Acclaimed composer Denis Smalley’s 70th Birthday Celebration with new commission from the School of Music & Fine Art

Denis Smalley


The world premiere of Denis Smalley’s newly commissioned work by the School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent, celebrating his 70th birthday, will take place in The Colyer-Fergusson in Canterbury on Saturday 21 May 2016 at 6pm. Professor Denis Smalley is one of the world’s leading acousmatic composers and a scholar and pioneer of electroacoustic music. His works have been widely acclaimed, winning a number of international awards. He has made original contributions to thinking about sound, in particular with his investigations into listener’s perception and the notion of spectromorphology. In 2013 he became Honorary Professor at the University of Kent.

Professor Simon Emmerson, who worked closely with Denis Smalley, will give a pre-concert talk on the continuing influence of music and theories developed by Smalley; the session will include a QA with both composers and will be broadcast on Resonance FM. The talk and discussion is for anyone who is interested in listening strategies, perception, reception and the sound world in general – not only music. Simon Emmerson is one of the leading figures in the broad area of electroacoustic music and has published and edited seminal books and articles on live electronics. The event is kindly funded by the Sound-Image-Space Research Centre.

There will be a pre-concert talk at 4:30pm, and the concert starts at 6pm.

The Elective Collective Community Project by Event & Experience Design student

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Charlotte Harding , Photo by Chien-Yi Yang


Charlotte Harding, a 3rd Year student on the BA Event & Experience Design in the School of Music & Fine Art, sees the culmination of her innovative project for the Medway Student Scholarship in an exhibition at the Nucleus Arts Gallery in Chatham.  The project The Elective Collective included workshops with a number of clients of Caring Hands in the Community to create personalised artwork that intends to inspire people and promote the use of art in the community.

Caring Hands in the Community, located at the heart of Chatham town centre is a resource for housing, job searches, counselling and rehabilitation help for those in the chains of addiction.

Says EED Lecturer Peter Hatton: “Charlotte devised an inspirational participatory project to work with homeless adults at the Caring Hands Centre. She had a small team of her peers on the course to support her alongside staff at the centre in running a series of activities including mask making and photography. Her intention was raise awareness of homelessness and to increase the visibility of the homeless through their artwork. The mask making was a form of self-portraiture, an expression of individual identity. Participants in the workshop were then given a disposable camera to document their environment outside of the centre. Nucleus Arts have contributed to the project by giving the participants the exciting opportunity to exhibit this accumulative personal narrative in the gallery. This public facing exhibition will be both a celebration of the participants and their stories and the awareness-raising element of the project. The skills Charlotte has developed while studying Event & Experience Design have certainly played an important part in Charlotte delivering this ambitious and successful project but an equally important part has been the cooperation and support of all the individuals and organisations that have worked together and have wanted this project to happen. So a big thank you to the participants, Ricky at Caring Hands, Natasha at Nucleus Arts and Jack MacDonell, the Scholarship Officer.”


The exhibition will run from 10-16 March, with the preview on Fri 11 March from 2-4pm.

For more info go to:   and

Whitstable Biennale Artist Walks 2016

Artist Walks Ruth Ewan

A collaborative project with the School of Music and Fine Art and the 2016 Whitstable Biennale has produced an innovative series of Four Artist Walks, which aim to test the proposition that a walking journey with an artist could be as valuable as hearing them address a lecture theatre, and that sharing a range of sights and sounds could reveal something that slides and video clips do not.

Information about the artists and the politics, history and imaginative potential of the landscape being walked through will be disseminated before/after in a document in order to keep the walk itself as ‘present’ as possible.  Walkers will be invited to mix and mingle during the walks, with an emphasis on informal conversation. Midway through the walks, students will present a set of questions to the artists which later will be collated, with the artists’ responses, in the Whitstable Biennale’s online journal.

Each route will culminate at a point along the Medway estuary or river Swale, forming a string of reference points between which the connections between the walks can be contemplated.

Walk 2, on Saturday 27th February, 10:15am—1pm approx, with Ruth Ewan, will take in Kingsferry Bridge, Iwade, Ridham Dock and the strange “elephants’ graveyard” of decaying Thames barges in the mouth of the Medway. The walk will start and end at Swale Station. An artist’s pamphlet will be provided to each walker.


Places on the walks (priced at £5 per person:  All participants will receive an artist’s pamphlet from Ruth Ewan) are limited and can be booked, on a first come, first served basis, here via

Notes for walkers:

The walks will be largely off-road. Participants are recommended to wear waterproof walking boots and warm outdoor clothing. Please also note that access to drinking water and toilet facilities will be limited.

For further information:

Facebook event –

The next walk will be on 21st March with Mike Nelson, and the final walk on 9th April with Brian Dillon. For further details go to


Artist Walks is a collaborative project organised by the School of Music and Fine Art in the University of Kent in partnership with Whitstable Biennale and supported by Kent County Council, taking place between Chatham and Faversham.

