Category Archives: fine art

Strange Umbrellas: SMFA’s Dr Blanca Regina, Associate Lecturer in Event and Experience Design, performing in London on Tuesday 20th March


Strange Umbrellas, a platform for free improvised music and visual art, was started in 2012 by Dr Blanca Regina with musician Steve Beresford.

An artist, teacher and curator who is currently involved in creating mixed media performances, installations and film, Dr Regina is a visiting research fellow at University of the Arts London. Her research and practice encompass expanded cinema, free improvisation, moving image, photography and audiovisual performance.  In 2010, she received a doctorate in Humanities from University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, with the thesis The VJ and audiovisual performance: towards a radical aesthetic of postmodernism.

She is curator at the London-based Music Hackspace, Live Cinema Foundation and Strange Umbrellas. With Matthias Kispert she founded the Material Studies Group, developing a series of workshops and performances around the production of sound with everyday objects.

Dr Blanca Regina, 2018.


You can hear Dr Regina here: as part of Unpredictable: Conversations with Improvisers – a collection of videos that have grown out of deep research into the nature of Free Improvisation, its history in the UK and its international connections. Research and filming began in 2011 and it was directed and produced by artist, curator and educator Blanca Regina in collaboration with Steve Beresford and Pierre Bouvier Patron.  The series was commissioned by Sound and Music for the 50th anniversary of the British Music Collection.

Strange Umbrellas Number 19 will be on 20th March, in collaboration with CAFE OTO at 18-22 Ashwin St, London, Dalston E8 3DL.  Doors at 7.30 pm, performances at 8 pm. Tickets £8 £6 ADVANCE £4 MEMBERS.


More info go to

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

Sarah Turner, SMFA’s Reader in Fine Art & Deputy Director of Research is published in The New Soundtrack journal

Sarah Turner


Sarah Turner, SMFA’s Reader in Fine Art & Deputy Director of Research is published in The New Soundtrack journal, with The Sound of Memory in Public House appearing in Volume 7 Issue 2. Click here: and

The New Soundtrack brings together leading edge academic and professional perspectives on the complex relationship between sound and moving images, providing a new platform for discourse on how aural elements combine with moving images, and encourages writing on more current developments, such as sound installations, computer-based delivery, and the psychology of the interaction of image and sound.

Sarah Turner is an artist who writes and makes films. Her work spans single screen gallery pieces (rooted in the formal preoccupations of the avant-garde from which she emerged) to feature length projects that explore the interplay between abstraction and narration.

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

SMFA and Archaeology project produces 3D printed replicas of ancient musical instruments

Replica of Ancient Roman and Egyptian artefacts. Photo by George Morris


A 2 year AHRC-funded project to study Roman and Late Antique Artefacts from Egypt – a collaborative effort between the University of Kent, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the UCL Petrie Museum, Bloomsbury, London – has resulted in the production of replica ancient musical instruments using 3D print technology. Using laser scanning data and further research to enable the identical reconstruction, School of Music and Fine Art technicians, Georgia Wright and George Morris made a set of reed panpipes, 3 different ceramic rattles, a pair of wooden clappers and two sets of double-flutes.

Lloyd Bosworth, archaeology technician in SECL, 3-D had scanned the objects at the museum and then created virtual 3-D models from the scans (Lloyd has just won a University research prize for his research support). The virtual 3-D models were sent to Georgia Wright, who printed them out to use as a basis for the replica objects in the original materials, and with George Morris then produced the instruments.

Replica of Egyptian Reed Panpipes. Photo by George Morris


On the Project Team, Dr Ellen Swift, Reader in Archaeology at the University of Kent, commented: “It was very exciting going over to Chatham to pick up the instruments and I was really pleased with how Fine Art Technicians, Georgia and George, were able to achieve a close match with the size and appearance of the original artefacts thanks to new 3-D scanning technology. On my first visit, I picked up the 3D print-out of the panpipes and it was a real eureka moment to find out that they played a musical scale known from written documents to have existed in the Roman period. Making the instruments did pose a challenge as in some cases there were parts missing and some additional research and creativity was needed to fill in the gaps.”

The replica artefacts are a key part of the project and will be used for research and also for an exhibition at the UCL Petrie Museum at the end of the project in 2019. When all the instruments are ready, sound recordings will be made at SMFA to be used at the subsequent exhibition.

