The Best Of…. Art Competition

Introducing the new Ralph Steadman Art and Design Scholarship.

Artists from ages 8 to 80 are invited to enter a new art competition launched by the partnership of WOW Magazine (What’s On Where), Rochester Independent College and the University of Kent School of Music and Fine Art.

The competition theme is NOW, which is open to interpretation in any medium. The best entries will be exhibited in a public touring exhibition and in addition to the category prizes, one lucky winner will be the recipient of the first ever Ralph Steadman Scholarship to assist their ambition to become a professional artist as well as receive a day’s use of the cutting edge facilities of the University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art at ‘The Boiler House’.

World-renowned artist, illustrator and cartoonist Ralph Steadman is The Best Of… Art Competition’s head judge who will be joined by two professional artists of differing disciplines to assist with the final shortlist.

There are four categories for entry, based on age group and prizes will vary for each category.  The adult category winner (age 20+) will receive an original framed Ralph Steadman ‘Thought Sheet’. There will be further adult prizes of art materials vouchers.

Depending on the age group of the winner, the Scholarship will be comprised of either: A 2 year full Scholarship for A levels at the new art and design building at Rochester Independent College.
A bursary from Rochester Independent College of £2,000 per year for three years as financial support for the winning student to help fund their visual arts degree.

Closing date for the competition is 4pm on November 1st, 2013. Successful shortlisted entries will be advised November 25th and the winner and runners up will be advised during the week commencing November 25th.

For more information and competition rules and application form, please visit the Rochester Independent College The Best Of… Art Competition website.


Barbara Morris Prize benefits students in Skills Enhancement Week

Teaching Prize Success – winners of the Barbara Morris Prize for Learning Support 2013

The School would like to congratulate Dr Paul Fretwell, Director of Learning and Teaching and Employability and Events Coordinator, Ann Howe who are joint winners of the Barbara Morris Prize for Learning Support 2013, along with the Student Support Team at the School of Arts at Canterbury, for their dedication and input into the ‘Skills Enhancement Week’ in February, 2013.

The Skills Enhancement Week took place between Monday 18th and Friday 22nd February, which replaced ‘Reading Week’, provided an invigorated forum and a focussed few days of informative and inspirational events for students to be able to enhance their skills leading to improved employability.

Students were able to earn University ‘Employability Points’ by attending these events and prizes were on offer to the student who attended the most sessions and the event went on to lead to a number of student placements and internships with organisations such as Microsoft Computer Games, Zealous, Earcom Ltd and other work experience opportunities.

The team were dedicated to securing an array of industry-recognised guest speakers who provided lively talks, along with a week’s schedule of mixed study skills and employability-related workshops.  Activities such as workshops on self-employment, entrepreneurship, developing partnerships and networking spanned the five days and there were personal and professional development workshops too, where students could learn about how to build and develop their online presence and how to ‘market’ themselves, hone their CV writing skills and learn about the Year Abroad possibilities.

The judging panel were impressed with the team’s employment-focussed student support, as the Skills Enhancement Week clearly enriched the student’s experiences and provided a model which could be emulated across other the other Schools. It was also deemed an excellent example of external engagement, benefiting both students and the University through collaboration.

‘The week proved to be a great success and was even opened up to other University students to attend’ said prize winner Ann Howe. ‘It provided a great opportunity for career networking for students with external industry employers and gave students a chance to think holistically about their education, develop an awareness of skills needed for future employment and to actively build their own employability’

The Barbara Morris Prize of £5,000 is awarded annually for outstanding work in the area of learning support. The University encourages applications from all staff in the University, including those who work with or for students in a teaching, non-teaching or support role.

Prizes will be awarded by the Vice-Chancellor at a dedicated lunchtime ceremony on Thursday 3rd October in Darwin Conference Suite at the Canterbury campus.

Read more about the Teaching Prizes

Exciting and Innovative opportunity for students and staff at Hack The Barbican

A sensational new collaborative project called Hack the Barbican will be taking place at The Barbican Centre, London which includes a project run by Music Lecturers Kate and Duncan.

