and Environment and visual artist Professor Lucy Orta; PhD student and guest lecturer at LCF Mario Roman; and London Manager for Bloomsbury and author of the Lady Gaga Style Bible, David Foy.

Able to offer insights into researching for publication, the interactions between research and creative practice, and the reasons for doing a PhD, the three guests spoke of their own journeys through research and answered students’ questions.

Mario spoke about why he decided to undertake a PhD:

“After my MA, I spent a year freelancing in the industry. I had the experience of a design background, and after this time working in the industry, I knew I wanted to do research. As part of my role I was researching into textiles, going into the archives. I realised that I really loved that aspect of what I was doing – I was looking at the archivists thinking, I want to be doing what these guys are doing!”

Lucy spoke about her very different process of researching:

“I gain my research through experience and through doing. I work with people to develop interventions and a lot what I do is trial and error – learning from what happens on site.”

Students were keen to know how Lucy’s fashion design background now shapes her art practice. Lucy explained:

“The skill sets I learnt as a designer are incredibly important in order to materialise my art.”

Talking about the step up between MA and PhD level study, Mario said something which resonated with Lucy’s method of learning through artistic process:

“In your PhD study you should be primarily concerned with research processes rather than outcomes. The process and your methods are key for engaging with your topic.”

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LCC Senior Research Fellow Jananne Al-Ani exhibits Excavations at Hayward Gallery

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Jananne Al-Ani, production still from Shadow Sites l, 2010. Courtesy and copyright the artist. Photography Adrian Warren.

A solo exhibition by international artist and London College of Communication Senior Research Fellow Jananne Al-Ani is now open at Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery Project Space as part of Southbank Centre’s Women of the World 2014 festival.

‘Excavations’ continues the London-based, Iraqi-born artist’s ongoing interest in landscape and its visual representation through the technology of modern warfare. Al-Ani works with photography, film and video, and this exhibition highlights works from the research project ‘The Aesthetics of Disappearance: A Land without People’, exploring the disappearance of the body in highly charged and contested landscapes.

The exhibition features the film ‘Shadow Sites I’ (2010), a series of stills from the video ‘Shadow Sites II’ (2011) and the first UK showing of ‘Groundworks’ (2013), a multi-channel video installation focusing on the landscapes of the southwestern United States.

Two related events are also taking place at the Hayward Gallery. On Saturday 8 March at 3.30pm, ‘Jananne Al-Ani in Conversation’ will see the artist discussing ‘Excavations’ with Hayward Gallery Chief Curator, Stephanie Rosenthal. On Thursday 17 April at 6.30pm, a special screening of Al-Ani’s ‘The Visit’ (2004), presented in conjunction with Film and Video Umbrella, will be followed by a discussion with Al-Ani.

‘Excavations’ is open until Sunday 11 May.

Read more about Research at London College of Communication

Read more about Excavations at Hayward Gallery Project Space

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Designing With Living Systems, a New Prerogative?

Carole Collet, image from Biolace series

Image from the Biolace series

As part of the Bartlett International Lectures Series, Carole Collet will be speaking about designing with living systems on 12 March 2014.

With the emerging biological revolution and a set of extraordinary toolkits that allow us to engineer and program life from scratch, comes a need to reevaluate the position and potential of design. Designers have begun to either embrace or rebel against this emerging bioengineered world and as a result, new design directions are beginning to arise. The lecture will expose this new design landscape where fragments of a possible programmable synthetic future are confronted with ‘natural’ alternative design perspectives.

Carole Collet is a researcher, designer and curator whose interest lies in exploring emerging and disruptive technologies through design to create a more sustainable future. For more than a decade, Collet pioneered the discipline of Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins where she is now a full time Reader and Deputy Director of the Textile Futures Research Centre. She has been contributing worldwide on the subject of sustainable design practices, future materials, textile architecture, climate change and the role of science in design. Collet recently curated ‘Alive, New Design Frontiers’ at the Espace EDF Foundation in Paris which showcases how emerging sciences such as synthetic biology will impact on the design of our everyday horizon 2050.

Additional information:

Date: 12 March 2014

Time: 18:30 – 20:00

Location: Christopher Ingold Auditorium, UCL Chemistry Building, 20 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AJ

The Bartlett International Lecture Series is free and open to members of the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Places are limited so early arrival is suggested. All lectures are uploaded on Vimeo.

For more information and additional enquiries, email

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Call for Chinese Animation Artist-in-Residence

Still from Ketchup

Central Saint Martins is looking to host an academic who specialises in animation from a Chinese university. The chosen artist-in-residence will undertake research at Central Saint Martins.

Chunning Guo, who was chosen as the first Animation Artist in Residence, will soon be joining the College for three months. Hailing from Beijing, she will use her time here to research her PhD paper and put on workshops and exhibitions.

