Category Archives: Alumni

SMFA graduate starts Creative Event Consultancy

Kerri Layton. Photo by Rooftop – Hive Studio C, 2018.


2011 BA (Hons) Event and Experience Design graduate, Kerri Layton, has started her own Creative Event Consultancy, Kerri Kreates.  Clients and previous partners include Alexandra Palace, A Different World Productions LTD, The BBC, Fuse Festival Medway, Lancaster BID, Kent County Council, The Arts Council, Body and Mind Festivals, Glade Festival, Glastonbury Festival, Eventspiration and The Hospital Club.

Whilst at Kent studying in the School of Music and Fine Art, Kerri won two awards from the Kent Enterprise Hub & Round One, forming a performance group and social enterprise arts company ‘FAF Arts’ touring the UK in the Summer Terms with her company and theatre productions. Always very active performing and organizing events, she then went on to host session’s at Employability Week for the University of Kent, on ‘Making it Happen’ whilst working for her clients around the UK.

Kerri comments: “It was a practical degree that taught me the logistics of event management but fundamentally placed the importance on the creation and theatre of the event, of it’s core narrative. I made explorations into audience’s journeys using experience as a means of ritual and celebration. Communicating core themes and ideas via the medium of 3D, sensory and participatory experiences, later specializing in outdoor theatre. I enjoyed every second of this degree and it continues to inspire & inform me to this day.”

After graduating, the dynamic Kerri performed with the Banner Theatre Company as a guitarist and singer, she then went on to launch her solo music show, Lady Layton, which toured internationally, including Glastonbury, and was a headline act at many UK events and festivals.

She now performs with her live band as a solo artist Miss Kerri Layton has her EP Songs For A Rainy Day out in March and heads up independent record label Dixiebird Records, which runs live music events all across the capital, featuring some of London’s finest musicians.


Also see:

How to contact Kerri:
0207 1297 582 | 07411 301 960
115 Mare Street, London, E8 3RH

Music in March at SMFA


The School of Music and Fine Art is proud to present no less than 4 concerts during the month of March – all FREE to attend – on a unique campus at the Historic Dockyard Chatham.  Details below:


Thursday 15th March, 7.30pm-9pm SMFA Music Ensembles Showcase

A chance to hear from talented SMFA students in the Chamber Music Forum, Guitar Ensemble, Little Big Band, Improvisation Groups and the Saxophone Ensemble. Repertoire will showcase familiar favourites and new pieces. Free to attend – book via Eventbrite

Wednesday 21st March, 11am-2pm, Galvanising Shop Performance Space: SMFA Undergraduate Lunchtime Concert

Free to attend – book via Eventbrite

Wednesday 28th March, 11am-2pm, Galvanising Shop Performance Space: SMFA Undergraduate Lunchtime Concert

Free to attend – book via Eventbrite


SMFA Easter Concert Wednesday 28th March at 7.30pm, Royal Dockyard Church

A celebration of music featuring the World Percussion Ensemble, the University Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Forum, Choir and Band. The event will include a wide range of music from classical pieces (Vivaldi, Mendelssohn) to Iive improvisation and a selection from Queen’s iconic album A Night at the Opera. FREE but booking via Eventbrite.

SMFA Fine Art PhD student Stephen Connolly shortlisted for a 2018 BAFTSS Award

Stephen Connolly


Stephen Connolly, an artist filmmaker, Lecturer in Film Production, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham and Fine Art PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of Music and Fine Art (also a Kent 50 Scholar), has been shortlisted for a British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) Award for 2018, in the Moving Image category under Best Practice Research Portfolio for Machine Space.  The results will be announced in April.

BAFTSS encourage best teaching and research practice, promoting the training of postgraduate students in research and giving researchers and practitioners the opportunity to attend and present a paper at the annual BAFTSS conference.

Connolly’s Machine Space is an essay film exploring a city as a machine; a place of movement and circulation. Using a kinetic approach, issues of space, race and finance frame the city of Machine Space. Residents in voiceover testify how the city as a spatial and financial machine shapes their experience. The city is Detroit, a place that has changed from producing the means of movement to producing space itself.  The film uses formal representational devices to explore this content, and addresses issues of complicity of audiences in the state of affairs in the city. It is a visualization of the ideas of Henri Lefebvre, philosopher of space and urban life.

The film was shown at London Film Festival and Wexner Center for the Arts at the Ohio State University.

You can read the LFF Review (in which it is described as “brilliant”) on MUBI

Stephen Connolly’s work investigates cinema and representation through place, politics and history. His award winning single screen work which explores the interface between spectatorship, material culture and subjectivity, has been widely shown internationally since 2002. A FLAMIN award recipient, he has had solo screenings at the ICA and BFI Southbank in London, and was a juror at the Ann Arbor Film Festival (Michigan, USA) in 2011.


