Category Archives: Alumni

Fight, Flight or Freeze by EED graduate Elise Berdah featured by KMTV

Lily Dedman, Women’s Officer for Kent Union; Clara Lee, Kent Union Vice-president (Welfare); Elise Berdah; Luke Ellis, Vice-President (Welfare) for Students’ Union University of Greenwich (SUUG) and Niamh Baggesen- Cox, LGBT+ Students Officer for SUUG.


Fight, Flight or Freeze, a highly topical touring immersive and interactive installation from 2017 Event and Experience Design graduate Elise Berdah which raises awareness of sexual consent, has been featured by KMTV – See the interview here:


Originally presented in the Drill Hall Library during the Student Wellbeing Festival in May, it was recently commissioned by Clara Lee, Vice President (Welfare) of Kent Union to be presented again in the Student Hub at Medway and Canterbury during November and December.  It may tour to other Universities and Colleges.

For images and videos, go to

EED graduate Elise Berdah commissioned by Kent Union to re-make her EED Independent Realised Project on raising awareness of sexual harassment

Fight, Flight or Freeze exhibition, 2017.


2017 Event and Experience Design graduate Elise Berdah from the School of Music and Fine Art has been commissioned by Clara Lee, Vice President (Welfare) of Kent Union to re-make her EED Independent Realised Project.

Fight, Flight or Freeze is a touring awareness raising experience of sexual harassment, particularly in the University environment – it was originally presented in the Drill Hall Library during the Student Wellbeing Festival last May. It will be presented again in the Student Hub at Medway from the 24th November – 4th December , and from 4th– 8th December in Canterbury. It may tour to other Universities and Colleges.

There are videos here:

SMFA is partner in international festival of moving image and digital art in Medway


The 51zero Festival takes as its theme Decreation: Establishing new coordinates, and runs from 27th October – 2nd November in Rochester and Chatham.

51zero, which takes its name from the geographical coordinates of Medway, focuses international collaboration, artistic production and exhibition of film, video and digital art. Working from within the region of Medway as the project’s base, 51zero partner with cultural organisations in the UK and overseas to commission, curate and present contemporary moving image work. The programme features contemporary artists and established musicians, alongside emerging practitioners and students from SMFA.

The festival opens on Friday 27th October with an eclectic evening of silent short films, animations and heritage moving-image, screened alongside live music performances at Rochester Cathedral.

Events continue at the Cathedral Crypt until Wednesday and Guildhall Museum presents exhibitions, installations, participatory performances and a strand curated by students of the University of Kent, until the following Thursday.

On Thursday 2nd November, a final showcase of films by emerging artists, as part of Open Projector, will be hosted by the University of Kent, as well as a final discussion forum, bringing together a mix of international and emerging artists, local students and graduates, curators, critics and musicians.  Open Projector takes place in The Royal Dockyard Church, 5pm – 6:30pm, providing an important opportunity for emerging artists, graduates, and students to screen and discuss their work in a peer group environment. The public is invited to participate to Decreation New Coordinates, this closing strand of the festival, which will precede the closing discussion forum, accompanied by a communal supper from 6:30pm – 9:30pm.

All events are FREE and open to all.  Further information at



The festival was made possible by lottery fund from Arts Council England Grants for the Arts, Kent County Council’s Arts Investment Fund and University of Kent – Student Experience Fund. With special thanks to Rochester Cathedral, the Guildhall Museum, Kent School of Music and Fine Art, Screen South and Rochester Film Society.

Two SMFA Fine Art students in first stage of 2017 Platform Awards

Luiza Jordan, 2017


The School of Music and Fine Art again has 2 Fine Art graduates through to the first stage of the Platform graduate award exhibition at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate. This year Luiza Jordan and Tayler Goatier have been selected and their work is exhibited at the Turner from Fri 15 September – Sun 5 November

Tayler Goatier, 2017


The winners of the first round going through to the final will be announced at a special event on Tuesday 24th October at the Gallery. In the 5 year existence of the Platform Graduate Award, fine art students from SMFA have won the final award twice, in 2015 and 2017.  The award includes all the major fine art art degree courses in the South East of England outside London. This is a spectacular achievement!

Further Information
Platform 2017 media release
Platform 2017 artists information
Platform 2017 story in a-n


Luiza Jordan
Luiza works with space and architecture and explores the uses of material in relation to gender. Large immersive clusters of material evolve in raw, organic processes as her interventions attempt to find hidden connections between materials, spaces, buildings and architecture. By using places of transition, and situating her work in spaces with industrial and institutional sensibilities, she injects a sense of new, feminine, unbound and constantly mutating life.

You can follow Luiza on Instagram here. And see her portfolio on her website.

Tayler Goatier
“Delicacy. A fragile object or an expensive cuisine. Both spheres colliding, creating both the beautiful and the brittle.”

Tayler  works primarily in sculpture and installation. Being diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones Disease) at the age of 1, Goatier spent the majority of her childhood in hospital making art. Her current practice explores disability. Using herself as her main source of research, she explains the physicality of her condition by using meringues as a metaphor for her fragility and constant reconstruction to her own skeleton.

Tayler is also a food blogger. Her recent exhibitions include Reverberate, The University of Kent, 2017 and WE ARE HUMAN-ISH, Canterbury, 2017.

Workshop with two of the hottest young names on the British jazz scene


On Wednesday 25th October, 9.30am-1.30pm, in the Galvanising Shop Performance Space, SMFA is thrilled to present a workshop with two incredibly versatile award-winning young artists – trumpeter Laura Jurd and pianist Elliot Galvin.

This workshop is packed with improvisation, composition and creative music making.

Described by Lira Music Magazine as “two of the British jazz scene’s hottest young names … together a super unit that bubbles with musical and personal understanding”, both are prize-winning performers and prolific composers whose music crosses style boundaries. BBC New Generation Artist (2015-17) and Parliamentary Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year (2015), Laura has released two albums (the most recent Together as One, with her band Dinosaur (of which Elliott is a member), was nominated for the 2017 Mercury Prize). She recently joined the faculty at Trinity Laban Conservatoire as a composition teacher.



Elliot’s main artistic vehicle is the Elliot Galvin Trio, winners of the European Jazz Artist of the Year Award. The group have also recorded two albums, including Punch, their debut for the prestigious Edition Records label. Elliot’s commissions include works for the Ligeti Quartet, London Sinfonietta, RESOLUTION dance festival and the Theatre Company Cut Tongues. His music draws on a wide range of influences from Keith Jarrett to Stravinsky, Ligeti, Deerhoof and the Beatles as well as the films of David Lynch, the Dada movement and the literature of James Joyce. He was a founding member of the Chaos Collective.

FREE! to attend but booking via


More info:
Laura Jurd (trumpet) and Elliot Galvin (piano/keys)

Exhibition by graduating BA Fine Art students in Studio 3 Gallery


We are Human-ish is an exhibition by seven graduating BA Fine Art students from the School of Music and Fine Art at the Studio 3 Gallery, School of Arts, Jarman Building on the University of Kent Canterbury Campus, from 26th June (11am – 5pm) until 1st July (9am – 3pm).

The exhibiting artists – Charlene Barnachea, Nicola Baxter, Megan Boyle, Tayler Goatier, Luiza Jordan, Hannah Plant and Anum Saleem – have previously exhibited in their Fine Art Degree Show, Reverberate, at the Historic Dockyard Chatham at the end of May.

We are Human-ish will showcase a number of works that explore what it means to be human, questioning ideas associated with gender, culture, language, disability and technology. Through an investigation into communication methods adopted by human and machine, an examination of the nature of space, and how we find our place within it, and an organic exploration of bodily textures, fundamentally, these graduating students examine human nature and the assumptions, purpose and essence of humanity.


More on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:  @wearehumanish

New work from SMFA Music Technology student to be premiered in Kent

Jeriah Nadesan, MA student in Music Technology, 2017.


On 13 May at 7.30pm, the City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra (CRSO) premieres a new work by SMFA MA Music Technology student Jeriah Nadesan. The programme, conducted by director Peter Bassano also includes music by Brahms, Rodrigo, and Saint-Saens and takes place at The Central Theatre Chatham.

Says Jeriah, “My piece is called Glorious Streams and I have aimed to convey this in the flowing rhythms and rich harmonies the orchestra plays. When writing this piece I attempted to be less strict in keeping my composition traditionally classical, but allowed for the nuances of my musical influences such as Jazz, Gospel and Pop. I have also added some live electronics to this piece, using different types of synths, to accentuate the music the orchestra plays.”