The author of several books, Chunning Guo has more than a decade of teaching experience and her animated artworks have been displayed around the world. Her short animation Ketchup, which illustrates a boy’s experiences in China during 1984, can be seen below:

If you fancy becoming the next animation artist-in-residence, download the application pack.

More information:
Artist-in-residence application pack
MA Character Animation
Chunning Guo

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Discussing racism in fashion at LCF

As part of LCF’s Better Lives series curated by LCF’s Dr Carolyn Mair (Course leader of the MA Psychology in Fashion and the MSc in Psychology in Fashion) last night brought together leading industry figures to discuss racism in fashion.

Casting expert, Jody Furlong, who street casts and books a diverse range of models for his agency, The Eye Casting, gave his insight into the problems within the industry. Fashion’s extensive influence and trend-setting status, he argued, means that it carries responsibility to depict diversity.

Joining Jody was award-winning photographer, James Lyon, who campaigns for diversity in fashion with the organisation, Models of Diversity. He spoke of the importance of supporting upcoming designers who recognise the opportunity diversity offers them, and the need to ignore the brand ‘dinosaurs’ who still fail to change their racist practices.

Problems of racism throughout the industry was discussed: The fact that Jourdan Dunn has not yet featured on a Vogue cover despite her international super-model status; Prada’s failure to cast even one non-white model for its catwalk in the past 20 years; and the way fashion brands continue to consider whiteness as the neutral and natural image for a model whilst other colours of skin are seen as a statement (and one they are not always willing to make).

The urgent and final message of the evening was for the young designers and fashion professionals in the audience to go out into the industry with a desire to create diversity and equality.

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Paul Coldwell curates new exhibition:The Artists Folio: As a site of inquiry.

Paul Coldwell: Lines and Branches 2012:  Relief Print from Laser Cut Woodblocks  Copyright © Paul Coldwell

Paul Coldwell: Lines and Branches 2012: Relief Print from Laser Cut Woodblocks
Copyright © Paul Coldwell

We were delighted to receive the news of Professor Paul Coldwell’s latest exhibition. Coldwell is Professor in Fine Art at the University of the Arts London where he is based at Chelsea College of Arts and contributes to the CCW Graduate School.  Coldwell a practicing artist and researcher, who’s art practice includes prints, book works, sculptures and installations, has exhibited widely, and his work is included in numerous public collections.  Coldwell  has previously curated exhibitions, including Digital Responses, V&A; Morandi’s Legacy; Influences on British Art at the Estorick Collection, London.  We are very excited about his latest work:  The artists Folio on show at the Cartwright Hall, Bradford on from 8th February-15th June 2014.

The artists folio offers a unique look at a selection of folios from the city’s print collection including  lithographs by Lowry, Rakes Progress by Hogarth and David Hockney; Sonia Boyce, Chris Ofili, Hew Locke – from the Rivington Folio, INIVA; William Rothenstein’s 1921 dry-points ‘Landscapes of War’ and Glen Baxter’s lithographs.

Chris Ofili - After The Dance

Chris Ofili – After The Dance



This is an impressive exhibition that spans printmaking over 60′s, 70′s and 80′s but also includes a recent print series celebrating the 2012 London Olympics features Bob and Roberta Smith, Martin Creed, Rachel Whiteread and Tracey Emin.  In the exhibition you will also be able to enjoy a framed Intaglio set celebrating twenty-five years of Angela Flowers Gallery, London, including Nicola Hicks, Glenys Barton, Renny Tait and Tai-Shan Schierenberg.  Also included in the show is a series of 4 print ‘Interiors’ by Patrick Caulfield an Alumni of Chelsea and a print by Sonia Boyce who has just been appointed Professor of Black Art and Design as one of the New Cross College Professorships.  There is also work by Patrick Hughes and Peter Howson to name but a few.

Sonia Boyce 1962, London, UK Untitled, from the Rivington Place Portfolio 2006

Sonia Boyce, Untitled 1962

This celebration of print that we hope will challenge fresh debate around printmaking and the artists folio is certainly not to be missed. The exhibition has been supported by the Arts Council of England and there will be a fully illustrated catalogue available from Cartwright Hall with an essay by Curator Paul Coldwell, who is also developing a one day symposium to coincide with the exhibition (details to be announced soon.)

Professor Coldwell who was approached to curate the show unearthed a set of Lowry Lithograph prints, Hockney work and much more in the process. Coldwell  last year had his own major retrospective titled: A layered Practice- Graphic Works 1993-2012 presented in Studio 3 Gallery- at The school of Arts- University of Kent.  The exhibition showed a fantastic selection of Coldwell’s work over the years, defining him as a true pioneer of  digital printmaking.

The artists Folio: as a site of inquiry runs until the 15th June 2014,  it is certainly not to be missed…

A Layered Practice:Paul Coldwell

A Layered Practice: Professor Paul Coldwell