Archive for the ‘University of the Arts London’ category

Brit Week 2015

London Transplants Exhibition

The West Coast Alumni Association are launching their Exhibition entitled London Transplants, which will run as a part of Brit Week 2015, from April 21 – May 3 at WallSpace LA, 607 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles.

The show, which runs from April 21-May 3, 2015, will be a unique offering from UAL alumni – transplants from England and Europe who work in diverse fields, including the fashion and textile industries, contemporary art, film and animation, product and graphic design and have made Los Angeles their home.

On the surface, LA and London seem to have little in common outside a shared language, and those moving to the city can experience a culture shock. Leaving Europe behind, the London Transplants swapped rain for sun, public transport for freeways and cars, and history for Manifest Destiny. London Transplants 2015 will showcase artists who have been in LA for decades and those who have recently arrived to these sunny shores. What is true for all the artists is that the move to LA has encouraged an evolution, even a revolution, in the creation of their work.

It is well know that artists such as David Hockney blazed a trail for ex-pats who, like him, moved west to experience the light, the openness, the newness and the nowness of Southern California. Freed from the traditions and institutions of older cities and artistic tradition, the “blue-sky” creative climate in LA and its continually developing art scene have allowed for a fresh perspective for expat artists. In presenting London Transplants 2015, Wallspace offers a continuation of this legacy and an exciting look at these artists’ journey in this electrifying city.


West Coast UAl Alumni Association

The Mongolia Project!

The Mongolian Project

Anna-Louise Hale, Fine Art BA (Hons), Central Saint Martins; Byam Shaw is director of The Mongolia Project! Since graduating she has continued to create work as a freelance artist in set design, predominantly as Lead Set Designer with RIFT Theatre Company on their overnight adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in Poplar 2014 – however her heart still lies with contemporary art.  After a two month adventure alone to Mongolia in 2012, the Mongolia Project was born, in order to say thank you to the talented artists she met on her way.

The Mongolia Project will be the first non-commercial contemporary art exhibition in the UK for Mongolian and international artists inspired by the country. The exhibition and events will be held in conjunction with ART HUB Gallery in October 2015 and as part of the Deptford X Art Festival in September 2015. After two years of organisation, they now need your help on Kickstarter to raise £5000!

Anna is supported by a team and group of ten artists, who invite you to explore modern Mongolia, its history, and the challenges it faces through visual, auditory and kinaesthetic means; talks, activities and participation. There are three main aspects of the project, the exhibition, events and a trip that Anna and a colleague will take later this year to Mongolia in order to work with the University of Art and Culture in Ulaanbaatar.

You can help them by donating here

For information you can visit the website or contact them at



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.

Artsmart 2015

Artsmart 2015: Save the date!

Artsmart, UAL’s summer employability festival for creative graduates, will return for its fifth year on Thursday 9 July 2015 at London College of Communication.

Artsmart 2015 will include practical and inspirational talks, portfolio masterclasses, one-to-one support, employment opportunities and industry networking to provide our graduating students with the skills, knowoledge and motivations to get ahead in their chosen career as a professional creative, whether employed or self-employed.

Find out more at

Artsmart 2015

Artsmart 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

Meet Angie Stimson

Angie Stimson
Central Saint Martins, BA (Hons) Fine Art and Film

What tempted you into studying Fine Art and Film at CSM?
It was always my goal to go to art school and I knew that art school had to be CSM. With it’s reputation, highest calibre of teaching, and tradition, I would have felt I’d compromised myself if I had gone anywhere else, it was CSM or nowhere.

What was the best thing about your time at CSM?
The best thing about CSM was that on my Foundation year we were given the freedom and encouragement to try so many different mediums that previously I had had no access to. I had originally gone in determined to pursue Fashion for my degree. However as soon as entered the film department I’d felt like I’d come home. It would never have been a medium I would ever had considered had it not been a part of the extensive Foundation year curriculum.

What did you do straight after graduation?
Immediately after graduation I formed a small feminist production company called Siren Productions, funded by Westminster Arts Council. From there I began to teach video editing at Battersea Arts Centre.

