Wellcome Collection features work by Fine Art Reader Shona Illingworth 

Time Present, 2016. Image by Shona Illingworth
Time Present, 2016. Image by Shona Illingworth


Artist Shona Illingworth, Fine Art Reader and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Music and Fine Art, currently has work in the exhibition States of Mind: Tracing the Edges of Consciousness at the Wellcome Collection, Euston Road, London. Running until October 16th, the exhibition features a series of installations that include Shona Illingworth’s Time Present, which considers the impact of amnesia and the erasure of individual and cultural memory.


Time Present 1
Time Present, 2016. Image by Shona Illingworth


Recently shortlisted for the prestigious 2016 Jarman Award, the widely exhibited Illingworth works across sound, film, video, photography, drawing and painting. Major works using moving image and/or sound, take the form of gallery based and site specific installation. Her work combines interdisciplinary research (particularly with emerging neuropsychological models of memory and critical approaches to memory studies) with publicly engaged practice.


Time Present Shona Illinwgorth 7
Time Present, 2016. Image by Shona Illingworth


Illingworth recently chaired and presented a seminar with Jill Bennett at ICOM (International Conference on Memory) in Budapest. Perspectives on Amnesia was an interdisciplinary investigation of memory loss, combining perspectives from arts and cognitive neuropsychology and  the value of creative approaches in understanding the day-to-day experience of memory loss.


Time Present Shona Illingworth 14
Time Present, 2016. Image by Shona Illingworth


Links: http://www.icom2016.com and http://www.asszisztencia.hu/icom/program_thursday.htm



Notes on TIME PRESENT, Shona Illingworth, 2016

Claire was 44 years old when she awoke from a coma to find that she could no longer remember much of her past, form new memories or recognise faces (not even her own). She returned to a house she could not remember as home, where she no longer knew what anything was for or how to use the objects that surrounded her. She could not recognise her children, her husband or close friends and family. Claire describes the past as “a space you can’t enter or feel – the future a space you can’t imagine”.

Time Present explores the very different shape of Claire’s world, and the maps and lists that Claire creates in order to structure her thinking and to ground her in time and space.

This new work developed on from Illingworth’s project Lesions in the Landscape, builds on over four years of working with Claire, alongside cognitive psychologist Martin Conway and neuropsychologist Catherine Loveday. This collaboration has led to some unique phenomenological and neurobiological insights into amnesia.  Illingworth explores Claire’s personal experience of amnesia alongside the cultural amnesia surrounding the depopulated Scottish island of St Kilda, located 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides in the North Atlantic. The last communities of St Kilda were evacuated at their own request in August 1930, ending 4000 years of habitation.  A powerful analogy for the neurological experience of amnesia, this sudden interruption in human occupation of the island embodies the sense of lost connection with the past. St Kilda embodies a sense of isolation. The wild weather fronts that make access difficult ultimately precipitated the decision to depopulate. Similarly Claire lives with the perpetual isolation that comes with the loss of memory. Intelligent, warm and social, she works constantly to blend into situations that most of us take for granted, rarely able to draw on the comfort of knowing where she is, how she fits in, who and where her friends are.

The two screen installation explores the dynamic role memory plays in enabling us to move through time and space. It reveals the daily feat of creativity, determination and commitment that Claire undertakes against the odds, in order to give meaning and shape to her world and to maintain connections to her past, her future, her identity and to those that are important in her life.


For more information go to: https://wellcomecollection.org/visit-us/states-mind-installations

Related post: https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/research/news.html?view=2150

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: frameandreference.com.

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.

platform logo

School of Music and Fine Art supports Faversham exhibition about First World War

Milo Meacham on the explosion site at Uplees”Listening”. Photo by Tim Meacham

An exhibition in Faversham about artists’ responses to artefacts, objects and events from the first World War will feature work by Tim Meacham, Lecturer in Fine Art and Partner College Liaison Officer from the School of Music and Fine Art – and he will be discussing his work with artist Sara Trillo at 2.30pm on Saturday 20 August.