Artist John Russell visits The School of Music & Fine Art

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Untitled (Abstraction of Labour Time/ External Recurrence/Monad), 2010. John Russell


On Tuesday 23rd February at 6.15pm in the stunning setting of the recently refurbished Royal Dockyard Church in the atmospheric Historic Dockyard Chatham, acclaimed artist John Russell will give a free talk about his work.

Formerly a member (and founder) of the subversive London art collective BANK (whose antics included faxing galleries “corrected” versions of their own press releases back to them), artist Russell has continued to make art on his own which likewise casts a gimlet eye on the doings of the art world and culture at large. The centrepiece of his recent NY exhibition consists of a video made up of animated gif files that tell the story of a near future, where humans have learned to extend life by downloading consciousness into the brains of small animals. A tale of technological transformation, SQRRL is also a chilling allegory for our own time.

Recent solo shows include “SQRRL” Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York, 2016,  Jexus, MOTINTERNATIONAL Brussels 2012; Angel of History: I can see for miles, Focal Point Gallery Southend 2011; and Ocean Pose, Matts Gallery London.

Editor of Frozen Tears, Russell is Professor in Fine Art at the University of Reading and is Director of Research for Art.  His research interests are: “Affect. Affirmation. Figurality. Event. Art/politics. Art/philosophy. Art/language. Class. Performativity. Fiction/fictioning. Visualisation. Digital media. Philosophy. Bad philosophy. Printed matter. Staging”


Although the talk is free and everyone is welcome, please book via:

Links for more info:

University of Kent Students perform Beatles’ Abbey Road as a concert work

‘High Lows’ Photo by Stacey Cooper


Students studying in the University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art will give a concert that explores some of the most prominent works of the twentieth century, all of which might be taken to straddle a pop/classic divide. The first half of the concert will feature two very different minimalist works: Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint for guitar ensemble and Gavin Bryars’ ‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’ for mixed ensemble and tape. The concert will close with the Beatles’ extraordinary B-Side of the album Abbey Road, a remarkable series of songs that develop, build and interrelate in a manner that appears symphonic in scope and intent.

To purchase tickets please use the links below:

The Royal Dockyard Church, Chatham on Wednesday 9th March at 7.30pm

Colyer-Fergusson Concert Hall, Canterbury on Friday 11th March at 7.30pm

Funding success for Wetlands Hub project from School of Music & Fine Art


Wetlands, a student group led by Nadia Perrotta, MA Fine Art, School of Music & Fine Art, has been awarded a grant of £5,000 from the University of Kent Student Projects Grant Scheme for their project Wetlands Hub, to build an archive of documentation and film works about the local maritime history and the wetland landscape. This is the second time that the group has been awarded funding to run the project!

This year the Panel was chaired by the Director of Student Services and assisted by core members including representatives from Kent Union, the three Faculties, the donor community and the Development Office. The Panel was very impressed with the application and decided to allocate the full grant (i.e. £5,000) applied for.

Said Nadia: “I feel privileged to have received the funding and I would like to thank the donors for their support. Wetlands Hub will consist of an archive of site specific, sound and video works made by the students of SMFA in Medway. The archive will be accessible online. Selections of works will be also showcased in a pop up exhibition space, in the town centre. We are a group of 24 Fine Art and Music students, but everyone across the School of Music & Fine Art will be able to submit works to the archive and be part of the events at the pop up art space.”


For more info on Wetlands go to:

Pioneering experimental filmmaker Tony Hill visits the School of Music & Fine Art on Wednesday 24th February

Tony Hill
Still image from ‘Holding The Viewer’ © Tony Hill


On 24th February at 6pm, artist and pioneering experimental filmmaker Tony Hill will be visiting the School of Music & Fine Art to talk about his film practice.  Organised and funded by 51zero/voyager – an ongoing series of events, projects and touring activities, organised by 51zero, that engages directly with the communities of Medway, Kent, Northern France and further afield – the celebrated filmmaker will present and discuss his pioneering films and groundbreaking filmmaking techniques. Internationally renowned, Hill makes experimental short films that are somewhere between sculpture and cinema. To create his visually challenging and timelessly beautiful imagery, he often develops his own camera rigs, ingeniously using mirrors and unusual lenses, and sometimes humorous vantage points to make us rethink our assumptions about perspective, gravity, scale and movement.

Born in London in 1946, Tony Hill studied Architecture and Sculpture and has been working as an independent film-maker since 1973, he also works with installations, photography and sound and has presented his work at many galleries and in film festivals worldwide. His award winning films have been broadcast on network television in many countries and published in the UK and Japan, with commercial work including directing music videos and TV commercials. He taught film and video from 1982 until 2002 at the University of Derby becoming Professor of Film and at Plymouth College of Art from 2004 until 2011.

The Artist Talk starts at 6.00pm and will explore Tony Hill’s unique film production techniques highlighting the formalistic qualities and contexts at play in his work, followed by a discussion with curator Keith Whittle exploring Hill’s aesthetic and conceptual approach and the research and production processes involved in the making of his films. The event closes with an informal opportunity to meet the artist from 8pm until 9pm.


The event is free but RSVP is required. To book go to

For more go to