Category Archives: Alumni

Work by SMFA Fine Art alumna Nadia Perrotta selected by UNESCO for Human Rights Contemporary Art Exhibition

 

A moving image installation about art and children called Because I am, written and directed by SMFA alumni Nadia Perrotta (BA, 2015, and MA Fine Art, 2017) and featuring Lalita Bailey, (BA Fine Art 2017) and the children of Squirrel Lodge and The Rabbit on the Moon nurseries, has been selected for a major UNESCO event in Italy about art and education.

Presented by Associazione Internazionale Arti Plastiche Italia, Spazio-Tempo Arte and Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti, Human Rights? #EDU 2018 is an International Exhibition of Contemporary Art from 23 June – 23 September at the Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti, Rovereto, Trento, Italy which features 161 artists from 37 countries defending the human right to education.

The event asks the artists to represent and tell, with their own artistic language, a personal vision of the problem of the right to education representing a story, a concept, a complaint, or showing a future perspective as message of hope or as a concrete proposal on the opportunities to be pursued to achieve this fundamental goal for the construction of a fair and right society.

More about the event here: http://aiapi.it/hr-edu-en

Nadia’s film Because I Am was created during her artist residency since September 2016, at The Rabbit on The Moon Nursery in Sittingbourne, and there will be an exhibition – Because I am: A children’s journey across self recognition and discovery of the world around them through the arts  – on Saturday 23rd June, 12-3pm at Kemsley Community Centre, The Square, Ridham Ave, Kemsley, Sittingbourne showing the works the children created with her throughout the past year.

See Nadia’s film here: https://youtu.be/L7y0d5U20oM

Nadia is a film maker and visual artist with experience in exhibiting and organizing events, art writing and curating.  She works mostly with time based, installations, digital work, creative writing and performances. An experienced curator and art director, she was Project Leader for Wetlands Medway.  More info about Nadia here https://nadiaperrotta.jimdo.com/

 

Related posts: https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/news.html?view=2856 and https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/news.html?view=2859

SMFA Fine Art alumni create art intervention for Whitstable Biennale

 

SMFA alumni Nadia Perrotta (BA Fine Art, 2015, and MA Fine Art, 2017) and Fiona Townend  (MA Fine Art, 2017) together created an art intervention involving photography and creative writing for Whitstable Biennale. The project, called Cuttlefish Bones, ran from 2-10 June, and was an artistic and poetic treasure trail winding through the streets of Whitstable suitable for adults and children alike, a fusion of poetic text, domestic mini tales and photographs of the unnoticed.

More info http://satellite.whitstablebiennale.com/project/cuttlefish-bones-a-treasure-trail/

 

About the artists:
www.fionatownend.com
nadiaperrotta.jimdo.com

SMFA Fine Art Alumna Nadia Perrotta Artist in Residence Exhibition in Kent

 

Since September 2016, SMFA alumna Nadia Perrotta (BA, 2015,  and MA Fine Art, 2017) has been artist in residence at The Rabbit on The Moon Nursery in Sittingbourne, and there will be an exhibition showing the works the children created with her throughout the past year.

Because I am: A children’s journey across self recognition and discovery of the world around them through the arts takes place on Saturday 23rd June, 12-3pm at Kemsley Community Centre, The Square, Ridham Ave, Kemsley, Sittingbourne.

Nadia is a film maker, visual artist, art writer and event organiser who works mostly with time based, installations, digital work, creative writing and performances. An experienced curator and art director, she was Project Leader for Wetlands Medway.

More info about Nadia here: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/nadia-perrotta-082a537

SMFA Fine Art students take part in Revolutions festival at University of Kent Paris centre

Eiffel Tower, Photo by Constanza Marques Guedes

 

At the invitation of Peter Brown, director of the University of Kent Paris centre, SMFA Fine Art students recently spent a week in Paris taking part in the Revolutions festival held at the University Centre, which celebrates 50 years of protest and featuring a huge range of artwork and events. https://www.kent.ac.uk/news/culture/18290/paris-centre-celebrates-50-years-of-protest-with-revolutions-ma-festival

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! “

The students recorded their visit via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/smfa_paris_2018/

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.”

It is planned to stage a return visit next year.

