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The Inflatable Archive

The School of Music and Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of The Inflatable Archive, an exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery by two recent graduates of the School of Music and Fine Art. Claire Orme and Drew York are the recipients of the first inaugural Recreate Bursary awarded in celebration of the University of Kent’s 50th Anniversary. As part of the award, Claire and Drew have been given studio space for 4 months during the run-up to the exhibition, together with professional mentorship and practical support.

You are invited to the open reception of The Inflatable Archive on Thursday 22 January 2015, 6.30-8.30pm. No need to book just come along. The exhibition runs from the 23rd January – 21st March 2015

687dfd0a-5301-48fe-8b6f-1e6e46227580                   Treasure Maps, tracing paper and light by Claire Orme

“Everything in the world has its own spirit which can be released by                                         setting it into vibration.” Oskar Fischinger

For The Inflatable ArchiveDrew York aims to explore the relationship between sound and image in an immediate and visceral way. Centrally concerned with acoustic anthropology, York uses 3D printing technology as medium to the unseen dimension – bringing to light the forgotten sonic histories of our environment by realising sound as object. 

6f6268d2-5bf0-48f0-857e-c82a69fcc049           Submarine Wreck by Claire Orme

Claire Orme presents works that playfully explore the unexpected associations between the history of Kent, Ancient Egypt and British Music Hall. Weaving together Kentish folklore and ancient rituals, ghost stories and archaeology, music hall and sonic arts, Orme constructs an unorthodox narrative that is somehow suspended between the real and the imagined. This narrative is created through research materials, sculpture, drawings and sound.

Taking over the gallery and transforming it into an archival grotto, the artists will fill the space with curious artefacts that they have excavated from the ether.  Dismantling local chronologies and assembling new narratives, Orme & York will entwine past and present in an imagined reality.

Visit the project blog

0e8139eb-e572-4c67-99c4-575d2c2be48a                                                                                                                       Shells by Claire Orme

The exhibition forms part of SMFA’s ongoing partnership with Medway Council Arts development team through the Recreate project. Funded by INTERREG, the project brings together Universities and local authorities from across the south of England and in France. Recreate involves SMFA staff and students, who work closely with the local authority and arts organisations to establish creative hubs and extend student activities and opportunities into the local area.

This exhibition is supported by the School of Music and Fine Art; University of Kent, the European Union Recreate Bursary and Medway Council with objects kindly loaned by the Guildhall Museum.


Free Family Workshop – The Secret Museum Saturday, 28 February, 10.30am – 12.30pm or 1.30 – 3.30pm in the art gallery. Join Claire Orme and Drew York for an exploration of objects – discovering the secret stories and sounds within them. Create your own narratives, songs and artefacts and curate a mini museum of objects in the gallery. Places must be booked with the Arts Team. Suitable for all ages, ideal for accompanied children aged 7+.

Narrating the Archive Wednesday, 11 March, 7 – 9pm at The Guildhall Museum, Rochester. An experimentative workshop looking at the role of narrative in the archive. Suitable for students and adults. We regret this event is not accessible to wheelchair users. 

Free – just turn up.

Find us on facebook: Rochester Art Gallery & Craft Case

Rochester Art Gallery is situated within the Visitor Information Centre at 95 High St, Rochester Kent ME1 1LX. Open 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday and Sundays 10.30-5pm. Admission is free.

For more information about Rochester Art Gallery contact the arts team on 01634 338319 or email or visit or find us on facebook at Rochester Art Gallery & Craft Case.

The School of Music and Fine Art achieves 1st in the UK for Research Power in REF 2014!

The School of Music and Fine Art achieves 1st in the UK for Research Power in REF 2014!



The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) were released today and we are incredibly happy to announce that the School of Music and Fine Art has achieved 1st in the UK in our category of Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts with a total research power score of 121.60.

The REF is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions and was conducted jointly by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DEL).

The primary purpose of REF 2014 was to assess the quality of research and produce outcomes for each submission made by institutions. The four higher education funding bodies will use the assessment outcomes to inform the selective allocation of their grant for research to the institutions which they fund, with effect from 2015-16.

We are absolutely delighted with these results as it truly celebrates the hard work and dedication put into our research at the School of Music and Fine Art. Congratulations to all!

SMFA Departmental Ensemble Concerts

Departmental Ensemble Concerts
::School of Music and Fine Art::


   Please join us for some end of term live music!

Friday 12th December, 4pm GALV
Djembe drumming group, led by Stephen Hiscock.. joined by members of Contemporary Music Ensemble and Multi Keys Ensemble.

Monday 15th December, 6pm GALV
Carols with Chamber Choir, led by Sarah Dacey. All Welcome! 
Followed by Carols at Cargo, (around 7pm).

Wednesday 17th December, 5pm GALV
Jazz Improv Ensemble, led by Mick Foster and some special guests from Ensemble Module..

Kent composer showcases work at London festival

Composer and artist Dr Claudia Molitor, of the University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art, will see her latest work premiered at the Spitalfields Winter Music Festival 2014.

2437-fitandcrop-714x399                               Vast White Stillness

Titled Vast White Stillness, the words from a line in a poem by Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke, the work is part installation, part live performance. It will take place at the Toynbee studios (Commercial Street, E1 6AB) on Saturday 13 December and Sunday 14 December 2014.

Created in collaboration with director Dan Ayling, Vast White Stillness explores stillness, memory and ‘heimweh’, a sense of hovering between happiness and sadness.

Dr Molitor, who is a lecturer in Music and Audio Arts, is a composer and sound artist whose work draws on the traditions of contemporary music but extends to video, performance and fine art practice.

Vast White Stillness follows collaborative work by Claudia Molitor and Dan Aylgin called Remember Me: A Desk Opera, which was showcased at the Spitalfields Winter Festival in 2013.

The installation is supported by Ambache Charitable Trust and Arts Council England.

For more information, or to book tickets, visit:

To hear an interview about Molitor’s work visit The BBC Composers’ Rooms 16:

ICA Symposium: Realisms and Object Orientations: Art, Politics and the Philosophy of Tristan Garcia



Figure 2 : The vectorial channel of being.                                                    Courtesy of Tristan Garcia and Edinburgh                                                 University Press.

Symposium: Realisms and Object Orientations: Art, Politics and the Philosophy of Tristan Garcia

Fri 5 Dec, 11am
£5 / £3 Concessions

This multidisciplinary symposium seeks to interrogate philosophical realisms and object orientations within recent thought. The renowned philosopher Tristan Garcia will present, with his philosophical system providing the focus for a number of the papers. Artists’ contributions will explore this philosophical territory through performative practices.

Contributors: Tristan Garcia, Dr Iain MacKenzie, Dr Peter Wolfendale, Dr Maria Walsh, Dr Steve Klee, Ben Turner, Annie Davey, Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau

In partnership with the University of Kent, Sound Image Space and Critical Thought research centres


This Week We Welcome ‘Visiting Artist’ Jananne Al-Ani

Focusing on photography, film and video, Jananne Al-Ani’s recent work references the use of lens-based technologies in modern warfare and surveillance.

jananne al-ani2

4th December, 2014

Clock Tower Building (formerly BridgeWardens College), Lecture Theatre
Free, everyone welcome!

jananne al-ani

Jananne Al-Ani’s solo exhibitions include Excavations, Hayward Gallery Project Space, London (2014); Groundwork, Beirut Art Center (2013) and Shadow Sites, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington DC (2012).  She participated in the 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013); Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) and the 54th Venice Biennale (2011).  Her work is in the collections of the Tate, London, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and Darat al Funun, Amman. She is currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of the Arts, London.

This week we welcome ‘Visiting Artist’ Kirsten Glass

Kirsten Glass work has been exhibited regularly in group and solo shows, mainly in London’s commercial, public and project spaces such as the ICA, Barbican, V22 Projects and Hales gallery.

kirsten photo

27th November, 2014

Clock Tower Building (formerly BridgeWardens College), Lecture Theatre
Free, everyone welcome!


kirsten glass poster


Kirsten Glass was born in Belfast in 1975. She attended Chelsea College of Art then Goldsmiths College, graduating in 2000.

Kirsten will talk about developments in her painting practice over the last 15 years, focusing on the most recent body of work which is currently showing in London: Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, 14.11.14- 11.12.14. The Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery, a project space below Tramshed Restaurant, 32, Rivington St, EC2A 3LX.
Kirsten writes of this recent body of work:

I don’t want to be entirely in control. I want to feed the paintings this ritual geometry until they begin to transform into something I didn’t design. I watch out for when the painting becomes present, when it seems to hold something within itself. It’s important not to reduce this to an explanation. I’m interested in feeling the pulse or vibration and atmosphere of a painting, and knowing it holds its story precisely but silently. I guess the desire to get closer to something beyond the language you’re using – to know something unknowable – is the same for every artist and it really is the nature of painting. It’s the seduction of ‘almost’ and why once is never enough. But yes, they are libidinal and female and made between something sexual and something metaphysical. In this way they are love paintings.

For more information about Glass, please see:

This week we welcome ‘Visiting Artist’ Trish Scott

Trish Scott works performatively to examine social practices and conventions, investigating the relationship between everyday lived experience and institutional paradigms (and how these become naturalised).

