Archive for the ‘University of the Arts London’ category

New competition launched at UAL to mentor tomorrow’s female arts leaders

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It’s a pattern that has steadily grown. Increasing number of female arts graduates, should mean an in increase in women working in the arts.

But the numbers paint a very different picture.

Research shows that approximately only 30 per cent of artists represented by galleries in London are female and British Theatre Consortium statistics assert that only 31% of professional playwrights are female.

It was this gender gap that inspired the launch of a brand new scheme – ‘University Women in the Arts’ – that took place at Central Saint Martins, UAL and is designed to mentor female University arts students to take up leadership roles in the arts.

Mentor 1

©Ivan Jones

Open to all female students studying the arts at University level – 10 participants will be selected to be mentored over the course of a year by 12 women who are leading the way in the arts in the UK.

The scheme is run by the new MA Dramatic Writing at Drama Centre London at UAL’s Central Saint Martins, the Women of the Future Programme and Writers at Work Productions, in association with Tonic Theatre.

Mentor 3

©Ivan Jones

Jennifer Tuckett, Course Leader for MA Dramatic Writing at Drama Centre London at UAL’s Central Saint Martins said:

“I think it’s incredibly important to provide mentoring opportunities for young women wanting to work in the arts.

“It’s shocking how different the figures are – over 70% of women studying the arts at the UAL are women. We want to explore whether the drop off in numbers once women make the transition from studying to working in the arts is due to lack of mentorship, a previous lack of examples women can follow as they negotiate their career paths, family reasons, the insecurity in the industry, confidence or another reason.”

Jennifer Tuckett

Jennifer Tuckett

Jennifer goes on to say:

“Lucy Kerbel’s research from Tonic Theatre showed that in 2013, 59 per cent of Directing course graduates were women – but only 24 per cent of working directors were women, which is a huge difference.

“Over 70 per cent of our students at UAL are female, but in all areas of the arts there seems to be far fewer women than men.

“For the first time, the University Women in the Arts will investigate the reasons for this gender gap and hopefully, in doing so, get us thinking about how we can address this.”

©Monica Alcazar-Duarte

©Monica Alcazar-Duarte

Pinky Lilani CBE DL, founder of The Women of the Future Programme, said:

“The Women of the Future Programme is honoured to be working with Central Saint Martins, UAL on a programme that is crucial to helping women achieve their potential. Mentorship is pivotal to career success. ”

Another one

©Ivan Jones

Lucy Kerbel, founder of Tonic Theatre, said:

“I think this scheme is a brilliant idea. Young women who are keen to build careers in the arts often have to look harder for role models than their male counterparts. Consequently, a programme such as this which connects female students with trailblazing women is hugely valuable because it makes it all the easier for them to visualise themselves in top roles.

“Furthermore, hearing in detail how these women have achieved the success they have, and being able to begin to translate that to their own artistic and professional journeys is something that could make all the difference to a young woman when navigating the tricky initial steps into her career in the arts.”

In addition to the mentoring opportunity for 10 female students, there will also be public events over the course of the next year which anyone can attend.


©Ivan Jones

“Being a woman means being collaborative. This is something the Women of the Future Programme, who are one of the partners on University Women in the Arts, have spoken about a lot and which really interests me. To advance gender equality, they talk about how it seems to be most helpful when women use their innate skills at collaboration and kindness towards one another. I think that’s fascinating research they’ve done.

Mentors of the University Women in the Arts include: Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the English National Ballet Tamara Rojo, Managing Director of Penguin Books Joanna Prior and film producer of the Harry Potter films amongst other films and former Head of the Film Fund at the UK Film Council Tanya Seghatchian.

Find out more University Women in the Arts scheme here.

5 Powerful Works by Female Designers

Curator Ruth Sykes shares five graphic design pieces from her current exhibition at Central Saint Martins, UAL.