School of Music and Fine Art Lecturers Kate Halsall and Duncan MacLeod are running a project alongside some of the School’s students called Galvanize, as part of the Hack the Barbican Festival, held at the Barbican Centre, London between August 19 -23.

This exciting opportunity is London’s biggest ever experiment in cross-disciplinary collaboration and will take part over 4 weeks at the world-renowned Barbican Centre in London during August.  Set to explore new boundaries where nothing is off-limits bringing together around 200 artists, technologies and entrepreneurs in around 100 different projects. School of Music and Fine Arts project will take place for one week during August.

“For our contribution during Hack the Barbican, we are creating a series of small performances, installations and showcases for our project, incorporating lots of existing School of Music and Fine Art student work, reflecting the Historic Dockyard and we will be transporting these sounds and images to the centre of the City” says Kate Halsall, Music lecturer at the School. “We have student participants from the School of Music and Fine Art who are contributing to the collaboration into a thrilling showcase as a ‘performance’ of sounds and objects”

 Students are encouraged to flex their collaborative creativity where there are no boundaries and all mediums, including a cross-disciplinary projects are considered, including painting, sculpture, film, video, photography, installation or music and sound and this may involve running projections, recitals, short films or audio or even involve spontaneous developing hacks with other Hackers over the week.

There is still chance for students to take part and get involved, so please contact Kate Halsall by Friday 5th August on

Further information on the festival can be found online at – http://hackthebarbican.orghtb_logo_orange_200px1

Nomination for best newcomer in Medway student magazine

‘Best newcomer’ nomination for School of Music and Fine Art student Milli Midwood in The Medwire for her fashion blogging.

Amelia Midwood has recently been nominated ‘best newcomer’ for her fashion blog and writing in a publication dedicated for students living and studying in Medway, Kent.

Milli Midwood, student of Fine Art at the School of Music and Fine Art is head of fashion for the publication, has writing over 11 fashion posts and blogs in the past 5 months and has a comprehensive double-page spread in the June-August free issue.

The Medwire launched in 2010, provides online news and entertainment for students at universities with Medway campuses, so students of the University of Kent, University of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church. Aimed at providing students with quality local and campus news, politics, sports, entertainment, nightlife, as well as a 24-hour update on events and activities on and around campus.  Additionally, the Medwire magazine is printed twice a term to supplement the online site which offers more light-hearted articles and focus on fashion, gossip, and student antics.

Read about Mili’s blogs >

The Medwire Magazine >

Milli_Midwood_Nomination the Medwire



Music students end the year in style

School of Music and Fine Art students gave their end-of-year performances in great style.

We would like to congratulate students for their End-of-Year Performance held in the University of Kent’s Colyer Fergusson Hall in Canterbury campus in May.  More than 20 students studying for BMus degrees in Music and Popular Music at the School of Music and Fine Art’s Medway campus, gave performances ranging from Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke to Hungarian Folksongs, no 127 (Bartok), The Pink Panther (Mancini) and students’ own compositions.

The performances were introduced to an audience of staff and students by Duncan MacLeod, Lecturer in Music and Audio Arts, who said: ‘It’s a great opportunity for our students to perform for the first time in these professional surroundings.’

Student performers included: Emma Burton, Lindsay Edmondson, Andrew Flintoff, Tom Graves, Liam Greene, Philippa Hardiman, Jake Heath, Ray Lawrence, Sharon Siew Yee Li, Gareth Mangion, Sam Miri, Amy Morgan, Fay Nastou, Ricco Osobu, Rhian Powell, Dave Rondeau, Dom Scialo, Tsang Yau Violet Yung, Alfie Walke-Pawsey, Luka Wrobel.

Performance module convenor and ensemble coaches were Lisa Davies, Kate Halsall and Duncan MacLeod.

