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Scottish BAFTA / Pinky & Perky / Stephen Webster / Reunions / Graduation 2009

creative / November 09


University for the Creative Arts Alumni Magazine

Issue 02.

Graduate Fashion Week / Fantastic Mr Fox / Roger Noake


Welcome to the second edition of Creative Update the magazine of the UCA Alumni Association

Our first year with full university title is now complete, and has seen some fantastic achievements, including Rochester graduate Myrto Stamou scooping the prestigious River Island Gold Award at Graduate Fashion Week. It has not been an easy year in the shadow of a recession and for many industries the challenge has led to great difficulties. However, the UK is fast being recognised as a world leader in the creative industries and indicators have shown that its importance to the UK economy will continue to grow. Since the economic downturn, the creative industries have risen to the fore in a way which is becoming more and more evident. For example, currently 40% of all gaming content worldwide is produced in the UK. Our role in producing creative design is growing in an economy increasingly underpinned by technological advance.

Cover image courtesy of Sarah Crew’s ‘A View from Afar’

Creative practitioners are renowned for their ability to adapt to change, and this is something that you as alumni are a testament to. The ability to emerge from tough times is dependent on our ability to innovate. I am proud of the achievements of all of our students and always enjoy hearing about the successes of our alumni, and hope that you enjoy the articles in this magazine. Professor Elaine Thomas Vice-Chancellor


Professor Elaine Thomas | Vice-Chancellor’s welcome | Creative Update

welcome p2 news p3 advice p8 features p16 profiles p28 obituary p39 reunions p40 information p42


Postgraduate student first Taiwanese Prix de la Photographie winner Images from Sheng-yuan’s book ‘Strangers’

All because she doesn’t love me, she can show the brightest smile to the camera but when it moves away we are suddenly like strangers

UCA Rochester MA Photography student Sheng-yuan Hsu has won third prize in the 2008 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris, Europe’s biggest and most prestigious photography competition.


His book ‘Strangers’ contains 22 different girls’ portraits taken over eight years of his life. Sheng-yuan’s inspiration came from his first model, a girl called Yan. He told us: “When she asked me to take her portrait 10 years ago, I started to fall in love with her and photography.” The title for the book came from his anguish from falling in love and it not being reciprocated.

He said: “All because she doesn’t love me, she can show the brightest smile to the camera but when it moves away we are suddenly like strangers.” Since the win, ‘Strangers’ has now been published by Garden City Publishers in Taiwan. This has been an excellent achievement for Sheng-yuan who originally funded the publishing of 500 copies himself when the book was completed in 2006. The win has also found Sheng-yuan fame in his home country. He said: “All of a sudden my face showed up on the front page of the newspaper and in TV news reports.”

Once Sheng-yuan completes his MA course he plans to return to Taiwan where he will begin his new project: ‘The Second Chapter of Strangers’. This will be in contrast to his current book which contains portraits of happy smiling girls. He told us: “I am now going to take pictures of opposite emotion: sadness, the crying beautiful girls. I am very interested in the relationship between the photographer and the models.” You can contact Sheng-yuan on

MA Photography | Prix de la Photographie | Creative Update



The UCA alumnus behind Fantastic Mr Fox

Working for a long period of time with a host of incredibly talented people is a very rewarding experience

UCA Farnham alumnus Mark Waring is the animation coordinator behind the new ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ film, set to be released later this year. The film is a stop-motion animated film based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same name, and is the first animated film directed by Wes Anderson, the director responsible for the films ‘Rushmore’ and ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’. It stars the voices of Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Anjelica Huston, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray, and tells the story of the lead character Mr Fox (George Clooney) and his various exploits outwitting three local farmers. It is due to be released in November by 20th Century Fox Animation. Former UCA Farnham student Mark is the film’s animation coordinator, and has the challenging task of overseeing up to 21 animators and three assistants working at any one time. He said: “I have enjoyed the process of making the film very much. Working for a long period of time with a host of incredibly talented people is a very rewarding experience. You can’t help but learn a huge amount, and you have the satisfaction of seeing a project develop from zero through to a fully finished feature. (images) Fantastic Mr Fox Twentieth Century Fox Film Co Ltd 4

Mark Waring | Fantastic Mr Fox | Creative Update


“It’s going to be a great film. Our director, Wes Anderson wanted the voices to be as realistic as possible and so recorded them outside of a studio with actors reading their lines in real farmhouses and while running around fields. The voices are so important in an animated film, they provide the timings, and let us know what each character has to be doing at any one time.” Mark explained how he coordinated the project: “The film has approximately 30 scenes all of differing lengths and number of shots within the scenes. Each animator would do about an average of two seconds per day and the target for each animator was 10 seconds a week.

Overall when we were fully up to speed the whole team would be doing close to two minutes a week.”

and costs tens of thousands of pounds to create with the ability to move every part of their face and bodies for filming.

The animation for the film took about a year and was completed inside a studio comprised of three large shooting stages with multiple scenes being made at any one time. Other areas on the site were devoted to puppet making, editing, visual effects and administrative offices.

Since finishing work on the film, Mark has filmed a ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ McDonald’s Happy Meals commercial and says he is now looking forward to a hard earned rest: “It’s been a year and a half flat out and a holiday will be most welcome!”

The animators have had 12 full-size foxes, eight half-scale and various mini, micro and mini-micro scale versions with which to film at any one time. Each model is hand crafted

Mark who graduated from UCA Farnham’s animation course in 1989 worked previously on Tim Burton’s iconic ‘Corpse Bride’ in 2005, and as an animator on Aardman Animation’s film in 2000 ‘Chicken Run’.