1. Rachel ‘Ray’ Marshall cartoons for suffragette publication ‘The Common Cause’ 1910

Rachel ‘Ray’ Marshall (1891 – 1940); Cover cartoons for suffragette publication ‘The Common Cause’ 1910 Photo credit Ruth Sykes

Ray Marshall was already a published cartoonist before she enrolled in the Central School of Arts and Crafts in 1912 to study wood engraving. The cartoon on the left satirizes the anti-suffrage view that attractive young women were not interested in voting or reforming women’s pay. Pay inequalities are still, of course, with us. In graphic design specifically, recent research published in the book “Graphic Designers Surveyed” revealed a gender pay gap which increases as designers age. This book, published by GraphicDesign& (established by ex-Central School student Lucienne Roberts, and current head of the Graphic Communication Design progamme, Rebecca Wright) is also included in the A+ exhibition.

2. Margaret Calvert, Men At Work, 1965

Margaret Calvert (b.1936), Men At Work, part of the Kinneir Calvert road sign system for Britain launched in 1965. Photo credit Ruth Sykes
Most British people see the work of Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinneir every day they step outside. Together, they designed the road signs for Britain that have been in use since 1965. Margaret (b.1936) attended a Central School evening class in 1957 to ‘brush up on typography’, while working with graphic designer Jock Kinneir, assisting on the signage for the newly built Gatwick Airport. Seven years later, after the pair had created the signage system for the new UK motorway system, the Kinneir Calvert signs for the rest of Britain’s roads were launched. Margaret herself drew a number of the original symbols, still in use today, including the famous ‘Men At Work’ sign shown here.

3. Kate Hepburn and Sally Doust’s Spare Rib Magazine, 1973

Kate Hepburn (b.1947) and Sally Doust (b. 1944) Spare Rib Magazine, 1973. Photo credit Ruth Sykes

Kate Hepburn (b.1947) studied at the Central School in the late 1960s, before graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1972. In her final year at the RCA, Kate teamed up with Sally Doust (b. 1944), previously Art Director of Australian Vogue, to begin work as the original design team for second-wave feminist women’s magazine Spare Rib. The brief for the design required a new kind of visual language that would indicate it was both a women’s magazine and a publication that challenged the status quo. Recognising the iconic status of Spare Rib and the valuable insights it gives to women’s lives during its 21-year existence, The British Library has recently digitized every copy of the magazine for public browsing.

4. Women’s Design and Research Unit’s ‘Pussy Galore’ typeface

Women’s Design and Research Unit's ‘Pussy Galore’ typeface
WD+RU (Women’s Design and Research Unit, 1994) poster showcasing the typeface ‘Pussy Galore’ printed by Fuse Magazine, 1994 Photo credit Ruth Sykes
WD+RU (Women’s Design and Research Unit) was founded in 1994 by Liz McQuiston (b. 1952), Siân Cook (b. 1962, studied and taught at CSM) and Teal Triggs (b. 1957, taught at CSM) with the aim of raising awareness of women working in visual communication and design education. After going to a typography conference where the speakers were all male, their response was to design the experimental typeface Pussy Galore, which consists of dingbat style icons reflecting on the endless spectrum of stereotypical language used to label and control women. The Pussy Galore typeface was included in the 2009 “Elles@centrepompidou” exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and in “No More Rules: Graphic Design and Postmodernism” by Rick Poynor. Whilst there are more women in typography today, it is interesting to note the recent creation of the ‘Alphabettes’ network, which exists to support and promote the work of all women in the fields of lettering, typography and type design.

5. Morag Myerscough Creative Review Cover design Letter A, 2013

Morag Myerscough (b.1963), Letter A for Creative Review Cover, 2013 Photo credit Ruth Sykes
Morag Myerscough (b.1963) studied at St Martins from 1982 to 1985, before going on to the RCA, and then founding her own studio in 1993. Morag has won many awards for her work, most recently as part of the design team awarded architecture’s Stirling Prize. This year she was included in Debrett’s ‘People of Today’ in recognition of her contribution to the field of design. A monograph of Morag’s work is due for publication later in 2016 by Unit Editions. Morag’s work is included in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s permanent collection. The giant letter A shown in the A+ exhibition was created for the cover of the Creative Review 2013 Annual, and is made from wood hand-painted by Morag. Also included in the exhibition is Morag’s hand-painted circular road sign, from the recent ‘50 Years of the British Road Sign’ installation at the Design Museum, curated by Made North.

