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Summer Research Day

In 2017 NUA held its Summer Research Day on 11 July. The day was a celebration of, and showcase for, NUA research and researchers. The event was led by Professor Alison Goodrum, Director of Research at NUA and comprised a busy programme that was filled with presentations from academic staff who shared their recent research and practice. The morning session included a ‘three-minute thesis’ event at which several Postgraduate Research Students presented their PhD projects in the form of flash talks. The afternoon session included a guest keynote speaker, Professor Martyn Evans, Head of Research at Manchester School of Art, who gave advice on his vast experience of bidding for external research funds. The day concluded with a drinks reception in the foyer of the Duke Street building. We look forward to the Winter Research Day scheduled for Monday 20 November 2017.

Created and Contested Territories (CACTus)


Members of NUA’s ‘Created and Contested Territories’ (CACTus) research group have launched their ‘BALLOT’ box set of printed works at the FIRST EDITION print symposium in Cork, Ireland (23-24 June 2017). BALLOT is a collaboration with Crawford College of Art and Design (Cork, Ireland) and also includes invited partners from Print to the People (Norwich), Cork Printmakers and Limerick School of Art and Design. Artist and BA (Hons) Fine Art Course Leader Carl Rowe, participated as a panel discussant at the symposium, delivering a presentation on the theme of collaborative practice. Find out more about the FIRST EDITION symposium.

Image credit: Created and Contested Territories (CACTus)

Paradox at the Wysing Arts Centre depicting people in pink streamers


Course Leader for BA (Hons) Fine Art, Carl Rowe, has been selected to contribute to ‘Paradox’, the biennial conference of the European League of the Institutes of Art (ELIA). The event, titled ‘For, About, Nearby: The Value of Diversity and Difference in Fine Art Practice, Research and Education’, will take place between 13-15 September 2017 in London. Rowe’s paper, Feast, will take the form of a case study, reflecting on his innovative, collaborative, teaching practice that has, for some six years, brought together NUA Fine Art students and the Wysing Arts Centre.


Neil Bousfield, Lecturer in Illustration, will be heading to the British Museum this June to deliver a conference paper at ‘Woodpeckings: The Dalziel Archive, Victorian Print Culture and Wood Engravings’. Bousfield’s contribution to the programme is titled ‘Archive, Narrative and the Construct of Place’ and examines his own practice as an engraver informed by landscape, archives and memories.


Nicola Simpson, PhD researcher at NUA and expert on the life and work of Dom Sylvester Houédard (known as ‘dsh’) has curated a programme of performances to mark the opening of ‘Dom Sylvester Houédard: Typestracts’, an exhibition at Richard Saltoun Gallery, London. dsh is widely recognised as one of the leading theorists and outstanding practitioners of concrete poetry and the exhibition will run from 26 May to 14 July 2017. It is accompanied by a publication from Ridinghouse that includes an essay by Simpson along with other contributors, Guy Brett, Gustavo Grandal Montero, Dr. Andrew Hunt and Charles Varey.

Mark Making – Research Seminar

NUA opened its doors to Dr Hannah Zeilig on Thursday 25 May, as part of its regular Research Seminar Series. Dr Zeilig addressed NUA staff and research students on her AHRC funded project Mark Making, a national review of the role and value of the arts for people living with a dementia. Dr Zeilig is Senior Research Fellow at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.

Suzie Hanna of NUA profile picture

Stateside Recognition for Professor of Animation

Professor Suzie Hanna, Chair of Animation Education at NUA, has received yet more acclaim for her highly regarded Known Unto God collaboration with the poet Bill Manhire. The Poetry Society of New York has extended an invitation to Professor Hanna to screen her film, Known Unto God, as part of the programme at the prestigious The New York City Poetry Festival this coming July (2017). The Festival is the largest poetry gathering in New York City and is hosted annually on Governors Island. Professor Hanna’s film was originally co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Writers Centre Norwich and formed part of the ‘Fierce Light’ exhibition at East GalleryNUA in 2016. The film has since been selected for screening at numerous international events, including Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016, Zebra Poetry Film Festival 2016, Interfilm 32nd International Short Film Festival Berlin 2016, 14th London Short Film Festival 2017, Short Waves Festival 2017, Poland.