What made you up sticks to the US?
I came out to LA with my husband, He was an animator working in the UK. When Dreamworks was formed he was asked by them to relocate out here.  I was living in North West London at the time, the view from my window was the gasworks. Came to LA, looked out the window, the view was the Hollywood sign, I was smitten, there was no going back.

What advice would you give any of our students and graduates interested in making a life for themselves on the US West Coast?
I would encourage anyone coming here to know that the opportunities here are boundless. Even here, CSM has an awesome reputation. When people know that you are an alum, you are immediately ahead of the game, that, coupled with an English accent and you can’t go wrong!

What do you love most about living in LA?
I found that the US and particularly here in LA , people have the most amazing, brilliant, positive attitude to helping you achieve anything you want to achieve. I wish I had known earlier in life that you really can do anything you set your mind to. If you have an idea for a project, people will immediately say, “what do you need, how can I help?”  It took me awhile to overcome my initial British reticence, When I finally did, the whole world opened up.  LA is lighter, brighter and with no crushing cynical attitudes to success. I’m unbearable when I visit the UK, way too jolly and annoyingly chipper!

You play a massive part in helping us bring our LA alumni community together, (for which we are eternally grateful) what made you get involved?
I came across the UAL West Coast Alumni Association completely by accident. I went to first meeting and loved it. By far the best thing was the diversity. There were members who had been at art school in the 50’s up to people who only just left a couple of years ago. We put on our first exhibition in 2013, and it was a huge success. We all worked so well as a cohesive group and now have found each other it would have been a shame not to carry on. Adopting my new LA personae of ‘you can do anything you set your mind to’, and because I’m a bossy boots, I suggested from now on we put on a yearly show during Britweek. It was by sheer serendipity that I was introduced to a fellow Brit, Valda Lake, who owns WallspaceLA gallery, and who had been wanting to participate in Britweek. We were looking for a gallery, she was looking for artists, perfect, match made in heaven. It was meant to be.

How do you think our graduates will benefit from having access to such a strong alumni community?
Any graduates who move our here will immediately have a strong support network. It can be a bit overwhelming when first moving out here. Everything is so spread out, it can be difficult to get your bearings. There is no centre to LA. But having the fellow alumni here, and because we all work in different mediums means we have a vast network of contacts you set people in the right direction.

Tell us more about the group’s plans around Brit Week.
We have an Alumni exhibition featuring 20 artists running from the 21st of April till 4th of May. We’ve renamed our group London Transplants. Hopefully we will now have yearly exhibitions.

This exhibitions theme is showing how our work has changed or progressed by our moving to a different cultural and geographical environment. How has that impacted the content of our work, if at all. It’s a continuation on the theme from the last exhibition, where we showed a current piece of work alongside a piece we had produced while at UAL. The contrast in the pieces shown in that exhibition was quite striking.

We are all incredibly excited about it, everyone is working so hard to make is as successful as the 2013 exhibit. It’s going to be brilliant!


Meet Monica Reyes: The New Colombia UAL Alumni Group Co-ordinator

Monica Reyes is the co-ordinator of the brand new UAL alumni group in Colombia. The group will meet up regularly for networking and sharing creative ideas and opportunities.  She wants you to get in touch with her if you want to get involved…

Monica Reyes

Monica Reyes

Did you enjoy your time at London College of Communication?
Absolutely! I studied MA Publishing which gave me an excellent foundation in this industry and opened many doors for me. While completing my MA I was selected for great work placements, one at Penguin and another at Phaidon Press, the most important art publisher.

During the course I enjoyed working with my classmates on a project where I designed and commissioned artwork for a poetry book that was illustrated by Colombian illustrators, and which was later shortlisted for the British Design and Production awards in the student category. I was also able to research and write my dissertation on a topic I cared about, meeting a lot of important people within the field along the way.