More info about the BAFTSS Awards here: and

Machine Space newsprint giveaway

SMFA Fine Art student Carol Rosalind Smith is contributor to new poetry anthology for MIND


Second year BA (Hons) Fine Art student Carol Rosalind Smith is a contributor to a recently published new poetry anthology Please Hear What I’m Not Saying. All proceeds from the anthology sales go to MIND. Carol’s work was selected from over 600 international poetry submissions, whittled down to 115, with all poets enthused by a common goal to raise funds for the mental health charity MIND. With poetry focusing on a wide range of experiences, the book aims to continue the worldwide conversation about mental health. Released on 8 February, the anthology is available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. To buy the book go to

A regularly published fiction writer, Carol had her first short story published in an anthology in April 2017, followed in December 2017 by inclusion in a flash fiction anthology entitled Flash, I Love You. (Paper Swans Press)

She has recently signed contracts for a further two anthologies, one in America, due for publication in 2018. For more writing and artwork go to

SMFA Fine Art PhD student Moyra Derby features in collaborative exhibition at Tintype in March

Installation view, Interval [ ], Whitstable Biennale, 2016


Currently undertaking a practice based PhD in Fine Art at SMFA on the cognitive conditions of pictorial attention (with the support of a University of Kent Vice Chancellors Scholarship), artist Moyra Derby is featured in a new exhibition which opens on Thursday 1st March at 6.30pm,  running until 31 March.   Interval [ ] still : now is a collaboration between five artists –  Moyra Derby, Nicky Hamlyn, Conor Kelly, Joan Key, and Jost Münster –  which reflects on the momentary encounter, caught within or cut by the limit of rectangular support, viewfinder, picture space, window space or film reel.

Their approach is unified by framing as a shared convention between film and painting. The interruptions that occur through cross cuts, edits, overlays and spacings between works becomes a defining consideration. The architectural and durational containment of work through exhibition is a further form of framing that the Interval project foregrounds.

Tintype opened in 2010 and currently represents twelve artists from the UK, Germany, Romania, Hong Kong and Canada. At Tintype, a large window frames the space from the street and provides a dual aspect for work – pictorialized from outside, offering an overview and invitation – fragmented and spatially shifting inside. The cut in time and structured spacing implied by the term interval highlights this change of view and perspective between the street and the gallery. Within Tintype, there is a third aspect – because the window is so large and the street outside so busy ­– it is hard not to be aware of the constantly changing streetscape.

Working collaboratively since 2016, the five artists developed Interval [ ] Stop Gap in 2017 at the Herbert Read Gallery, UCA Canterbury, and Interval [ ] in 2016 as part of the Whitstable Biennale.

A publication accompanies the exhibition.

A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Founding Trustee of Crate Studio & Project Space in Margate, Moyra studied at University of Ulster at Belfast and Cheltenham School of Art. She received an MA Painting from the Royal College of Art. 1996, where she received the Basil H Alkazzi Travel Scholarship to New York, La Cité Internationale des Arts Paris Studio Award and The British Institution Fund Painting Award.  She is Senior Lecturer in Painting on the BA Fine Art course at UCA Canterbury.  More here


Venue details: Tintype, 107 Essex Road, London, N1 2SL,  Tel 0207 354 4360

Wed – Saturday: 12 – 6pm

Muster Station, The School of Beginnings at Tate Exchange, 3rd – 4th February


SMFA Fine Art students are part of the new artists’ collective Muster Station, created in response to the University of Kent’s planned closure of the School of Music and Fine Art. As Muster Station, they have been invited by Whitstable Biennale, to take part in the 2018 Tate Modern Exchange projects, with a theme “Production”.  It will involve current Fine Art BA and MA students (as well as recent Fine Art BA and MA alumni), is open to the public throughout, and free to attend.  Through a programme of workshops, talks, interactions and interventions Muster Station will explore the means by which artists produce in response to constantly shifting conditions of space, time, audience and the ebb and flow of economic and political support.

The venue is Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG in the Blavatnik Building, Level 5.

For more info see


Opening hours:
Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 February, 12:00 – 18:00
Saturday 3 February, 18:00 – 20:00

Taking place intermittently throughout the weekend:

A data conservator will interpret the code of the Tate website through a translation
of digital coding into musical notation. The Gov.UK art-collection will also be dissected
and performed in sung and spoken live-burst performances.

  • Beyond Art Lectures, a ‘cultural telemarketing’ project with artists from Latin America that promotes the idea of outsourcing art lectures by taking advantage of unfair labour conditions.
  • Join in a Muster Drill, mixing yoga and semaphore signals for an invisible audience on the Thames, exploring care and communion.
  • A live action role play accompanied by musicians performing their interpretations of symbol-based graphic scores made in response to artworks in the permanent collection.
  • To close the day on Saturday, a one-off performance of Shears For Tears:’unrestrained screamers’, mixed into an audioscape, orchestrated by a video-chromatic score.

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.