Taking place at the Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre, Localism and Legacy, curated by Christine Gist for The Faversham Society, also features work by John Dargan, Colin Priest, Sara Trillo and Charles Williams. The exhibition will be open from Saturday 6 – Sunday 28 August 2016, and is supported by Swale Borough Council, School of Music and Fine Art, Ernest Cook Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, and the National Lottery.

Tim Meacham’s piece, titled “ It was dust…” 1916-2016 , explores the explosions at the Cotton Powder Company works at Uplees near Faversham in April 1916. The resulting sound work is an impression of what would have been heard and felt in the town on Sunday the 2nd April 1916 from 1.30 pm onwards. The work is informed through research into archival material from a number of sources including elements held by the Fleur de Lis museum.

Tim explains: “The work explores the notion of trauma remaining in landscape after violent events and the possibility of an “acoustic memory” allowing one to “hear the past” in the present through the sounds of surviving material and artefacts. The piece is constructed from sounds gathered in the present at the Uplees site, both natural; grass, trees etc.. and human through touching or “playing” the remains of surfaces and structures. It also includes recordings made in Faversham town on 2nd April 2016

These collected sound fragments were then digitally layered and mixed to reconstruct the sound of the 1916 explosions including the deep echoing rumble which followed the initial blasts, which were heard as far away as Norwich. The reported effects of an acoustic shadow are also referenced which in the case of the Uplees blast was the result of a prevailing wind from the East, allowing the blasts to be heard many miles away.

“The easterly wind took the shock of the concussion away from Faversham and swept it over the marshes. It struck Sittingbourne, 7 miles away, with terrific force. It was felt at Chatham, 17 miles away where it blew open the doors of the Naval Barracks.”  Digest of Daily Chronicle April 2nd 1916.

The people of Faversham were no strangers to explosions; the manufacture of gunpowder in the area dated back hundreds of years. However, the force and devastation of the Uplees event caused by high explosive as opposed to gunpowder, was certainly outside the experience of most civilians and many military personnel. Like the First World War itself, the event marked a move towards new technologies, previously unimaginable forces and ultimately the embracing of modernity and the world we live in today.

The images of the Uplees site, censored at the time, are as if part of the western front and the imminent horror of the Somme had been transferred to the East Kent marshes.”

Exhibition Venue: Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre, 10-13 Preston Street, Faversham, Kent ME13 8NS

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 10.00-16.00 and Sunday 10.00-13.00.

Opening reception: Friday 5 August from 18.30-20.00

For more details contact: c.gist@btinternet.com or call 0788 144 1120

Celebration of student forest commissions

Stourvalley poster copy


Sunday August 7th sees the launch celebration event for both the first public manifestation of the Stour Valley Creative Partnership (SVCP) and new student forest commissions in Kings Wood, Challock. Fine Art Students from both the School of Music and Fine Art and the University of Creative Arts have installed temporary installations in the forest.

SVCP, formed to continue the legacy of Stour Valley Arts which closed last year after 21 years due to Arts Council England funding cuts, is a new partnership between Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership, Ashford Borough Council, Forestry Commission, Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, University for the Creative Arts and the University of Kent.

Comments Diane Comley, Partnership Office for Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership: “We are holding this, our first public event, as we want to celebrate achieving most of our first goal to secure the legacy of SVA. University students from both UCA and UoK’s School of Music & Fine Art have been visiting the woods and 4 new sculptures have been created to be on display over the summer. Please come and join us to celebrate these new beginnings and this wonderful resource.” 

Tim Meacham, Lecturer in Fine Art and Partner College Liaison Officer from the School of Music and Fine Art, who will represent SMFA and the Ian Bride School of Anthropology & Conservation said: “The partnership continues the long standing relationship between the University and Kings Wood forest, ensuring that students from a variety of disciplines like fine art, architecture and anthropology, will continue to benefit from the extension of their studies and the opportunity for public engagement which activities in the forest offer.”      

 The event is on Sunday August 7th from 11am – 2pm, Kings Wood, Challock, Kent.