See all these images and more in A+ 100 Years of Visual Communication by Women at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, showing 80 works by female designers. Find out more at

This piece originally appeared on Buzzfeed, see it there

Read empowering advice and inspiring quotes from UAL’s creative luminaries for International Women’s Day

New images: UAL’s London College of Fashion at the heart of Olympicopolis


New images of Olympicopolis have been revealed

Images have been unveiled which show the new home of UAL’s London College of Fashion alongside the V&A and Sadler’s Wells in Stratford, Olympicopolis, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The images show the new campus for UAL’s London College of Fashion and residential development situated at Stratford Waterfront site, part of the exciting new education and cultural district next to the London Aquatics Centre.

It will be joined by other leading UK arts institutions which include a new V&A for east London and a 600-seat theatre for Sadler’s Wells.

Nigel Carrington, UAL Vice-Chancellor, said:

“We are excited to get a first glimpse of how Olympicopolis will look as it develops over the next five years into a world-class hub for the creative arts. We are proud that a new campus for London College of Fashion will be at the heart of the development, building on the College’s East End heritage, creating an East London fashion cluster through education, research, enterprise and its Better Lives programme.

“The new campus is part of UAL’s wider commitment to invest in its buildings, including a £62m regeneration of Camberwell College of Arts, plans for a new London College of Communication campus at the heart of Elephant and Castle and the completion of our Central Saint Martins campus in King’s Cross in 2011.”


The London College of Fashion campus is part of UAL’s wider commitment to invest in its buildings

Visual arts leading Olympicopolis design and economic legacy

Olympicopolis is the next stage in the regeneration of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and will create around 3,000 jobs, attract 1.5 million visitors a year and deliver a £2.8bn boost to the economy of Stratford and the surrounding communities.

David Goldstone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation said:

“Our plans to create a world class education and cultural district on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are moving forward in leaps and bounds. These exciting new images really start to give life to the project.”

The Victoria and Albert Museum will create V&A East, a new museum to showcase its world-class collections of design, art, architecture and performance. It will be a new kind of civic building weaving together spaces for collections, learning, contemporary design practice, conservation and research, with public participation at its heart.

Sadler’s Wells will open a new venue designed to serve contemporary dance-makers and its growing audiences, extending the range of work the dance house can commission, produce and tour. The space will include a 600-seat theatre, facilities for a Choreographic School and a Hip Hop Academy and flexible ‘making’ spaces for research, development and production of dance work.


UAL’s London College of Fashion will be alongside the V&A and Sadler’s Wells

In addition to the Stratford Waterfront site, the wider Olympicopolis scheme includes a new campus for UCL (University College London), ‘UCL East’ to the south of the ArcelorMittal, providing more opportunities for collaboration.

The future of design

Building work on Stratford Waterfront is due to start in 2018 and Stratford Waterfront will be fully open to the public in 2019/20. The Legacy Corporation will start preliminary market consultations to inform the approach to the construction works contracts in April 2016.

For further details on Olympicopolis, visit their website.

Find out more about UAL’s £62m regeneration of Camberwell College of Arts and plans for a new London College of Communication campus at the heart of Elephant and Castle.

Empowering quotes from creative stars for International Women’s Day

The theme of 2016’s International Women’s Day is equality and empowerment, here we speak to some of UAL’s creative luminaries to get their empowering advice and hear their inspirational quotes

Anya Hindmarch
Anya Hindmarch, fashion designer and entrepreneur

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”


Emma Hill, designer and entrepreneur
My two favourite quotes are:

1. “ You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” Tina Fey

2. “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” Katherine Hepburn


Amber Butchart by Fanni Williams
Amber Butchart, DJ, author and dress historian

My advice would be, obvious as it sounds, don’t give up. It’s tough carving out a career in the arts so you have to have determination – that quote, attributed to Einstein – “genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration” – you could swap ‘genius’ for ‘success’ and it would still ring true. And success is rarely a straight path or an overnight phenomenon. Set your own goals and don’t measure your progress by other people’s success.