Mark Waring | Fantastic Mr Fox | Creative Update



UCA Rochester’s Creative Writing Group (left) Curtis and Susie Snyder Spider who is a regular and much-loved guest in Curtis’ lectures

Just find a space - a quiet room, a bar, a café or a living room and start writing

Curtis Tappenden, alumnus of the Medway College of Art and now lecturer on the National Diploma in Art & Design at UCA Rochester, has been running a creative writing group at the campus for the last two years. The group began as part of a research project, funded by UCA. Curtis told us: “I wanted to find out why people were not writing, and encourage them to develop new forms of expression that they can apply to their course work. “I have seen students in the group improve their confidence, and use words in a more creative way in their projects and essays.” The creative writing group is also open to the wider community. Amongst its members are a 42-year-old builder who has discovered his talent as a poet, and a student with dyslexia who now has the confidence to incorporate words into his artwork. Curtis has had a varied career as an author, illustrator and performance poet. He writes and draws for the ‘Mail on Sunday’, has published 17 books, and been included in a number of poetry anthologies.


Curtis Tappenden | Creative Writing | Creative Update

Curtis gave us advice for new writers, he told us: “Just find a space - a quiet room, a bar, a café or a living room – and start writing. “There are also some good advice books available: Professor David Morley’s ‘Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing’ and ‘Inspiring Writing in Art and Design: Taking a Line for a Write’, by UCA’s own Pat Francis who explores the relationship of writing to art and design.” He sees strong link between the visual arts and creative writing: “Are not all the arts connected through composition, tone, colour, structure? Getting students to realise this for the first time is really fulfilling. For them it is an epiphany! “As reflective practitioners, visual artists and designers should seek to articulate their thoughts in words that can sit comfortably against their sketchbook developments. As they get their thoughts out onto the paper it crystallises things, and helps the development of ideas.” For further information on UCA Rochester’s Creative Writing Group, contact Curtis via email:


Illustration graduate designs set for pop video (left) Touch2Wild filming at UCA Maidstone

The UCA Maidstone campus provided the set for a new pop video featuring Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor Frank Harper. New girl band Touch2Wild employed the skills of UCA illustration graduate Sally King (22), from Gravesend, to put together a set for their new single ‘Fantasy’, and shot the entire video at the University’s state-of-the-art production facilities. Although many of the scenes for the video were shot on green screen, Sally was tasked with creating a luxurious penthouse where the band would hold a seductive pillow fight. Sally said: “The budget was really tight so I persuaded one of my student friends who lives nearby to drag his double bed over to the studio. I then borrowed a huge selection of bedding from my mum. “To create a luxurious feel I used white satin draping, and had to hem 15 metres of it in two hours. But the effort was worth it, the set looked great and I really enjoyed watching it being used by the dancers during filming.”

The budget was really tight so I persuaded one of my student friends who lives nearby to drag his double bed over to the studio

The video features a daydreaming janitor who imagines himself in a variety of romantic situations with Touch2Wild’s singers, and features a cameo from actor Frank Harper. The video and single were scheduled for release in October and there has already been interest from MTV. Sally developed her interest in production design whilst completing her BA (Hons) in Illustration.

She added: “My ambition is to become a production designer for film. This basically involves creating the look of a film alongside the director, beginning at concept art and carrying this through to set design and dressing.” Sally only graduated this summer, but she has already been signed up for her next project, which is set design for a vampire film ‘Captain Dark and the Angels of Destiny’.

Illustration graduate | Pop video filmed at UCA | Creative Update



Sarah Crew A practising photographic artist whose work focuses on social and environmental issues


Sarah is interested in seeing what happens to objects when placed within the context of her new work, and is fascinated by how the meaning and value of objects change in different situations. Sometimes, she uses herself within her photographs so she has complete control over them.


She told us: “In many ways the photograph becomes a stage set, with props, actors and a story that needs to be told, showing this through a photograph can create an engagement and interaction with the viewers.” Since graduation Sarah has found establishing herself as a practicing artist both exciting and challenging.

Sarah Crew | Case Study | Creative Update

She talked to Creative Update about the problems she has faced, and her advice for other artists trying to develop their identity. She said: “Believe in yourself, the quality of your work, your strengths as an artist and what makes you unique. Keep in touch with contacts and if you need support, don’t be afraid to ask for it.” Initially after graduating Sarah struggled with having no strict time limits or boundaries to her work. She also found it difficult not getting regular feedback like she had at university. >

Get out there and meet people, contacts are important. They will help raise people’s awareness of you as an artist


Sarah Crew | Case Study | Creative Update



Images taken from Sarah Crew’s work


Sarah Crew | Case Study | Creative Update


To resolve this Sarah went to Photofusion, an independant photography resource centre. Photofusion runs tutorials which she now regularly attends. These enable her to get a critical view of her work from other artists which in turn helps to give her new ideas and develop herself as an artist. Sarah has also kept in touch with some of her UCA tutors whose feedback she finds useful, especially since they know her previous work. Sarah has found the arts world a very supportive environment, although becoming a successful practising artist has been competitive, especially gaining gallery space.

Sarah said: “Once I had one exhibition after university, other galleries were more willing to see me as I appeared less of a risk.” Sarah now has a number of successful exhibitions to her name including her recent show ‘A View from Afar’. For more information on Sarah and her work please visit:

Believe in yourself, the quality of your work, your strengths as an artist and what makes you unique

Sarah Crew | Case Study | Creative Update




developing your identity as an artist The UCA Careers Service has recently published a series of booklets aimed at helping graduates establish themselves in the creative disciplines. From fashion to architecture, the series is packed with industry specific information on developing your career. Here are the careers team’s top 10 pointers for developing your career as an artist:

1. Get your work out there and get yourself known. Make sure you have a simple website set up and business cards produced containing all your contact details and your web address. 2. Get a studio space and save up for equipment. 3. Get out there and meet people, contacts are important. They will help raise people’s awareness of you as an artist. 4. Subscribe to industry magazines, these will keep you updated with local and international opportunities. 5. Try and organise shows yourself, you can cut the cost of this by collaborating with other artists. 6. Build a database of contacts. 7. Apply for courses to expand and enhance your skills. 8. Join your local art schools library, it is important to have access to the latest periodicals. 9. Get to know all the local arts organisations. 10. Always keep a sketchbook. The UCA Careers Service is free for all graduates to use for up to three years after their graduation. For further information or to receive copies of these booklets email


Developing as an artist | Careers | Creative Update


Thawing the recruitment



Unemployed graduate numbers dubbed a UK ‘national crisis’

Today’s morale is running lower than ever, particularly for us recent graduates, but I’m here to tell you that things aren’t necessarily all that bad. Although persistently labelled ‘the lost generation’, it remains a simple adage - at least in my eyes - and we must not use this as a white flag to wave when we feel a loss of hope in the big, bad world of unemployment. The bitter longevity of this recession is reflected in warnings from the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU), stating: “If this follows the last recession we could see up to four years of depressed jobs for graduates. We think it’s going to be at least as bad next year.”

Other recent figures predict that in six months’ time, 40,000 of the 2009 graduates will still remain in a state of unemployment. Although 14% of us are choosing to escape to warmer climes – running, my friends, is not the answer; a year out is not going to help your cause when it comes to fighting off the mass of equally qualified candidates in the interview room. While we are all sitting tight, waiting for the recruitment freeze to thaw, it is time for us – the creative movers – to embrace the barren wilderness and productively turn our ‘waiting time’ into something a little more useful.

Employers need something more than a degree. It’s our responsibility, paid or not, to proactively make ourselves more employable. It is when we stop creating that we become the ‘lost generation,’ and I for one certainly don’t want to be lost. >

Employers need something more than a degree and it’s our responsibility, paid or not, to proactively make ourselves more employable

Lauren Dyer | Recruitment Freeze | Creative Update




Lauren Dyer | Recruitment RecruitmentFreeze Freeze | | Creative CreativeUpdate Update


EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE The main reason why we are losing the battle of employment is down to our opponent’s front line lead: experience. But there is nothing stopping you from offering your skills for free. Volunteer for a local production company, shadow a journalist, even become a photographer’s runner. When you can prove that you have the drive and motivation to work for free, who’s to say someone won’t pop a proposal of a job? Paid or unpaid, experience is vital to employability and networking.

TRAIN YOURSELF Watching ‘Hollyoaks’, ‘Top Gear’ or ‘Loose Women’ does not contribute to proactive time spent at home. Instead, increase your creative software knowledge by using award-winning, strongly recommended by the professionals, many of whom fully trained themselves using this tool. Offering online training courses, a CD-DVD library, instruction books and modules, the small price of £14 a month seems very reasonable (and there is no rule against a group of you chipping in for the subscription). The magazine `Computer Art’ also offers CD-Roms and free downloadable tutorials from its website. It’s worth knowing that ninety three percent of the creative industries require employees to use software skills, so adding a couple extra to your CV is highly recommended.

EXPOSURE Why not use your talents to help local organisations and developing businesses who perhaps wouldn’t be able to afford your skills in years to come? Helping them through this tough time can create that vital exposure for your creative ability. Poster designs for a youth club, photography for a theatre group, illustrations for local pub menus (not forgetting to put your name by your work) can all form an impressive portfolio. Anything that can promote you while helping out your community will add a whole new level to your employability and keep your motivation high.

DIGITAL Being physically available 24/7 is something even those desperate for a job can’t be. Moving away from the vanity of Facebook, is a site that encourages you to establish a presence within the professional online community. The site acts as a trusted, global source for employers to reference potential candidates, and improves your chances of making a positive name for yourself. Professionals are encouraged to vouch for you, giving valid accounts that are trusted within the industry and displayed on your profile. It is important to note that increasingly, I have heard some employers say that if they can’t find someone online they are suspicious.

Watching ‘Hollyoaks’, ‘Top Gear’ or ‘Loose Women’ does not contribute to proactive time spent at home

If you want to take your digital availability further, create an online portfolio where your potential employers can visit to get a taste of your work; but make sure every piece displayed is strong and keep some behind to show them face to face. Finally, it goes without saying that, being of the digital generation, employers expect you to keep up-to-date with today’s current technology progression. Regularly updating your own blog and following others, is the simplest way to digest the digital world and improve your innovative platform.

About the Author – Lauren Dyer has recently graduated from UCA Farnham with a BA (Hons) Advertising and Brand Communication. Lauren is currently working as a Junior Creative undertaking an internship at leading pharmaceutical company, DDB Health.

(left) Image taken from Lauren’s ‘Branding Britain’ project

Lauren Dyer | Recruitment Freeze | Creative Update





(above) Myrto Stamou with her winning collection


Fashion graduates | Graduate Fashion Week | Creative Update



FASHION WEEK UCA collects accolades at Graduate Fashion Week

I wanted my clothes

UCA stole the headlines at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week, winning the coveted Gold Award and a cascade of great press coverage. Greek student Myrto Stamou, who studied fashion design at UCA Rochester, wowed judges with an elegant collection that was, as one judge put it, “good enough to be sold and better than many collections already for sale on the market.” Myrto’s collection, of flowing outfits made of draped jersey and chiffon, was given the Gold Award by judges Matthew Williamson, Giles Deacon, Lorraine Candy and River Island CEO Richard Bradbury. She said: “I never expected to win, in the past quite outrageous designs have won. My collection was designed to be very wearable.

to make women feel relaxed, elegant and attractive

“I wanted my clothes to make women feel relaxed, elegant and attractive. It was a great honour to win such a prestigious award and I was so happy that my parents could be there from Greece as well.” Winning the show has led to a string of interviews and features in newspapers and magazines including ‘The Daily Telegraph’, ‘The Independent’ and ‘Vogue’ and ‘Ozon’ in Greece. Over the summer ‘Company’ magazine featured Myrto’s collection modelled by TV presenter Fearne Cotton.

Since winning the award, Myrto has joined successful UK designer Hannah Marshall on an internship scheme which has seen her assisting Hanna at London Fashion Week. Although she is keen to start her own business, she says: “This is something that will come when I will feel mature enough professionally.” In September, Myrto was also invited to Iceland Fashion Week to show her collection alongside a range of international up and coming designers.

Myrto Stamou | Graduate Fashion Week | Creative Update



(this page) Collection by Amanda Abela

AMANDA ABeLA Maltese student Amanda Abela was tipped by tutors and judges to go far in the event, after a highly successful final year which saw her win the top spot in a River Island competition for UK students to design menswear earlier this year.

Amanda’s collection was one of the brightest and most colourful at the show with eight separate outfits designed to make an impact


Amanda Abela | Graduate Fashion Week | Creative Update

Amanda’s collection was one of the brightest and most colourful at the show with eight separate outfits designed to make an impact. Using the Photoshop package, she layered bright coloured patterns on top of each other and printed them onto silk to create one of the brightest and most eye-catching collections at GFW.

UCA’s Maltese star also caught the judges’ attention with her choice of music, ‘Honky Tonk Badonkadonk’, a track featuring a cacophony of screaming high pitched female voices over a jazzy honky tonk piano. She didn’t make the Gala Show, and that may be because judges couldn’t bear hearing the offending track another time, but fashion journalists visiting the show were clearly impressed with such confident use of computer-aided printed textiles. With a new computer aided era for textiles on the horizon, since graduating, Amanda’s skills are being put to use at London design duo Aminaka Wilmont.


APRIL SCHMITZ UCA Epsom student April Schmitz was another big hit at Graduate Fashion Week winning one of 10 sought after spots in the Gala Show. Her collection took inspiration from classic sci-fi films such as Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and Tarkovsky’s ‘Solaris’. April said: “My collection was a vision of the future. I used hardware elements including metal eyelets and wire cord to contrast with soft leather and tasselled plastic.”

The day of the show, after fielding questions from judges including Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson and Lorraine Candy about her garments, designs, and inspiration for the collection she joined the other finalists for a memorable afternoon. She said: “To see your collection go down the catwalk is the best thing. It’s totally surreal because it is your blood, sweat and tears, but it’s a great feeling.” Looking back at her three years at Epsom April says: “It has been great; I am going to miss everyone tremendously. The tutors and

technicians were a constant support throughout my degree.” April has recently begun an MA course in Fashion Womenswear, at the Royal College of Art.

OTHeR SUCCeSSeS Capping off UCA’s most successful Graduate Fashion Week to date, UCA Epsom fashion journalism student Yuka Maeno collected the First Word Journalism prize. This follows a win in the same category last year when all three finalists were UCA Epsom students.

(this page) Graduate Fashion Week images courtesy of April Schmitz | Graduate Fashion Week | Creative Update



UCA Graduates | Graduation 2009 | Creative Update


Class of 2009 Graduates of 2009, welcome to the UCA Alumni Association. We hope you will stay in touch and continue to be part of the UCA family

(images) Graduation ceremonies 2009

To view more graduation pictures please go to the University for the Creative Arts alumni facebook fan page continues > UCA Graduates | Graduation 2009 | Creative Update



Honorary Degrees

This year saw the award of honorary degrees to six well-known advocates of the creative arts who have been key contributors in their chosen fields

Billy Williams OBe

Sir Terry Farrell

John Henshall

In a career spanning half a century, cinematographer Billy Williams has been responsible for more than 40 films. He won his Oscar in 1982 for ‘Ghandi’, and received American Academy Award nominations for ‘Women in Love’ in 1969 and ‘On Golden Pond’ in 1982.

Sir Terry is one of the world’s foremost architects and urban designers. Some of his well-known projects include Charing Cross Station and the MI6 headquarters in London.

Throughout a career that has taken him literally all over the world, John Henshall has pioneered major advances in the new art and science of digital imaging.

He has played a leading role in shaping the debate about the regeneration of neglected public spaces. This includes being the design champion for the Thames Estuary Parklands Project, set to be the largest regeneration project in Europe.

He began his career as a cameraman with the BBC, and is today CEO and managing director of the Electronic Photo-Imaging Centre which offers consultancy and training in digital imaging.

Since retiring in 1996, Billy has devoted increasing time to teaching skills to students, giving encouragement and advice on developing camera movement, composition and creative lighting.


UCA Graduates | Graduation 2009 | Creative Update


(images) Graduation ceremonies 2009

Janet Street-Porter

James Spence

Dame Vivien Duffield

A well known television and media personality who covers a spectrum of genres from politics to entertainment, Janet’s career began as a Fleet Street journalist.

James Spence is an award winning creative director who has worked at the top of the advertising and broadcasting industry in the UK and Canada.

Dame Vivien is one of the UK’s most inspiring and dedicated philanthropists.

She has had an extensive and varied career including travel writer for the ‘Observer’ and ‘Mail on Sunday’, restaurant critic for ‘Vogue’ and editor of the ‘Independent on Sunday’.

He is currently BBC group creative director for marketing and communications at the broadcasting agency Red Bee Media.

She is chairman of the Clore Duffield Foundtation, which has supported an astonishing range of organisations including the Tate Modern, Natural History Museum and the Southbank Centre.

UCA Graduates | Graduation 2009 | Creative Update



Keep the Ferret sets its sights on the high street

Our garments are made from

An ethical fashion label, co-founded by UCA Rochester alumnus Abigail Ziering-Dalmedo, has been contacted by US artist Matthew Langille, famous for his catwalk designs and work with high street brands such as Marc by Marc Jacobs, Urban Outfitters and Swatch.

luxurious eco-fabrics such as bamboo, organic cotton and hemp

Abigail’s label, Keep the Ferret, is planning collaboration with Matthew next year and eventually hopes to offer its products to large retailers. Before studying at UCA, Abigail was working with a fair trade cooperative in Nepal. She said: “Whilst in Kathmandu with my now husband and business partner we met a businessman and philanthropist who suggested that we import from a fair trade cooperative that he had set up to support local crafts people.” Nepal like most countries in the region has a culture of sweat shop factories. The cooperative helps combat this by giving individuals the opportunity to work from home or as part of local shops. Abigail added: “The craftspeople work on their own schedule for a price per piece. The price has been set to include their time and materials as well as a liveable wage.” Images of the Keep the Ferret collection taken by Michael McCarthy from Michael Vincent photography 24

Abigail Ziering-Dalmedo | Keep the Ferret | Creative Update


Working in this way means that Keep the Ferret is assured the people making their products are working in good conditions and being paid a fair rate. In addition, their colleague in Nepal uses any commission to support another project he has set up - a home looking after the physical, emotional and educational needs of young people left in need by the recent political unrest. Abigail also takes some of the inspiration for her designs from the country. She said: “I found the design details of traditional clothing such as a wrapped fit shirt and Mandarin or Nehru style collars to be comfortable and elegant. “Our garments are made from luxurious ecofabrics such as bamboo, organic cotton and hemp. They include everything from basic t-shirts to dresses, tops and jersey lined jackets.” Keep the Ferret was established in 2007 through the Mode Future project, a SEEDA and UCA funded project supporting urban regeneration in Medway. For more information on Keep the Ferret please visit: Abigail Ziering-Dalmedo | Keep the Ferret | Creative Update



(right) Valletta Cruise terminal by Architecture Project


Design in our studios is not the task of an elite or selected senior staff. We always make sure that everyone can design from the very first day of their employment

� Tom van Malderen and Ephraim Joris work on a concept idea matrix


Architecture | The Open Conversation | Creative Update


A new approach to design:

The oPen ConveRSATIon Ephraim Joris, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for Interior Architecture & Design at the UCA Canterbury School of Architecture is also one of seven partners of the architecture practice Architecture Project; a network of architecture practices with offices in London, Malta and Croatia. As a practitioner and a teacher, I am interested in the structures that create opportunities to operate as part of a wider network both in terms of location and profession. In our practice we employ a wide variety of professionals including; architects, engineers, historians, interior architects and product designers. For most of our projects we set up design teams where we mix professions from different offices to set up ‘complex’ social communities and provoke new and unexpected ways of thinking. For example, our Malta and London offices have been working together on a large master plan for a mixed development deploying young interior architects and product designers together with architects, engineers and administrators.

In practical terms, with everyone expected to contribute to design, people with different ‘levels of experience’ find themselves sitting around the same table with an equal voice. Design in our studios is not the task of an elite or selected senior staff. We work with a lot of young designers and students and always make sure that everyone can design from the very first day of their employment. To maintain this level of collaboration, teams require constant management and readjustment. For example in our London studio the design team is subjected to weekly workshops to maintain and nurture ‘openness’ in the way team members communicate and negotiate design solutions. When an architect designs, very often the general planning of functions leads the way to a specific design solution. A product designer on the other hand will start from a specific design issue to generate a general product. Both lines of thinking follow opposite directions and will inevitably result in conflict.

When this conflict is harnessed during design sessions where different opinions are valued it sets the stage for great experimentation. If you are interested in the further organisation of these collaborations in practice in teaching I have developed an interactive website, called InsideOpen ( This allows users to set up web-blogs to engage in conversations on design. There is ‘openness’ in terms of ownership as the website is not directly linked to our practice Architecture Project nor is it linked to any academic institution. This mixing of ‘levels of experience’ has been criticized through academic policy stating that the rigor of research is best accommodated at postgraduate level. However, I strongly believe that in design situations different levels of experience can engage in a similar learning experience leading to better design solutions. Both in practice and in teaching the collaborative process is used to ensure a constant questioning and a constant learning through one of the more intrinsic things in life; a good conversation. InsideOpen has been online for almost a year now and has been used by a selection of practitioners and students. Everyone is welcome to become a member and setup a personal blog to share ideas.

Architecture | The Open Conversation | Creative Update



The Roger Noake Interview This year UCA Farnham’s Roger Noake retired after more than 35 years teaching animation This year UCA Farnham’s Roger Noake retired after more than 35 years teaching animation. He has seen thousands of animation students pass through the University and its forbears. Creative Update met with Roger to hear his reflections as he leaves the University for pastures new. Roger was born in Dyffryn, a small village near Bridgend in South Wales where he lived and grew up. It was at school aged seven where the seeds of animation were sown.


He said: “We had this teacher who brought plasticine into school and encouraged us to make models with it. I would make figures and put on a show with them every day after school.”


A success in school, Roger excelled in history, scoring in the top five places in his region, an achievement that earned him a £300 scholarship from his local authority in Wales. This was a significant amount in those days, which Roger equates to be the value of full tuition fees today.

Roger Noake | Animation | Creative Update

As a 16-year-old leaving Wales, he wanted to study graphic design and when it came to decide where to study, he had a choice between Liverpool or Birmingham. Roger, who was a dedicated music fan was drawn to Birmingham because of the vibrant music scene in the city. He studied an art foundation course at the Birmingham College of Art focusing on graphic design, but says if they had offered animation he would have studied that instead. It was at the UK’s first animation festival held at Cambridge in 1967 that Roger decided to pursue a career in animation. He was captivated by the work of Len Lye, an animator from New Zealand who had come to the fore in the 1930s and also made unique propaganda films at John Griersons’ legendary GPO Film Unit in the 40s.


(below) Henry’s Cat, Bob Godfrey (TV series 1982-93) © Bob Godfrey

I would make figures and put on a show with them every day after school

(above) Animal Farm - John Halas & Joy Batchelor, 1954 (composited cel artwork) © Halas & Batchelor

Roger Noake | Animation | Creative Update



I went to a phone booth and spent hours calling studios haranguing them looking for a job

After graduating he left Birmingham for London looking for his first job. “I had money for three days and a bag full of coins for the phone. I went to a phone booth and spent hours calling studios haranguing them looking for a job.”