For more info go to http://www.kentishstour.org.uk/major-projects/stour-valley-creative-partnership/


Top National Design Prize for University of Kent Student

Cripa - 4th from left - with models
Cripa (4th from left) with her award winning fashion collection.


A student on the University of Kent’s BA (Hons) Fashion course, a School of Music and Fine Art franchised course delivered at the Tonbridge campus of West Kent College, has won a top national design prize. Cripa Yangkhrung won the Hainsworth Statement Award, worth £1,000, at the prestigious New Designers expo in London with her handmade fashion collection inspired by nature and its elements, Earthen Solidity, chosen from amongst the thousands on show.

Commented Cripa: “I never dreamed I’d be selected – and am beyond happy and honoured. I’ve always worked really hard and now feel this has paid off. I hope the fact they picked me offers inspiration to subsequent students.” 

The award is for the most creative and innovative used of a cloth or fabric in a finished product, demonstrating a flair for fresh new ideas. In addition to the prize of either cash, Hainsworth cloth or a combination of both to a value of £1000, the winner is invited to visit the prestigious Hainsworth Mill, whose cloth is used for the ceremonial uniforms worn by the Royal Family during state occasions and the military uniforms worn during the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Cripa with award
Cripa with her Hainsworth Statement Award.


The judges cited imagination, innovation, versatility, and good use of fabrics as reasons for selection, saying: “Cripa’s work shows excellent vision and concept, complimented with exceptional attention to detail and craftsmanship, resulting in a capsule collection that speaks of a longevity within the fashion industry and a bright and exciting future.”

Her collection consists of androgynous garments created by free-form pattern-cutting. Using locally-sourced wool fabrics with buttons she made out of wood, the collection promotes and supports a sustainable fashion industry.

Cripa Yangkhrung wasn’t the only student who sparked interest at New Designers. Heather Thunstrom was approached by Wilkinsons for their textiles department; Charlie Bidois was selected to the final three from hundreds of entries in a competition to design a label for Absolut Vodka, a major sponsor of New Designers. Curtis Ferris was approached after the College fashion show by a costume design company, who have offered him an internship.

School of Music and Fine Art Lecturer and Partner College Liaison Officer, Tim Meacham said, “This is a huge achievement – the awards are a testament to the students, the quality of teaching and the dedication of the staff.”


Links for more info: http://www.newdesigners.com/exhibitors/new-designers-hainsworth-statement-award


First Medway Arts Fundraising Camp hailed a success

Arts Fundraising Camp 2016. Image by Howard Lake.


Thursday 14 July saw the first Arts Fundraising Camp in Medway at the Historic Dockyard Chatham.  Organised by Fundraising UK Ltd and hosted by the University of Kent’s School of Music & Fine Art, this event for arts fundraisers was a fantastic opportunity for local and regional arts professionals and fundraisers to learn, share good practice and network.

The sun was shining at the atmospheric location, with attendees travelling from across Kent and London from a diverse range of organisations and fundraising professionals.

Howard Lake, organiser and director for Fundraising UK commented: “It was a pleasure to see so much fundraising experience being shared amongst arts and culture fundraisers at Fundraising Camp at the University of Kent in Medway. And to see so many new contacts being made. Informal and practical events like this do seem to be an effective and enjoyable way of spreading fundraising ideas, especially if you’re a sole fundraiser or about to embark on a major fundraising campaign”.


For more images from the day go to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/howardlake/albums/72157670039603720

And for more info click here:


For more info on upcoming events go to: http://fundraising.co.uk/

A Portrait of Europe – new exhibition starts 19 July

A Portrait of Europe: Euro Stars.


On Tuesday 19 July, A Portrait of Europe: Euro Stars will be opening at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. The exhibition is being held by the Kent-based IMOS Foundation under its founder and creative director, Briony Kapoor, in conjunction with the University of Kent and hosted by The School of Music and Fine Art.

The artists’ brief was to identify one individual from each of the 28 EU member states who would become the subject of a painting – the challenge for visitors is to identify the different nationalities of the subjects of the paintings.

It opens from 10am to 4pm daily on Tuesday 19 July until Wednesday 10 August.  Admission is free but visitors must print a ticket.