This research project – the first in-depth study of Roman and Late Antique Egypt that uses everyday artefacts as its principal source of evidence – aims to transform our understanding of social experience, social relations, and cultural interactions, among the populations of Egypt in this period.


For more info go to

SMFA’s Adam Chodzko adjudicating ARTiculation Prize South East Regional Finals


SMFA’s Adam Chodzko, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, is adjudicating The ARTiculation Prize South East Regional Finals at Quarterhouse, Folkestone on 31 January.

The ARTiculation Prize is a nationally acclaimed annual event designed to promote the appreciation and discussion of art and encourages students aged between 16 -19 in full-time further education, to express their opinions and thoughts via a ten minute presentation to an interested audience about a work of art, artefact or architecture of their choice. Adjudicators are asked to assess each presentation as a whole, looking at content, structure, delivery and the speaker’s original approach and unique potential. In 2018 nine Regional Finals will be held across the country.

Adjudicators will select a first, second and third prize winner in each Regional Final, who will each receive book prizes sponsored by Laurence King Publishers. The first prize speaker from each Regional Final will go on to give their talk at the ARTiculation Grand Final on Friday 9 March 2018 at Clare College, University of Cambridge. Winning 2018 Finalists will be awarded 1st Prize £300, 2nd Prize £200, 3rd Prize £100. All ARTiculation Finalists will receive one year’s free membership to The Art Fund to include an Art Pass and a year’s membership to the Friends of The Roche Court Educational Trust.


More info here

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.

SMFA’s Tim Meacham has work Eye of the Needle in Turner Contemporary Exhibition at Hantverk & Found Gallery, Margate

Eye of the Needle, Tim Meacham


From 3rd February until 18th March, SMFA’s Fine Art Lecturer and artist Tim Meacham’s work Eye of the Needle is on show at the Hantverk & Found Gallery in Margate.  This is part of the offsite programme for Turner Contemporary’s major exhibition Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’, which explores the significance of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land through the visual arts.

Eye of the Needle, made with support from the University of Kent, explores TS Eliot’s relationship with the mechanical sound recording of the gramophone, making particular reference to its role in The Waste Land in providing the machine mediated sound track of modernity. The viewer accompanies the needle on its journey across the landscape of a gramophone record. The role of the needle is considered in first embedding sound, through creating the grooves of the record, and then as a “rider” travelling across the surface of the disc as it plays. 78-rpm records, made of shellac and slate dust, give something of themselves (dust) in order to release their sound, thus changing the landscape with each play.

Tim Meacham is an artist who works across media to explore space within the triangulated world of experience between seeing, hearing and touching. SMFA’s Partner and College Liaison Officer, he is currently undertaking a practice based PhD.  More info:

Hantverk & Found is a celebrated seafood café and commissioning art gallery in the heart of Margate Old Town committed to supporting artists to make art, with a small gallery space to exhibit works by local and emerging artists. As well as providing support to artists, they frequently commission new work.

The Preview is Saturday 3rd February, 6-8pm at Hantverk & Found, 18 King Street, Margate, CT9 1DA. The exhibition runs until 18th March. Opening hours: Thursday-Sunday, 12pm-4pm, with viewing at other times by appointment.  Contact: and

SMFA’s Adam Chodzko has film About Knots at Whitechapel Gallery on February 8th

Adam Chodzko, 2017. Photo by Clay Barnard Chodzko


SMFA Fine Art Senior Lecturer and acclaimed artist Adam Chodzko has a video work, About Knots, screened on February 8th at the Whitechapel Gallery in Refuge – an evening of films, sound-works and readings that mark Britain’s historic status as a place of sanctuary for threatened European artists.

About Knots focuses on the relationship between artist Kurt Schwitters in the final years of his life in the late 1940’s, living in poverty, (and exile) in the Lake District, and J. Edgar Kaufmann,  wealthy owner of the Kaufman Department Store in Pittsburgh, USA. The work combines text and moving image and creates a narrative about longing, creation and fragmentation, endings and beginnings.

Exhibiting internationally since 1991, Adam Chodzko works across media, from video installation to subtle interventions, with a practice that is situated both within the gallery and the wider public realm.


More info here: