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PhD researcher talks about her current show at Standpoint Gallery

02_idit-nathan  01_idit-nathan

The exhibition FOOTNOTES PLAYING DEAD is Idit Elia Nathan’s (PhD candidate at CSM ) first solo show. It opened at Standpoint Gallery in London on the 15th January and will run till 14th Feb 2015.


Footnotes Playing Dead is the culmination of 5 years of practice-based research titled Art of Play in Zones of Conflict, which explores the intersections between the seemingly unrelated phenomenons of play and conflict.

The exhibition title takes its cue from the opening lines of Günter Grass’ famously controversial poem What Must Be Said, which considers personal and collective responsibilities in times of adversity and interminable conflict. The title also reflects on children’s games and certain theatrical demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza as well as more recently here in London, where people pretend to be dead in order to highlight the way in which children and innocent civilians are targeted by one of the most powerful armies in the world.

Tell us about the work you are showing in Footnotes Playing Dead and why did you choose this work?

The artworks are all playful and interactive because I wanted to create participatory experiences in which the viewers are invited to “play with” and explore for themselves the complexities of conflicts, which as stated by Artist Simon Leung

‘…even if we do not live under the direct threat of war’s violence, we understand ourselves in relationship to the state-sanctioned killing of others, elsewhere, in our time, and at times in our name’.

I included three projects which are central to my research and which I wanted to concentrate in one space. For example Seven Walks in a Holy City which explores Jerusalem, the city I grew up and left more than twenty years ago is explored through walks of varying length, thematic foci and staring points, all determined by cards and dice. Following the walks I produced seven series of postcards, which are on display and available for purchase. Another project called Hegemonopoly/Machsompoly is an adaptation of the classic monopoly game to reflect on the landscape of Israel Palestine with its wealth of settlements as well as checkpoints and where freedom of movement and restrictions on it are not equal to all, as those playing in the gallery soon find out. In Painting the City Golden or a Leaf from Tansy’s Book the gallery visitors are invited to ‘colour in’ their own version of one of the city’s most iconic tourist sites.

There are other games such as a triptych of HAND MADE MEMORY GAMES where all the cards are made out of black and white photos from different parts of the world as well as from a variety of historical times with subject matters ranging from Aerial Bombs in the first to Checkpoints and Refugees inthe second and third, making it tricky to win. And there is my first inkjet print Invisible Cities Series, No. 1 and my first artists book Please watch ur head, published with marmalade publishers of visual culture so its a very varied show.

It has been particularly interesting to get all the artworks of recent years into one space and it was great to site the work at Standpoint gallery, with its intimate and evocative features such as the lift with its heavy metal mesh doors. The opening event included a raffle of postcard paintings which will be sent out to the winners once the show comes down. So far I have had some excellent feedback and with two discussion events planned it promises to be a busy and interesting month for me.

Why did you choose CSM for your PhD studies, and how did you find the experience? (how has studying for a PhD developed your work)

When I started considering the possibility of embarking on a research project to contextuaise work that was loosely tied together a friend pointed me in the direction of my now supervisors Pam Skelton and Professor Anne Tallantire. I knew and admired their work and was delsighted when they offered me a place. They were then joined by Caterina Albano and I now have an amazing team of supervisors, each contributing from their own perspective so its proved to be a very rich experience so far. There is no doubt that the research has impacted positively on the work I have made in ways that I am still in the process of reflecting on and I hope will be articulated in the thesis itself. It seems to have made me more reflective and I’d like to think a better writer too. In terms of the work produced I think it has benefited from the contextual research and hopefully become richer and more rigorous.

How do you juggle being a PhD student and practitioner?

It is a challenge and I have given up on trying to find the perfect balance – it just doesn’t exist. Some weeks/months are dedicated to making work and others to writing and the work juggling is the right one in this context. I make work, sometime relating to the thesis, at others less so and then it feels like I will never manage to write about it or get back the thesis and then it can be quite the opposite – making the work – means that some of the thoughts fall much more easily onto the page and find their way into the thesis. As fluxus’ score says ‘you never quite know.’

For further information:


Animation Alumna Makes Oscar Shortlist

Daisy Jacobs making 'The Bigger Picture'

Daisy Jacobs making ‘The Bigger Picture’

Daisy Jacobs, who graduated from our MA Character Animation course in 2011, is in the running for an Oscar. Her film, The Bigger Picture, is one of ten to make the Oscar animation shortlist.

The Bigger Picture is a stop-motion short about two brothers struggling to care for their elderly mother. To create the animation, Daisy painted life-size characters that move around the walls of full-sized sets and interact with real objects.

Daisy has already received multiple awards for The Bigger Picture and her previous film Don Justino de Neve, which she made while studying at Central Saint Martins. She is the second graduate from our MA Character Animation course to make the Oscar shortlist, with Martin Clapp nominated in 2012 for his film The Magic Piano.

Birgitta Hosea, MA Character Animation Course Director, says: “Daisy has a very well-developed graphic style and she has produced a fantastic film with an original use of stop motion. Her Oscar nomination is very well deserved and we wish her all the best!”

'The Bigger Picture' by Daisy Jacobs 'The Bigger Picture' by Daisy Jacobs 'The Bigger Picture' by Daisy Jacobs

More information:
- MA Character Animation

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Bastille Perform Drive Track in Platform Theatre

Band Bastille recently performed their track from Radio One’s rescore of the Drive soundtrack at Platform Theatre.

Above you can see the video of their show.

More information:
Platform Theatre

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Six Alumni Selected for Fashion Trust Line-Up

Emilia Wickstead SS15, backstage (© Daniel Sims, British Fashion Council)

Emilia Wickstead SS15, backstage (© Daniel Sims, British Fashion Council)

Of the eight designers chosen for the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Trust initiative — which each year offers mentoring and financial awards for developing businesses — the vast majority studied at Central Saint Martins.

Our alumni Emilia Wickstead, Mary Katrantzou, Michael van der Ham, Osman, Todd Lynn, and Richard Nicoll have all been selected for the honour.

Emilia Wickstead SS15 (© Shaun James Cox, British Fashion Council) Mary Katrantzou SS15 (© Shaun James Cox, British Fashion Council) Michael van der Ham SS15, backstage (© Kensington Leverne, British Fashion Council) Osman SS15, backstage (© Daniel Sims, British Fashion Council) Richard Nicoll SS15 (© Christopher James, British Fashion Council) Richard Nicoll SS15 (© Christopher James, British Fashion Council)

The eight chosen brands will share grants amounting to £215,000. They will also receive mentoring support, covering topics such as copyright and IP law, trend forecasting, consumer insight and brand strategy.

Roksanda Ilincic, also a Central Saint Martins alumna, was previously selected by the trust. She said: “The support of the BFC Fashion Trust came at a crucial time for us. The platform they have created, with access to extremely influential people in the industry, is invaluable for growing British designers like myself.”

More information:
BA Fashion
MA Fashion

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Fashion Graduate Brings Bengal Dream to London

Bengal Dream by Rahemur Rahman (photo ©

Bengal Dream by Rahemur Rahman (photo ©

This month, menswear designer Rahemur Rahman is showing his graduate collection ‘Bengal Dream’ in Tower Hamlets — the same London borough where a community arts project first fired up his desire to study fashion.

Old photographs of his parents provided inspiration for Rahemur’s work, which draws heavily upon his Bangladeshi heritage. Dazed Digital describes the collection as “gossamer suiting for fantasy Far East business trips”.

To create his designs, Rahemur experimented with traditional weaving, knitting and screen printing techniques. The final fabrics were then produced in the village of Mirpur in Bangladesh. Rahemur wanted to show that the country can be a sustainable and ethical manufacturer of fabrics, despite disasters like Rana Plaza.

The collection is accessorised with bags, sunglasses and shoes, all made by Rahemur. He used spray paints to colour traditional shoes and soft leather bags in vibrant gold, pink and peach hues.

Bengal Dream by Rahemur Rahman (photo © Bengal Dream by Rahemur Rahman (photo © Bengal Dream by Rahemur Rahman (photo © Bengal Dream by Rahemur Rahman (photo ©

Passing on his knowledge
Rahemur gained his love of fashion and textiles through a project run by A-Team Arts, a youth organisation Central Saint Martins works with to help widen participation. He went on to study BA Fashion at the College and has interned with Louis Vuitton in Paris.

Throughout his time at Central Saint Martins, Rahemur was a student ambassador for our Widening Participation team. He continues to share his experience with children and young people who might not otherwise consider coming to the College, and will be running school workshops as part of his exhibition.

He notes: “Without Widening Participation I wouldn’t be the designer I am today, graduating from BA Fashion Menswear at Central Saint Martins. If it wasn’t for the constant support from Central Saint Martins Widening Participation staff, I don’t think I would’ve even made it to my final collection.”

You can catch Rahemur’s exhibition at the Brady Arts Centre until 30 November 2014.

Bengal Dream by Rahemur Rahman (photo © Bengal Dream by Rahemur Rahman (photo © Bengal Dream by Rahemur Rahman (photo © Bengal Dream by Rahemur Rahman (photo ©

More information:
- BA Fashion
- Widening Participation

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