 

More info:
https://revolutionsmafest.wixsite.com/revolutions/le-menteur-magasine-launch
https://www.instagram.com/smfa_paris_2018/

SMFA students and alumni feature in international festival of moving image

 

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)

 

More here https://www.facebook.com/events/611085545925717/

Interview with MA Fine Art alumnus Matt Bray, co-founder of the Medway Print Festival

Drawing in the snow at dockyard during MA. Photo by Gaz Bray

 

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

Studio shot with work from ’Sick!’ exhibition. Photo by Rikard Österlund.

 

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?
My parents.

Thanks, Matt.

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/

SMFA Fine Art students interviewed live on KMTV

Screenshot of KMTV interview with mural by SMFA BA Fine Art student Lalita Bailey in the background – the mural is a community collaboration with young people in Medway.

 

School of Music and Fine Art students Olu Taiwo (MA Fine Art) and Lynn Smith (BA Fine Art) were interviewed live on KMTV to talk about their 2018 degree shows.  They spoke movingly about the value of art in today’s society.  To see the interview click here: https://bit.ly/2IHUAJ3

Lynn Smith’s work explores nature and the spirit of place, investigating the landscape through sculpture, and using traditional craft within fine art.

Olu Taiwo’s work is concerned with memory – how we access and discard memories  – experienced through his immersive art.

The 2018 Degree Shows, which feature the work from graduating students studying Fine Art and Event and Experience Design,  are open to the public until 26 May, open from 10-5 and free.  Go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/school-of-music-and-fine-art-2018-graduation-shows-tickets-44643012452 to book.

 

To find out more about the artists in the Fine Art Degree Show go to https://www.weareherecollective.com/whoarewe

SMFA Fine Art PhD student Stephen Connolly wins prestigious 2018 BAFTSS Award

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 won 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.

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.

Says Stephen: “The PhD has been such an amazing experience and deeply helpful for my practice, encouraging me to push forward towards publication. The process of academic research has allowed me to place the work in context and in conversation with other disciplines and artists. I aim to contribute to the further development of practice as research as a process of making moving image work in the arts.”

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.  https://wexarts.org/film-video/stephen-connolly-machine-space

You can read the LFF Review (in which it is described as “brilliant”) on MUBI https://mubi.com/notebook/posts/spatial-stories

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  http://baftss.org/awards-2018/   and  http://baftss.org/special-interest-groups/practice-research/

Machine Space newsprint giveaway http://bubblefilm.net/texts/pdf_texts/Machine_Space_Newsprint.pdf

SMFA Music student compositions performed by leading ensemble Octandre

On Monday 21 May at 1pm, the School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent, Medway is excited to present a special lunchtime recital to celebrate the work of our BMus, year 2 composition students. Having spent the term working alongside one of the UK’s leading contemporary music ensembles, we are delighted to have three musicians from Octandre – Audrey Milheres (Flute), Sam Cave (Guitar) and Corentin Chassard (Cello) – to showcase selected submissions. Octandre are developing an international reputation for their work with a recent commission receiving a BASCA composition award, multiple broadcast recordings for BBC Radio 3 and several high profile performances at venues including LSO St Lukes and St John Smith’s Square. With Sir Harrison Birtwistle as their patron and a consistently thriving programme they are well and truly at the forefront of our nation’s music scene.

Audio link –  https://www.octandre.com/audio

The concert takes place in the Galvanising Shop Performance Space on the Historic Dockyard Chatham and is free to attend but please book via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/school-of-music-and-fine-art-lunchtime-concert-with-octandre-tickets-45584024043

Ropery Songs now on You Tube

In May 2017, SMFA Lecturer in Fine Art, and Partner College Liaison Officer, Tim Meacham, facilitated an innovative public event in the Historic Dockyard Chatham Rope Walk with LTHT, a University of the Arts London community of practice group engaged in low-tech and high-tech action, traversing sound, space, interaction and textiles. The result – Ropery Songs – is now available on You Tube.

The event, which took place on Monday 29th May 2017, was a collaboration between staff and students from SMFA Fine Art and UAL Textiles, Interior Spatial Design and Sound Studies. The project sought to activate the ropery by transforming the whole structure into a musical instrument through improvised “playing” of the space. Ropery Songs offered a valuable opportunity for staff and students from different universities and disciplines to come together for one day to create a new shared space of sound and performance through the re-reading of this historic building.

Ropery Songs film documentation can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0MWP1yIlus