More information is available here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/calendar/?eid=19918&view_by=day&date=20160719&category=&tag=

The exhibition will also be returning for welcome week so that students can enjoy it.

Music alumna supports Gabrielle and Will Young at Rochester Castle Concert

ray estaire
Ray Estaire, 2016.


On Thursday 14 July, jazz artist singer Ray Estaire, who graduated from the School of Music and Fine Art B Mus (Hons) Popular Music with a first class degree in 2015, warmed up the crowds with a 25 minute solo performance before Gabrielle and Will Young at the popular Rochester Castle Concerts.

For more details see:

Fictitious Capital Symposium in London

Fictitious Capital


On Sunday, 24 July 2016, 1pm-5pm, at London based No.W.Here Arts Ltd, a one-day symposium called Fictitious Capital has been organised by School of Music and Fine Art Senior Lecturer and Director of Programmes (Fine Art and Event & Experience Design), Dr Andrew Conio. A writer and video artist, Dr Conio is also one of the speakers at the event, which examines the economic forces behind the decimation of artist and community spaces in the East End.

“Fictitious capital” was defined by Marx as non-productive capital that circles the world at infinite speed in the form of hedge-funds and derivatives that vampire-like suck the value out of labour and production.

Other speakers include Dave Beech, artist, writer and Professor of Art at Valad Academy in Gothenburg; Anca Carrington, economist, psychoanalyst and editor of the book Money as Emotional Currency; and Dr Emily Rosamond, Canadian artist, writer and educator, and previously a lecturer at the School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent.

Tickets cost £3. For more details and to book go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fictitious-capital-tickets-26421819373


About the venue

No.W.Here is a performance, residency and project space, film production studio resource and gallery in Bethnal Green. After a (fictitious) price of £3.5m was placed on the building by the owners they have successfully achieved Asset Of Community Value status and this event is part of their campaign to retain one of London’s most important arts spaces.

No.W.Here Arts Ltd – 316-318 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 0AG



Three of the Design Factory Winners - L-R James Li - Ricardo Olmos - Jonathan White -
2016 Design Factory Winners: (Left to Right) James Li, Ricardo Olmos and Jonathan White.


Six students, from the University of Kent’s HND and BA (Hons) Top-Up courses had their designs selected from thousands of entries to make the winners’ list of 40 in the national Design Factory competition, the annual multi-disciplinary project for BA design students set by the Design Museum in London. One design, by James Li, appeared in the top 10 of all entries. The winners get to spend the day networking at a workshop and seminar held at the Design Museum, where they will benefit from collaborative experience with other winners and designers.

In previous years, the School of Music and Fine Art franchised courses, based at the Tonbridge campus of West Kent College, have also produced winners. The student classes spent a month working on the Design Factory brief: ‘Make It Different’ – rethinking the way designs are made in order to help produce a better and more sustainable future.

The three winners from the BA (Hons) Top-Up course were:

  • Jonathan White designed an app that helps contact the nearest wildlife rescue centre. He consulted rescue centres and vets during his design process and hopes that the app can be made into a fully-functioning one as soon as possible.
  • Kirsten Herpe, also a winner in last year’s competition, invented a game-like points system for encouraging the choosing of healthy school meals. Kirsten is going to train as a design teacher when she graduates later this year.
  • Fred Sirman invented a collectible bootleg toy that is made from old Simpsons dolls mixed with superhero figures. Fred has won twice before.

There were two winners from the HND Year 2:

  • Ricardo Olmos, who mocked-up a virtual reality visualiser that shows beach-goers the dangers of littering.
  • James Li, who produced a design for a skin-thin smart device screen that is embedded in the hand.

Finally, the winner from HND Year 1 was Ed Clarke, who designed an eco-friendly shoe that produces energy as it is worn.

School of Music and Fine Art Lecturer and Partner College Liaison Officer Tim Meacham said, “This is a fantastic achievement, particularly as the courses are competing nationally against much larger institutions. The awards are a testament to the students, the quality  of teaching and the dedication of the staff.”