(above) Roger Noake and long-time colleague Dr Andrew Darley in serious discussion at the Animated ‘Worlds’ conference, Farnham Castle, June 2005 © Suzanne Buchan

After calling Bob Godfrey’s studio, he was invited to meet him and have a look around. He said: “On arriving, after waiting to be seen, I took a seat at Bob’s desk and started doodling. Bob walked in, ‘You looking for a job or something’ he said. ‘Yes’ I replied and that was it - we’re still close friends today.” The job gave Roger experience, guidance, and training from a group of the most talented and established animators the UK had to offer. Bob Godfrey was greatly respected and is now seen as the iconic father of British animation. He is well known for the children’s cartoon series ‘Roobarb’ and ‘Henry’s Cat’ and on the big screen, having produced the BAFTA and Academy award-winning short film ’Great’ (1976). The UCA Animation Research Centre’s Archive includes hundreds of thousands of his original production materials, artworks and films in its Bob Godfrey Studio Collection ( There are many memories of Bob, and Roger has a deep sense of appreciation of him, but his reflections also tell something about the times he found himself in: “Animation was a very political business in its early years and Bob had gutsiness and a commanding sense of belief.”


Roger Noake | Animation | Creative Update

(above) Bob Godfrey at work in the early days © Bob Godfrey


(below) Still from documentary Roger Noake in conversation with Bob Godfrey, dirs. Aaron Wood & Suzanne Buchan, 20 min, 2005

Animation was a very political business in its early years

Animation was an industry deeply enriched by the influx of creative artists and thinkers who had been chased out of Europe before and during the Second World War. The likes of John Halas (whose remarkable Halas & Batchelor Collection is also held in UCA’s archive) and Peter Sachs, were Jewish refugees who dedicated their resources to aiding the propaganda effort against Nazi Germany. Bob greatly connected with this movement and it’s something Roger remembers well. Along with his British born wife, John Halas originally from Hungary animated the first feature animation, George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, satirising the rise of communism in Russia. Aside from great experience and insight into the growing animation industry, working alongside Bob Godfrey also gave Roger his first taste of teaching. Two days a month he and Bob, who started UCA Farnham’s world-famous Animation programme, would travel to Guildford to teach at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design. Later, Terry Gilliam who would make his fame with Monty Python accompanied them as well.

many of his former students with great affection, such as Tim Searle, now at Triffic Studios and the animator behind ‘Have I Got News For You’. Roger Said: “Tim started out as a photography student who wanted to express himself more than the photography course would allow him. He was also a great saxophonist, and anyone who could play like that would make a great animator!” Over the years Roger taught thousands of students, including Oscar winners Michael Dudok de Wit and Suzie Templeton, and had a great individual influence over the industry in the UK and around the world. “I really took to teaching,” he says. “There’s constant change and I really enjoyed that.” Roger is looking forward to his retirement with a feeling of excitement. Happy at his achievements, but always in need of a way to express himself creatively, he his ready to embark on his next creative journey – an adventure in poetry. All images in this profile are courtesy of the UCA Animation Research Centre’s ARC Archive

What began as two days a month grew into a career for Roger, and the programme eventually moved to the current UCA Farnham campus. He remembers

Roger Noake | Animation | Creative Update



DIAMonD GeeZeR Creative Update meets celebrity jeweller Stephen Webster

Stephen Webster is a London based jeweller best known for his contemporary and unconventional designs. His work attracts some of the entertainment world’s most alluring and glamorous stars including the current face of his advertising campaign Christina Aguilera. Stephen has also received a number of prestigious accolades for his work including three times winner of the British Luxury Brand Jeweller of the year and the UK Luxury Jewellery Brand of the year in 2008. He currently has 120 points of sale around the world including his recently opened flagship store in London’s Mayfair. Creative Update interviewed Stephen and he told us all about his career since leaving the Medway College of Art.


Stephen Webster | Diamond Geezer | Creative Update

Can you give Creative Update an overview of your career to date? I was born in Gravesend and at 16 went to study fashion design at Medway College of Art. By chance I walked into a jewellery design class; the flames, noise, chemicals and shiny objects were instantly appealing and much more up my alley. I guess it was a good choice as 34 years later I am still at it! We now have 22 Stephen Webster boutiques worldwide and this summer we opened our first London flagship store on Mount Street in Mayfair. We launched our second advertising campaign featuring Christina Aguilera and I am now also the Creative Director for Garrard; it’s been a busy year! How did you break into the jewellery industry? I took an apprenticeship in Canada when I finished at the Medway College of Art. I was very lucky to work with a man who had an incredible passion for and knowledge of gems. I was fascinated by the different stones. This was the job where I built my confidence as a designer and maker and learned how to communicate with a client. >


Jewels Verne Crab ring

Stephen Webster | Diamond Geezer | Creative Update



Christina Aguilera, the current face of Stephen Webster’s advertising campaign


Stephen Webster | Diamond Geezer | Creative Update

Profile News

What obstacles did you face in setting up your own business? I could say my limited education; I left school when I was 15 which was pretty normal in those days but I now see the huge benefit a few more years at school would have done me. Equally, my kind of stubborn, single minded focus on being a craftsman is really is a bit of double edged sword. As far as it’s taken me as a jeweller, there are times when my attention to detail can be a bit time consuming! What has been your biggest achievement to date? Being invited to join the Livery of the Goldsmith Guild is probably my greatest achievement. (The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, more commonly known as the Goldsmiths’ Company, is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London and received its first royal charter in 1327). What is it like seeing your jewellery worn by world famous celebrities such as Madonna and Christina Aguilera? Jewels Verne

It is far more important to have general recognition, but celebrity association has been key to the communication of our brand. Christina Aguilera is the face of our ad campaign and a great personal friend; she is also the inspiration behind our women’s silver collection.

Diamond Couture collar

Who has been your favourite client? I don’t have a favourite client, all my customers are equally important to me. The reality is our customer surprises even the very experienced retailers such as Neiman Marcus who have labelled us the “18 – 80” brand. I have no problem with this. I just love seeing people of all ages, shapes and sizes wearing our pieces with confidence and pleasure. What advice would you give to graduates breaking into the industry today? Be patient and get some good training from an expert. This may seem a little traditionalist but this is a slow traditional business with very few overnight stars. However, if you make it, it is also one of the greatest industries. We work with the finest materials, create things that make people happy and if you are lucky, get to see the world too.