What have you been doing since graduating?
I moved back to Colombia and took an in-house role as a designer for Editorial Planeta, a leading publisher in Spain and Latin America. After a while, I decided to get off the hamster-wheel of work and set off once again to travel the globe. I lived in Shanghai where I joined Island6, an art collective of tech-geeks and creative talents, and worked on a creative platform space as a curator and cultural event planner.

Since I graduated I have also been working as a freelance book cover designer. You can find my website here.


What made you want to set up a group in Bogota? What do you want to achieve from it?
While I was in Shanghai, I was a part of the alumni group there.  It was very helpful to have a space to connect with other UAL professionals as it is great to share ideas, job opportunities and events related to art and design.

I also used to organise events related to the creative fields, and that made me appreciate the importance of networking. I moved back to Bogotá two weeks ago and as there is no alumni group here… I love helping other people and networking is a fantastic way to do this, so I decided to set one up.  There are always lots of opportunities that arise – joint ventures, partnerships, connections, exchanges of advice, exciting things to do, plus, I think it is important to surround yourself with like-minded people that help you to grow. And (of course!) many friendships tend to form as a result!

I hope to get in contact with as many people who want to be part of the Colombian UAL alumni group, to build a community through social media channels and to organise networking events.

You can get in touch with the the new UAL Colombia group by liking them on Facebook or emailing them

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.”

Meet Paula & Adriana: The New UAL Alumni Group in Sweden

Meet Paula & Adriana who are setting up the new Swedish alumni group. Read more about their journey from UAL to Stockholm, and how they want YOU to get involved in this new and exciting group…

Adriana & Paula

Adriana & Paula

What did you both study? & did you enjoy your time at UAL?
Paula studied MA Fashion Photography at London College of Fashion and Adriana studied the Certificate in Digital Surface Design at London College of Communication.

We both had an amazing time, even if completely different experiences.

Paula moved from Caracas to London for the course. Everything was new and exciting, so “fun” and “scary” are good descriptions of those first days in UAL. The university provided a lot of support, so the transition into a happy Londoner was faster and smoother than she had expected.  And having classes in different campuses turned out to be an amazing way to get to know London better as a city.

Adriana on the other hand, had been living and working in Surrey for a while. After a couple of years working in graphic design, she found herself in a bit of a creative rut – taking the course meant meeting some amazing and very inspirational people, finding a new direction for her creative life and finally understanding the true awesomeness of London.


How did you meet? Tell us about how you came to set up a studio together?
Their’s is a bit of a random story: after finishing her Surface Design course and moving to Madrid, Adriana set up a little ceramic label. A few years later Paula contacted her, wanting to buy some beer mugs that were sold out on the website. By then Adriana already lived in Stockholm but was travelling home to Barcelona a few days after; coincidentally Paula lived in Barcelona at that point, so they arranged to meet to make the transaction. They ended up having coffee and talking for the most part of an afternoon. And that was that – until more than a year after, when as life would have it, Paula moved to Stockholm as well. They got back in contact and the second coffee meant the beginning of a great friendship and now business partnership.

Last April they launched Nothing Can Go Wrng, a colourful Print + Pattern Design Studio. With Paula’s background in Fashion and Adriana’s past in the interiors market it was the perfect fit. They create photographic and illustrated repeats, both commissioned and ready-made, always colourful, upbeat and fun. They also run the blog Repeattt on design and creative life in Stockholm.


What made you want to set up an alumni group in Sweden? & what do you hope to achieve from it?
“After always sighing at the lack of an alumni group here in Stockholm, we decided it was time to change that. The Swedish creative industry, even if buoyant and prolific it can be daunting and very tight knit, especially for those who are new to the country or have spent a significant time overseas. So with the group we would like to establish a creative and supportive network of likeminded people to meet with, get inspired, share memories, seek advice and most of all have fun! We are talking after-work drinks, master-classes, critique groups, collective exhibitions and any other creative input or outlet possible, you name it!

Right now we would like to bring together a core team interested in setting up the group, with the aim of having our first event in May. We are based in Stockholm, but anyone keen on helping will be welcomed! Just send us an email at or reach us via the Facebook page.”