Journal of Writing in Contemporary Practice Call for Papers

NUA’s MA Fine Art has been invited to edit an edition of the Journal of Writing in Contemporary Practice addressing the role of language and text within contemporary visual art practices. Submissions are welcome from NUA staff, postgraduate students and recent alumni. The issue will investigate and encourage debate about whether, in the 21st century, visual art can exist without an accompanying textual presence. It will focus on three distinct areas:

  • the role writing plays in the education of artists at undergraduate and post-graduate levels;
  • the role of writing in artistic production;
  • the role of writing in curatorial practices;

Download the Call for Papers

Strange Pilgrimage by Matthew Richardson

‘Strange Pilgrimage: Elements of a Narrative’

BA (Hons) Illustration Lecturers Emily Mitchell and Matthew Richardson have collaborated with Leah Fusco and Mireille Fauchon of UCA / RCA on a collaborative project: ‘Strange Pilgrimage: Elements of a Narrative’. The project took Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’ as a starting point, originating in a car journey the four illustrators took, moving through and stopping off at locations on the ‘Pilgrims Way’ – the route that Chaucer’s pilgrims travelled. Using the four medieval elements to frame the work, Leah Fusco (water), Mireille Fauchon (air), Emily Mitchell (earth) and Matthew Richardson (fire) explored different elements of the narrative. The project included a symposium, workshops, exhibition and new publications. ‘Strange Pilgrimage: Elements of a Narrative’ is at The Beanery House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury, 11 March – 6 April 2017.

Seeking State by Matthew Richardson

The Seeking State: AHRC Collaboration

Matthew Richardson, Lecturer in Illustration was commissioned by Cai & Kyn to provide illustrations for ‘The Seeking State’, a consultancy that provokes curiosity and questions around culture and heritage to help institutions and companies redefine public engagement. In this project, Creative Industries and academia came together in a workshop to ‘co-create’ the next funding model for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), to to re-think and rescue the term ‘collaboration’ from hyperbole and cliché.

Krysztof Fijalkowski profile at Norwich University of the Arts

Surrealism: Key Concepts

Krzysztof Fijalkowski, Professor of Visual Culture and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, has published a new book – Surrealism: Key Concepts, with co-author and editor Michael Richardson (Goldsmiths, University of London) entitled. This is the first book in English to present an overview of surrealism through the central ideas motivating the popular movement.


PhD candidate Katherine Hewlett has had work show alongside Michelle Fulham and Leon Cole at the Westminster Arts Library in London. The exhibition explores the condition of being different and outside of the mainstream, drawing on the experiences of seeing London locations barred to others in the 80’s, and considering how these limitations are now changing in reaction to the austerity of more managed systems. The exhibition ran from 1-27 August 2016.

Go Walkeez image

Cultural Education for Children

PhD candidate Kazz Morohashi has teamed up with the Medieval Churches of Norwich Research Project (UEA) to run a unique family-friendly churches trail as a fringe Heritage Open Day event running from 10 – 11 September 2016. Find out more about the event.

NUA Research Seminar: Understanding the Value of Arts and Culture

On 29 September 2016 the University opened its 2016-17 programme of research seminars with a presentation by Geoffrey Crossick, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities in the School of Advanced Study, centring on his major Cultural Value Project for the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Peter Nencini

Kolla! 2016 Awards

In October 2016 Peter Nencini, Senior Lecturer in Illustration, was commissioned to collaborate with Martin Frostner Studio to by Svenska Tecknare (Swedish Association of Graphic Design & Illustration) to create the identity for the for print and web applications for the ‘Kolla! 2016 Awards’. View the Svenska Tecknare feature.

Suzie Hanna

‘Known Unto God’

Suzie Hanna, Professor of Animation Education, has been selected out of thousands of entries to screen ‘Known Unto God’ at this year’s Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF), a major UK and BAFTA Qualifying film festival now in its sixth year. ASFF 2016, which takes place 3-6 November in York, UK, is a celebration of independent filmmaking. It screens 400 short films from across the world in genres spanning drama, animation, comedy, documentary, fashion, music video and more to audiences of filmmakers, industry professionals and film fans. The film was originally created for the ‘Fierce Light’ exhibition at the East GalleryNUA commissioned by 14-18 NOW. ‘Known Unto God’ was also selected to be screened at the 4thÓ Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition in October 2016.

‘Mapping the Broads’

Illustration researchers Neil Bousfield, Glyn Brewerton, Sinead Evans and Peter Nencini are contributing to the major ‘Water, Mills and Marshes: The Broads Landscape Partnership’. Students are also involved in design work as part of an Ideas FactoryNUA commission. View the new film to find out more about this major multidisciplinary project.