Jeriah was born in South Africa, his family moving to England when he was 6 years old.  Comments the composer, who also achieved his BSc in Music Technology in the School of Music and Fine Art, “I grew up in a home that was always filled with all types of music as both my parents are singers and accomplished musicians.  I developed an interest in classical music as a result of studying classical piano. After completing my studies, I hope to pursue a career in Music Arrangement, Film Composition and Music Production.”

SMFA’s partnership with the CRSO has already resulted in 5 world premieres of music by student composers from the School of Music and Fine Art.

Formed in 1969, the CRSO has approximately 60 playing members, both amateur and professional musicians, who perform concerts at The Central Theatre, Chatham, and other venues in Kent. Rehearsals take place at the Pilkington Building, University of Kent at Medway, on Mondays, 7.45-9.45pm.


Tickets for the concert on 13 May are available from

For more details go to

School of Music and Fine Art alumni and students take key roles at Alexandra Palace parade

Day of the Dead Parade, 2016. Photo by Elise Berdah.


Two School of Music and Fine Art graduates from the BA (Hons) Event & Experience Design (formerly Creative Design & Production), played key roles the production of Day of the Dead Parade at carnival of the macabre, Dia Del Los Muertos as part of the Alexandra Palace Fire Show on 4th & 5th November.

Musician/Creative Producer/Performance Artist Kerri Layton directed the Day of the Dead Parade and Holly Greenhall was the production manager.

Day of the Dead Parade, 2016. Photo by Elise Berdah.


Another graduate, Charlotte Harding, volunteered to work on the shows alongside current students, 3rd years Elise Berdah, Kylie Lee, Shushi Wong and 1st years Lauren Thynne and Sophia Going.

Deputy Head of School Peter Hatton, Programmes Director for Event and Experience Design, Event and Experience Management, and Fine Art commented, “The programme has been running for ten years, and I am increasingly being sent opportunities for work experience from graduates who are working in the events industry in various areas, freelancers like Kerri and Holly through to event designers with marketing and branding agencies. This is a very exciting development for current students, being able to work alongside former students is inspiring and extrely informative.”

Day of the Dead Parade, 2016. Photo by Elise Berdah.


To find out more about the highly successful Event and Experience Design programmes in the School of Music and Fine Art, please visit our Taster Day on Saturday 26th November at the Historic Dockyard Chatham.  Book your free place here:


Further information: 

Kerri Layton:

Holly Greenhall:

Congratulations to all 2016 School of Music and Fine Art Graduates

School of Music and Fine Art "Class of 2016". Photo by Stacey Cooper.
School of Music and Fine Art “Class of 2016”. Photo by Stacey Cooper.


On the hottest day of the year, talented students from the School of Music and Fine Art from the University of Kent enjoyed their graduation award ceremony in the stunning Rochester Cathedral followed by celebrations in the sun with the spectacular backdrop of Rochester Castle.

Duncan MacLeod, Director of Recruitment & Lecturer in Music commented: “This year’s graduation ceremony was a huge success, offering the opportunity for staff, alongside family and friends, to come together in celebrating our students’ achievement, and recognition of their hard work over the past three years. We wish all of our 2016 graduates every success in the future and look forward to hearing about their future achievements!”


Click here to view photos from the graduation ceremony online:

Please feel free to share, crediting our photographer Stacey Cooper.

Platform Graduate Award 2016 Preview on 4 August at Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary in Margate will be opening the 2016 Platform exhibition showcasing the work of six BA Fine Art graduates from Kent Universities with a special preview on Thursday 4 August from 5-7pm. Part of the Platform Graduate Award, the exhibition runs from Thursday 4 August – Sunday 25 September 2016.

The School of Music and Fine Art is delighted that Sariya Suwannakarn and Daniel Owusu, two of our BA (Hons) Fine Art graduating students have been selected for these prestigious awards that new talent.

Platform is a partnership between five galleries: Aspex Gallery, De La Warr Pavilion, M K Gallery, Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary, devised in collaboration with CVAN South East. The aim of the programme is to support graduate professional development.

Information about the award and the selected artists from all participating galleries in the Platform programme will be available at:

The shortlisted graduates are:

Sariya Suwannakarn University of Kent
Daniel Owusu University of Kent
Jessica Grønlund Canterbury Christ Church University
Mas Weeb Canterbury Christ Church University
Kayleigh Baker University for the Creative Arts
George Morl University for the Creative Arts

The Platform Graduate Award winner 2016 will be announced at a special event at Turner Contemporary on Saturday 4 November 2016.

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