The SMFA students from the remaining two undergraduate years and the final MA year worked collaboratively as a group together with students and staff at the Paris Centre to make and exhibit new work in response to theme and site. This has included a performance involving cheese and a derivé exploring the city around the centre.
Peter Brown commented: “It has all been going exceptionally well. There was an excellent turn-out for the Menteur launch and Medway students did the event proud with their own ‘set’ that was very well received. Thank you for enhancing our activities with your excellent students! “
Commented Year 2 BA Fine Art student Kevin Hadimadja: “The Paris trip was an amazing and enjoyable experience! Thank you very much for giving this opportunity to present my artwork as well as surrounding myself with great people. It has opened my eyes in the sense of interaction and collaborative thinking into not just the art but the journey through it.”
On Saturday 2nd June, SMFA students featured in a large-scale, outdoor screening of artists’ films and video projected on the exterior wall of The Old Neptune Pub, Marine Terrace, Whitstable, facing the seafront. Presented by 51zero/voyager at Whitstable Biennale as part of the Decreation international festival of moving image and digital arts Touring Programme. The event ran from 9.30pm – 11.30pm.
Many of the participating artists have taken part in international art Biennials, and were showcased alongside emerging talent selected from open calls and SMFA Fine Art students, including graduates Rose Sizer and Nicola Baxter, and Alfie Killick (Little-Blood) (3rd Year), Jordan Colbert (3rd Year), Constanza Marques Guedes (3rd Year), Olu Taiwo (MA)
Matt Bray is a practising artist, freelance curator and arts consultant, who graduated from SMFA in 2012 with an MA Fine Art. He co-founded the Medway Print Festival, which is running until 24th June at present, and multimedia group exhibition Sick! More at www.mattbrayarts.com
Matt kindly took time out from his busy schedule to chat with SMFA’s Marketing & Communications Officer, Jane Seaman.
How did your time at Kent prepare or equip you for the role you have now?
My time at Kent equipped me with a far richer understanding of contemporary art and its relationship to the longer stream of art history. That has afforded me a more nuanced understanding of both my own work and the work of others, allowing me to curate more mature and interesting shows, and I’ve developed confidence in my abilities as an artist and curator as a result.
What does your job involve? Is there a typical day?
There are no typical days. Networking is key though, so I can often be spotted having coffee with artists and gallerists (tough life I know). Funding is the least glamorous and most important element of putting exhibitions and festivals together, so that is something I have had to learn on the job – how is the project going to be funded? Arts Council? Local council? Paid by the artists? Somehow it needs to be paid for and that requires good clear ideas and being able to articulate those ideas well. Once funding is secured the rest of the project is normally plain sailing to a large degree.
What kind of opportunities offered at Kent were especially beneficial for your career development?
Putting on the degree show was obviously a pretty important experience, and it was such a great place to host an exhibition.
What have you been doing since graduating?
Since graduating I have been in the studio whenever possible, I have also been running several key projects like ‘Sick!’ and ‘Medway Print Festival’, both of which have been very successful and I have been lucky enough that the people I run those with are very good friends, so although it can be very hard work sometimes, it is always super fun.
What would you recommend to anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
If anyone wants to get involved in curation, then the only real advice I can offer is to put shows on. My first exhibition was in a bookshop with my buddy. You can start small if need be, but just put shows on, as often as possible, of your own work or other people’s, it doesn’t matter. You will learn so much from every show – like anything else, the more you do it, the more you will learn. Before you know it, the shows will have become quite sophisticated and you will have made all the obvious mistakes which you can then learn to avoid.
What is your favourite memory of studying at Kent?
Probably my favourite memory of my time at Kent was meeting my mate Billy Childish, who had a studio in the dockyard too and taught me a lot about being a painter.
What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to create the Medway Biennial.
Who or what inspires you?
You can catch the Medway Print Festival until 24th June. Now in its 3rd year, the festival celebrates printmaking and fine art in Medway, with over 40 events and activities to showcase some of the best printmaking being created today as well as highlighting the fascinating local history of the medium. More http://medwayprintfestival.com/
Fellow composers and SMFA Lecturers Dr Paul Fretwell, Head of School and Senior Lecturer in Music and Richard Lightman, Lecturer in Music, Director of Recruitment and Admissions, Director of Employability, Year in Industry Coordinator for SMFA and CMAT, attended the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards on Thursday 31st May at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London. The Ivors celebrate, honour and reward excellence in British and Irish songwriting and composing. Presented and judged by music creators they represent the pinnacle of musical achievement and peer recognition.
Commented Richard Lightman, “I was invited to attend the Ivor Novello Awards as a board member of the Council of Music Makers which includes BASCA, MPG, MMF, FAC, and the MU and in my capacity as a member of the Copyright Committee of UK Music advising the government on copyright issues and the impact of Brexit on the Music Industry. Both SMFA and the University of Kent’s new Centre for Music and Audio Technology are academic partners in BASCA’s educational scheme.”
Dr Aki Pasoulas, Director of Programmes (Music), Director of Education, and Director of MAAST (Music and Audio Arts Sound Theatre) in the School of Music and Fine Art, has his electroacoustic composition Irides accepted in the peer-reviewed conference Sound & Music Computing (smc2018) with the general theme Sonic Crossings. The concert will be held in Limassol, Cyprus, between 4th and 7th July. Keynote speakers include reknowned composer Trevor Wishart. The website of the conference is http://smc2018.cut.ac.cy/index.html
Irides (which literally means rainbows), was premiered on 24 April 2017 at the Sound of Memory symposium at Goldsmiths Great Hall, London. It has been subsequently selected for performances at the ISSTA (Irish Sound Science and Technology Association) conference at Dundalk, Ireland, at the Sound/Image conference in London, at the ICMC2017 (International Computer Music Conference) in Shanghai, China, and at the Helicotrema festival in Venice, Italy, in a concert curated by Hildegard Westerkamp.
Aki Pasoulas is an electroacoustic composer, whose works are regularly performed worldwide.