Emma Hart in her studio London
Emma Hart, artist and Max Mara Art Prize for Women winner

“The hardest thing to do, is to do what you want to do, rather than what you think you should be doing, and it’s hard because it’s hard to work out what you really want to do, and then it’s hard because you have to have courage to do what you want. My advice is caught up in that really – do what you want to do.”

Jackie Lee takes a bow at the end of her Spring Summer 2014 catwalk show at Somerset House
Jackie Lee, fashion designer and entrepreneur

“There are some words from Louise Wilson, she used to say to me “don’t be f**king lazy”. I loved her, she put the rules on her door: “Don’t be lazy! Go do f**king research”, which is all correct! Seriously, that really woke me up, like wow yes that is really true.”

Teleica Kirkland, Director of the Costume Institute of the African Diaspora
“Do whatever you can, however you can, wherever you can. Don’t think you can’t do something because there isn’t funding, space, whatever; there is nothing to stop you doing anything if you want to do it enough. I can’t stand when people think there’s only one way to do something, there are millions as long as you find one way, anyway, find a way to produce, find an outlet. When I was younger there was no internet, but people still found a way to produce and get their stuff out there, now it’s much easier. Just do it!”

FrancesCorner SMALL

Professor Frances Corner, OBE, Head of London College of Fashion
“The artist that changed my world is Jean Rhys. Her writing was so ahead of its time. Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books because of the independence and free thinking character of Jane, however Rhys took this one step further and told the story from the “madwoman” Bertha’s perspective in Wide Sargasso Sea. Rhys gives a voice to the neglected and silenced female and I think the book is a powerful example of feminist rewriting. It was quite radical at the time and really changed the way I thought about women.”

Read how Frances urges us to give #IWD a sporting chance


Sarah Temple, Course Leader, Diploma in Professional Studies. Founder of Conscientious Communicators at London College of Communication
“My advice to female students is to ‘play a different game – play the long game’. It is perfectly possible to have a wonderful career and be a mother too but this is an entirely different, but fabulously rewarding life proposition to our male counterparts.”

hysteric head

Sian Cook, Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design, London College of Communication, Co-Director of the Women’s Design and Research Unit

My first job was
…Record sleeve designer.
The female artist who changed my world is… Laurie Anderson.
My advice to female students is….You ARE good enough.

Jennifer Tuckett

Jennifer Tuckett, Course Leader, MA Dramatic Writing, Drama Centre London, Central Saint Martins

Most important female relationship in my life is… my mother. When my father died when I was nine, she kept everything going on her own – she’s the strong woman who has made me see how strong we can be.

The best thing about being a woman in 2016 is… the opportunity to change things. You see women taking the lead on a lot of projects in the arts at the moment – from Lucy Kerbel running Tonic Theatre, Simelia Hodge Dallaway running Artistic Directors of the Future, and my work with University Women in the Arts. It’s important these schemes are about taking action and creating positive change.

My advice to female students is… work hard and be kind. The greatest female mentors I have had have embodied both of these things. My mentor Kate Rowland, who created BBC Writersroom, the BBC’s new writing department, is a wonderful example. I remember her telling my students: “determination, resilience and a passion for something will shine through”. That’s very true. The most successful people I’ve worked with have also invariably been the most generous, the kindest and the most hard-working. I think that’s important to remember.”


Lucy Algar, Pathway Leader BA Theatre Design, Wimbledon College of Arts

The most important female relationship in my life is…
With my daughters.
The female artist who changed my world is…Yolanda Sonnabend.
The hardest thing about being a woman in 2016 is…Also the best – being a mum and having a career is undoubtedly challenging but it is also incredibly rewarding.
The way I would explain gender equality to a 10 year old girl is: Ensuring that women and men are treated equally everywhere is still a dream and not a reality. We must keep fighting to ensure that women and men are treated equally and especially that we are paid equally. Women still earn much, much less than men over the course of their careers.
The best lesson I learnt the hard way is: If you work hard and be patient your career will return, and be stronger for, having children.