Trish scott copy

20th November, 2014

Clock Tower Building (formerly BridgeWardens College), Lecture Theatre
Free, everyone welcome!


Trish scott

Scott often works experimentally with others and recent collaborators include employees in a City bank, householders in Kent and a Catholic priest. Working across media, Scott precipitates encounters, which she then documents and transforms into further works to trouble the relationship between events and their representation, participants and spectators.

Recent projects and exhibitions include Ethnographic Terminalia, Washington DC (2014) We know what we like and we like what we know (Individual Households in Kent, 2014), CRG @The Hub (Whitstable Biennale, 2014), Divina Sonus Ruras (Binaural, Portugal, 2013), Tangency (Osnabruck, Germany, 2012) and Stone Shoes (Space Station Sixty Five, London, 2011).

Trish is currently completing a practice based PhD at Chelsea College of Art supported by a Rootstein Hopkins studentship. She has an MA in Fine Art from Camberwell College of Art and a BSc in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

SMFA Fine Art graduate wins the 2014 Platform Award

The School of Music and Fine Art  is delighted to announce that Fine Art graduate Sophie Dixon has been awarded the 2014 Platform Award.


Platform Graduate Award winner Sophie Dixon, pictured with Peter Heslip, Director of Visual Art, Arts Council England, and the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. 

The Platform award is the most prestigious available to a graduating student across the entire south east stretching from Portsmouth to Milton Keynes to Margate.

Five galleries – Aspex, Portsmouth; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill; Modern Art OxfordMK Gallery, Milton Keynes and Turner Contemporary, Margate – each showcased selected work of recent graduates. Through a rigorous process of presentation and interview, Sophie was chosen from a final shortlist of 5 graduates and was presented with the Platform award on Saturday at Aspex Gallery by Peter Heslip, director of Visual Art, Arts Council England, and the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. Sophie will receive a bursary of £2500 as part of the award together with 12 months of support and mentoring from an experienced art professional.

Sophie’s work was selected by the Turner Contemporary Gallery. And Only Fine Threads Hold Us To Each Moment, consists of a 50 page book, prints and written text about Srbská, formerly Wünschendorf, a small village on the Czech Republic’s modern-day border with Poland. The artist’s video installation Wünschendorf, explores the irreversible changes that the Second World War wrought on the lives of millions, a period of loss and displacement which continues to influence the world in which we live today.

The Platform project is part of School of Music and Fine Art’s ongoing working partnership with the Turner Contemporary. The award supports graduate professional development and nurtures emerging artists from universities from across the South East region.

School of Music and Fine Art would like to congratulate Sophie on her achievement and thank staff at the Turner Contemporary for their continuing support for our students through Platform and other activities. Our relationship with the Turner has grown in strength over the last few years and the Platform project forms a key component of the fine art 3rd year.

Congratulations to Sophie Dixon on this fantastic achievement. Supporting artistic ambition and talent is an important aspect of the work we do at Turner Contemporary. We are delighted that a Kent graduate has been selected as the winner of this year’s Platform Award.”  – Victoria Pomery, Director of Turner Contemporary

 “Sophie is a deserved winner of this award, Scholtz’s House is a poetic and poignant study of a historical trauma from the Second World War that remains unconcealed and unresolved even to this day and told with remarkable insight and maturity. The whole School is very proud of this outstanding achievement.he refugee, the displaced person, the migrant is the emblematic figure representing ‘the quintessential experience of our time.” – Andy Conio, Director of Fine Art, University of Kent



This week we welcome ‘Visiting Artist’ Hayley Newman

Hayley Newman is a performance artist with a passion for humour, fiction, ecology and activism.


06th November, 2014

  • Clock Tower Building (formerly BridgeWardens College), Lecture Theatre
  • 17.30-18.30
  • Free, everyone welcome

Hayley Newman

Her commitment to working collectively around the current ecological crisis forged The Gluts (Gina Birch, Hayley Newman and Kaffe Matthews) who took their musical, Café Carbon, to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. Her novella, Common, was written as self-appointed artist-in-residence in the City of London over the summer of 2011. Common takes its readers through crashes in global markets, turbulence in the Euro-zone, riots on hot summer nights and the most extraordinary imaginings.

She recently completed the work Histoire Economique, a series of rubbings of the fronts of banks in the City of London, made on used envelopes; the very things banks send us information about our finances in. A member of the art/activist collective Liberate Tate, she lives and works in London and is represented by Matt’s Gallery.

She is a tutor on the doctorial programme at the Slade  School of Fine Art and Reader at Chelsea College of Art and Design.