Jewels Verne Lobster ring

For more information visit: All images courtesy of Stephen Webster

Stephen Webster | Diamond Geezer | Creative Update



‘Life of a pigeon’ scoops BAFTA for UCA Farnham alumnus Creative Update spoke to Scottish BAFTA winning film maker Billy Campbell, who graduated from UCA Farnham in 2008 with a BA (Hons) in Film Production. This year has seen some great successes for Billy with him scooping Best Fictional Film in the Scottish BAFTAs for his mocumentary, ‘Life of a pigeon’. Billy told us: “The film is about film making. It says something about the craft of film making. Its very dark and humourous, a nice mix of message and entertainment.” The award has helped Billy to increase his confidence. He said: “I thought ‘Life of a pigeon’ would be the only film I would direct, I could never have dreamt it would be shown around the world. It is also a pretty cool thing to mention in the pub after a couple of pints.” Billy has been working on films since the age of 15 and his father is a professional freelance cinematographer. He is currently working on a number of interesting projects, including a documentary for the BBC. He told us: “It is about immigration between Canada and Scotland (and vice versa) in the 1930s. This project came about thanks to one of Billy’s graduation films ‘Island to Isla’ which won the Kodak award for best cinematography in 2009. Billy said: “I showed the director this film and after that he decided to give me my first big break.” (above) Scene from Billy’s Film ‘Life of pigeon’

He is also writing his debut feature film. This will continue the themes explored in ‘Life of a pigeon’ looking at the roles and responsibilities that film makers have on their subjects.

Its very dark and humourous, a nice mix of message and entertainment


Billy Campbell | ‘Life of a pigeon’ | Creative Update

Billy has given us some great advice for those trying to break into the industry. He said: “Always follow up contacts, get in touch with people whose work you admire in your region. If they have a job coming up and need a crew they might be able to get you on the job.”


Film & Video alumnus brings Pinky & Perky back to our screens Sally Marchant, who graduated in BA (Hons) Film & Video from UCA Farnham in 1999, recently played a key role in the relaunching of the 1950s children’s classic ‘The Pinky and Perky Show’. After a meeting with Lupus Films in 2006, Sally secured herself a job offer to co-produce the series, which returned to the BBC in November 2008. Her official title was line producer. She said: “I was a lot more creatively involved than a pure line producer. I was involved in script writing, making sure scripts were realised to screen, briefing the musician, directing the actors and ensuring the animation stayed faithful to the script. “Every waking thought was devoted to the series. I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking maybe Pinky should do this, or Perky say that.”

(top) Courtesy of © Pinky & Perky Enterprises Limited MMVIII

Sally began her career surrounded by world famous actors such as Nicole Kidman and Vincent Cassel while working in a catering truck on the British film ‘Birthday Girl’. While not sounding very

glamorous, it helped cement her decision to pursue a career in broadcasting and production. From here Sally worked on the BBC’s ‘City Hospital’ as a runner for a two week holiday cover. She told us: “My parents thought I was mad taking up a two week gig, but it paid off and they kept me on to the end of the series.” Her big break came when she was offered the job as PA to Nick Wilson, the director of Children’s and Religious programmes at Five. She said “It was the best thing I did, I stayed at Five for seven years, moving up the corporate ladder in children’s TV.” Sally is now returning to Five to produce the children’s animated series Milkshake. She would also like to run her own production company and is currently looking for animators and aspiring directors for her new project ‘Groovy Galaxy’. For further information contact:

I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking maybe Pinky should do this, or Perky say that

Sally Marchant | Pinky and Perky | Creative Update



Maidstone’s first international student looks back Despina’s work is currently in the mediums of digital photography and video. Over the years she has experimented with printmaking, typography, monoprints, Polaroid and large Xerox prints. Her work looks at the mutual relationship between reality and its representation; truth and fiction; social and political facts and their distortion. This year has seen two of her biggest achievements to date with participation in two biennales: ‘Art in Times of Uncertainty’, in Greece, and ‘So Close Yet so Far Away’ in South Korea. Despina told us she is still in touch with one or two of her fellow alumni, but would love to hear from others. If you would like to contact Despina please email her at: or take a look at her website Creative Update spoke to Despina Meimaroglou, the very first international student to study at one of our founder colleges, the Maidstone College of Art. Despina studied a National Diploma in Design at Maidstone from 1961 to 1965. Originally from Greece but brought up in Egypt, she chose the college after a recommendation from her uncle. She found it challenging, being both the first international student and the only foreigner studying at the campus at the time. She said: ”I struggled for at least the first three months to comprehend the English language spoken around me. My main nightmare was the incapacity to follow a lecturer and take down notes.” But to this day her fondest memory comes from the words of another student who said: “Despina you are one of us.” She told us: “From day one Brian Wildsmith was the teacher who stood by me, believed in my talent and gave me a lot of encouragement and he continues to be my role model so many years on.” Her experiences adapting to the differences in the UK, in conjunction with continuous world travel throughout her career, have been a major inspiration for her work. She said: “It taught me how to comprehend the differences and similarities which bind us with others and therefore enable the collaboration between us. And this is exactly what my art is based upon.”


Despina Meimaroglou | First International Student | Creative Update

(images) Images taken from Despina’s work


Gideon David Baws 1975 - 2008

Here at UCA we would like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of Gideon Baws after his sudden death in 2008 at the age of 33. He passed away whilst in the USA after complaining of what was assumed to be simply muscular pain. Gideon was an extremely talented and well loved individual who will be missed by many. Gideon Baws graduated from UCA’s predecessor KIAD in 1997 with a first class BA (Hons) in Communication Media. At Maidstone he formed lasting friendships with Jason Groves, Richard (Kenny) Kenworthy and Christopher Harding with whom he later formed the successful company Shynola Limited.