Dr Lois Rowe, Programme Director, Fine Art, Wimbledon College of Arts

Being a woman means… often facing an unequal world. Even in academic contexts there is a division between the soft ‘pastoral’ role, which is often a role that a woman occupies. It is the role that often manages the increasing responsibility around student mental health and care that sits outside of the curriculum. And then there is a research role, or an international profile role, which is often occupied by individuals who are not primary carers, mostly men. This is a subtle but very distinct division of how careers progress within the academy.
Most important female relationship in my life is… a contemporary dance wear designer called Mihoko Tanabe. I worked for her when I was in my mid-twenties in Tokyo. She had been a prima ballerina and had divorced her husband. She was a single mother and only hired women over the age of twenty five as in Japan there is a saying that “after the 25th you expire”. You become known as “Christmas Cake”. So she hired many women who were retired dancers and she ran an incredibly successful company in Tokyo. She was passionate about what she did as an entrepreneur and equally passionate about enabling other women.

Read more about International Women’s Day and more empowering quotes about “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” on the UN website

Read UAL’s Buzzfeed post 5 Powerful Images by Female Graphic Designers 

Read Max Mara Art Prize for Women winner Emma Hart’s full interview

Meet: Zelia Vanderpuije

Zelia Vanderpuije studied BA (Hons) Womenswear Technology at London College of Fashion.  After graduating, she moved to Ghana where she set up her own label, Zelia Vanderpuije. Take a look at some of her beautiful designs, which she will be showcasing at the upcoming Ghana Fashion Week.

Zelia Vanderpuije

Zelia Vanderpuije

What made you want to study at the London College of Fashion? 

I completed my A-Levels at Priors Field School, which is what I did just before applying for a Foundation Design course at LCF. I have known about LCF for as long as I can remember. I read about the college online and I said to myself, “I have to study there”.  And so I was really grateful to be accepted on to the BA (Hons) Womenswear Technology Course. 


From Zelia's debut SS16 collection

From Zelia’s debut SS16 collection

Tell us about launching your own line 

Life after graduating was slightly daunting, because real life started. I decided to go straight into researching on self-employment and starting my own clothing line business, rather than looking for work.

I decided to set up my own label – Zelia Vanderpuije. The label focuses on ready–to-wear drapery, asymmetry and tailoring, for women of all shapes and sizes. My inspiration for my recent spring summer 2016 collection can from the movement of people and objects. I was intrigued by the captions of photographs taken in slow motion of people dancing, walking or even sitting. The excessive draping and flowing of fabrics was a symbol of movement. I also looked into cubism, and liked the abstract feel of design and technique. The colour scheme for the collection mainly came from being inspired by cubism.


I also decided to come back home to Ghana, Accra, to see what life was like here, as well as check out the fashion scene. I always thought I would come back to Africa, but I just did not know exactly when. Launching the label earlier this year in January was full of mixed emotions. There was so much involved in making sure I delivered exactly what I wanted to portray through my garments and my labels aesthetics. Organizing my own fashion show to launch my debut collection was definitely a dream come true. I was amazed by the crowd who came to support my work.

I am currently selling my clothing online at I am looking into providing some stock to already established boutiques here in Ghana and eventually in the UK. Once I have established myself further down the line, I will then look into opening a store of my own, possibly first here in Ghana.


Will you be involved in Accra fashion week?

I am currently in the process of creating my AW16 collection which will hopefully be shown at Accra Fashion Week this October 2016.  Accra Fashion Week is launching this year, so it will be the first one ever. It is opened to designers across the world, emerging and established designers.


What are you plans for the future? 

I am always thinking of the future and how I can improve as a designer as well as improving as a brand. Having my garments sold in different stores nationally and internationally, taking part in fashion weeks worldwide and having a bigger studio and showroom are just a few of my many plans. Who knows what the future holds? All I can say is, stay tuned, and keep your eyes forever peeled for Zelia Vanderpuije the label!

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