Colyer-Fergusson Music Recitals May 2013
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Music Student features as ‘Scholarship Spotlight’

Music student Philippa Hardimann features as ‘Music Matters’ Scholarship Spotlight.

Continuing a series profiling some of this year’s Music Scholars, the Music Matters website features soprano Philippa Hardimann, 2nd year music student at The School of Music and Fine Art shares her childhood musical journey and how her passion for music lead her to study here at the University of Kent.

“From a young age it was apparent that I had a particular flare for music, to which my parents invested much time helping me explore various creative avenues. Commencing my musical journey, at Brentwood Pre-Preparatory School I was encouraged to take up piano classes. With a growing interest in musicianship I then went on to play the ‘cello, which opened the door to a spectrum of new and challenging possibilities.”

Read more about Phillippa on Music Matters >
philippa_hardimann_scholarship spotlight music matters

Outstanding Contributions to University Music

‘Jack revolutionised the musical life of the Medway Campus’ by raising the profile of music at Medway.

At this time of the year as the academic year draws to a close, the University takes the opportunity to recognise the contributions to its musical life from a few outstanding students. At a ceremony on Friday 5th July, Music student Jack McDonnell was among the five students were awarded prizes in honour of their efforts.

The University Music Awards Committee Prize was given to a student who has made a special contribution to music at Kent, was awarded to the indefatiguable Jack McDonnell. In his final year studying Music Technology, it’s no exaggeration to say that Jack has revolutionised the musical life of the Medway campus, in his role as this year’s President of the Medway Music Society and Secretary last year, including setting up regular performing nights at Coopers (the campus bar), organising events, arranging deals for music students with shops in the town, and generally raising the profile of music at Medway.

The Music Awards Committee has a difficult decision to make each year, a task made almost impossible in the face of the large numbers of students who participate regularly, and with such vibrant enthusiasm, in all the music-making that goes on at the University.  The Music Awards Committee is a chance to pay especial tribute to a few who have made a significant impact through their involvement in the musical life of the University, and our thanks and congratulations to them.

Read the full article >>


Jack Mcdonnell, Steph Richardson, Kathryn Redgers and Aisha Bové with Professor Keith Mander, the Hon Jonathan Monckton and Kerry Barber of Canterbury Festival.

Vice Chancellor 2013 Prize goes to Fine Art student for her collaborative work

MA Fine Art student gets awarded the University’s highly reputable ‘Vice Chancellor Prize’ for her performance-meets-fine art working practice.

The Vice Chancellor 2013 Prize for Fine Art has been awarded to The School of Music and Fine Art’s postgraduate student Natasha Pocock who successfully completed her MA in Fine Art for her collaborative performance and Fine Art based degree show work, showcased at the School’s Degree Show held at the Historic Dockyard Chatham in May.

Pocock’s piece was a working practice that explored issues of identity and passage of time through textiles, sculpture and performance with a focus on Dockyard-specific history. Her work was articulated through the process of garment construction, where the manipulation of materials and non-material realities were forged together to form a sense of place and presence. Through conducting a force of energy through integral threading, interweaving and vocal dialogue, thinking in an established rhythm to problem solving and problem-finding, Pocock  literally ‘took matters into her own hands’, with the fusion of materials, process and techniques.

The site-specific industrial and historical male dominance of naval presence brought a nostalgic reference to notions of resilience, determination, devotion, loss and separation as Pocock utilised the illusion of performances in life and highlighted the fragility of memory. The work also reflected the imprisonment to duty and working with closed fixed systems of craft production. The Craftsperson battling from being ‘swallowed’ by the  machine, through continuous strokes by attaching the power of manipulation to established systems, thus  showing the Master Craftsperson is instinctively a crafter in all that can be manipulated and working with resistance being the key to survival.

As part of the Vice Chancellor Prize, Natasha Pocock will be asked to replicate the ethos behind the works in a new piece for display, based on her degree show work at the University of Kent, we look forward to seeing her new piece.