(above) Gideon with Hulk Hands

At the start of his career Gideon co-wrote a short animated film with Kenny. ‘The Littlest Robot’ drew considerable praise and won Best Computer Animation Award that year at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

The friendship forged at KIAD lasted up to, and beyond Gideon’s tragic and unexpected death. After attending the wedding of their USA agent in Palm Springs, Gideon, together with Kenny and his wife Mia drove west across America. On the way, they climbed in the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park and Boulder Dam. Gideon and Kenny had both swum five kilometres for the Swimathon charity earlier in the year, so their fitness was never in question. Gideon’s family and girlfriend would like to thank charity C-R-Y Cardiac Risk in the Young for their support.

Gideon David Baws | Obituary | Creative Update


After they had all completed their studies the four established Shynola Limited in order to pursue their unique vision of ground-breaking animation. They won a number of awards for their work including the MTV music award for Best Special Effects in 2003 for the Queens of the Stone Age video for their single ‘Go with the flow’, amongst many others for work with well-known music artists such as Radiohead.

In 2004, Shynola produced the on-screen link computer images for the Disney cinema film production of the Douglas Adams best seller ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. More outstanding TV advertisements and music videos followed. In 2006, they produced the opening title sequence for the successful TV series ‘The IT Crowd’. Always in demand, Shynola’s innovative approach continues to attract copyists as well as admirers.



Graphic Design class reunites after 35 years Back in June, seven members of UCA Maidstone’s 1974 Graphic Design class returned to the campus along with former tutor Tom Sawyer. The group enjoyed a fantastic day of reminiscence and laughter, catching up on old times and looking at old photographs. The group were given a tour of the UCA Maidstone campus to see how things may or may not have changed, followed by a trip to their old haunt The Walnut Tree pub.


Tom Sawyer told us: “It was great to see everyone, a bit of a shock however, I’m still 29 years old and expecting them to be 22.”


UCA Maidstone’s Graphic Design alumni return to the campus

UCA Maidstone class of 74 | 35 year reunion | Creative Update

Paul Martin who instigated the reunion, said: “It was great that we could pick up threads of conversation where we left them all that time ago, it was just like coming back into college after a weekend.”

It was just like coming back into college after a weekend


Medway College of Art alumni reunite after 50 years

Medway College of Art reunion Last September twenty students from one of UCA’s founder colleges, the Medway College of Art, met for a reunion, bringing the group together after the best part of 50 years. The alumni all studied at the Medway College of Art from 1958 to1960 on the intermediate certificate in drawing and painting programme.

“The reunion was punctuated with countless smiles, the sound of laughter and a general feeling that we must do it again.” The group hope to hold another reunion sometime in 2012. Any former Medway students from this era please contact Leonard McDermid: Eden Cottage, Stichill, Kelso, Roxburghshire, TD5 7TA

After their studies they all went their separate ways. Reunion organiser Leonard McDermid told us: “Some went onto further education, some to teacher training and a number went on to make their mark on the art scene and have built prestigious careers.

Medway alumni | 50 year reunion | Creative Update



New MBA creates first graduates UCA Rochester is celebrating the graduation of the first students to study on the MBA Creative Industries Management programme – the only programme of its kind in the UK. Four students completed their course back in September. Course leader Martin Bouette said: “These specialist students are the first in the country to achieve this unique qualification. “They have not only attained the high-level understanding of management practice and theories that you would expect from a traditional MBA – they have also developed specialist knowledge on how the creative industries function and how to be effective leaders through project work and by analysing real industry situations.”


UCA Rochester’s MBA Creative Industries Management was devised in response to the dramatic growth seen by the creative industries, which now account for 8% of the UK’s GDP and employ two million people. Bouette explains: “Managing a creative business requires a unique set of skills, which aren’t necessarily taught on traditional MBA programmes.


“A 4% growth in the creative industries sector is predicted to take place between 2009 and 2013, more than double the rate of the rest of the economy. We therefore felt it was essential to devise training that would meet the needs of the new generation of management professionals required to lead the creative industries.” For further information email Martin Bouette:

Managing a creative business

(above) Staff and students on

requires a unique set of skills,

the MBA course

which aren’t necessarily taught on traditional MBA programmes

MBA graduates | UCA Rochester | Creative Update


UCA helps regional businesses through the downturn Creative practitioners and small businesses are being urged to take advantage of free and low-cost training aimed at supporting the creative industries through the economic downturn. UCA is working with a range of local partners to deliver a programme of professional development and training, innovation services, and networking events.

“UCA alumni who take advantage of the programme will receive support and advice from specialist business advisors, mentors and academics. This will help them boost both their confidence and business acumen.” For further information on the programme of events, visit

Phil Ely, Associate Dean, said: “We recognise that both established businesses and graduate entrepreneurs need access to a wide range of experts and processes that will allow them to build for the future.

GreenThink! - Helping small businesses help the environment Alumni running their own businesses in the South East of England are being urged to take advantage of a free service designed to help small businesses become more environmentally friendly. The Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD), a research centre based at UCA Farnham, has been awarded SEEDA funding to help companies develop more sustainable products and services.

Martin Charter, Director of the CfSD, explains: “We start the sessions with exercises designed to stimulate new ideas, then later in the workshop we really drill down on several of those ideas, looking at how they could be implemented in practice.” For further information visit:

It has devised a special process, known as GreenThink!, to help stimulate green innovation and design. Companies participate in a workshop with a range of stakeholders both internal and external, and also receive a set of recommendations from University experts.

Small businesses | UCA services | Creative Update


Update contact details We want to hear from you! We are updating our alumni database so please email us at Send us your up-to-date contact details and a bit about yourself. We are interested to hear what you are doing.

Your magazine We hope you enjoyed this second edition of Creative Update. Following our achievement of university title, we are keen to make the UCA Alumni Association as active as possible. We’d love to hear from you with any suggestions on what you’d like to get out of the alumni association so that we can create the kind of network that you want. To send us your story ideas, comments on the second edition of this magazine, or any more general feedback please email: or call 01252 892736

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UCA Alumni Magazine - Issue 2  
UCA Alumni Magazine - Issue 2  

University for the Creative Arts Alumni Magazine