Ana Rute de Costa Architecture Lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts profile

Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Awards

Architecture Lecturer Dr Ana Rute Costa was shortlisted for this year’s Architecture Review Emerging Architecture Award for project researched and designed with collaborator Alvaro Fernandes Andrade. Dr Costa was also invited to join the live judging process that will take place on 27 September in London.

Peter Nencini work on floor at Norwich University of the Arts


Peter Nencini, Senior Lecturer in Illustration, has contributed to the major exhibition and workshop ‘Mould Map 6’, which brings together the work of some of Europe’s most exciting visual artists and graphic storytellers considering the subject ‘making worlds’. Read the AIGA review of the exhibition written by James Cartwright: ‘When should a magazine’s next issue be an exhibition Instead?: Nontraditional ‘Mould Map 6’ tackles heavy topics with a progressive show’.

Dom Sylvester Houédard and ‘Performing No Thingness’

PhD Candidate Nicola Simpson has curated a major exhibition, ‘Performing No Thingness’, for East GalleryNUA running from 27 September to 29 October 2016. She also recently published an article, ‘d-r-a-w-n-i-n-w-a-r-d towards the centre of things’ for Beshara Magazine. View the article.

NUA Research Seminar: The Role of the Audience in Narrative Design

On 27 October 2016 the University welcomed Graham Rawle, Lecturer at the University of Brighton and Visiting Professor of Illustration here at Norwich University of the Arts to give the second research seminar of the academic year. Professor Rawle presented on ‘The Role of the Audience in Narrative Design: Illustration, Literature and Film’.

Unfolding Thinking

Les Bicknell, Senior Lecturer in Textile Design, has secured Arts Council funding to be Artist in Residence at The Maxwell Centre NanoDTC at Cambridge University for 2017. The project ‘Unfolding Thinking’ seeks to extend our understanding of the relationship between cutting edge science and contemporary art, specifically making connections between nanotechnology and the making of bookworks. Follow the progress of the project.

Sarah Horton profile image on Norwich University of the Arts campus

Journal of Contemporary Painting

Sarah Horton, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, has been invited to join the peer review panel for the Journal of Contemporary Painting.

Space, Place and the Construct of Home

Neil Bousfield, Lecturer in Illustration, will give a keynote talk and show work from his practice-based research into ‘Space, Place and the Construct of Home’ at the Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale taking place in September 2016.

Les Bicknell profile picture at Norwich University of the Arts

Art Language Location

Les Bicknell, Senior Lecturer in Textile Design is showing work at Art Language Location (ALL), an art festival taking place from 13-29 October 2016 in locations throughout Cambridge, featuring innovative and experimental contemporary artists from across the UK and beyond who use text in their work. The extended exhibition, performances, discussions and events aim to bring together artists and audiences, punctuating the city with a series of visually exciting and unexpected encounters in which our everyday can be explored and challenged.

Crisis, Mobility and Creativity in Japan and Europe

Senior Lecturers in Graphics Nigel Aono-Billson and Glen Robinson were invited to present on their design research project, ‘Keshiki’ at an event looking at ‘Young Generations in Japan and Europe’ organised by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures for 4 November 2016.

Simon Granger, Norwich University of the Arts Senior Lecturer in a workshop


Simon Granger, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, had work on show at Westminster Waste in London in the ‘Skittlebräu’ exhibition running from 17 December 2016 – 17 January 2016.

Prototyping / Discovering / Analysing

Peter Nencini, Senior Lecturer in Illustration, has created a typographic signage system for Eastside Projects’ façade as part of their series of exhibitions for ‘Production Show’, a programme of relationships, commissions, exhibitions and events spanning two years which explores Eastside Projects’ role as an active space of research, development, prototyping, manufacturing and display, and Birmingham as a ‘city of production’.

NUA Research Seminar: Cross-Cultural Computing

On 1 December 2016 Professor Naoko Tosa of Kyoto University presented on her on-going practice-based research focusing on ‘Cross-Cultural Computing: An Artist’s Journey’. This research seminar was jointly sponsored by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.


NUA Chair of Animation animates for Oxford Relit Summer School

The Oxford ReLit Summer School is an intensive exploration of the power and therapeutic value of literature and the other arts. The theme for 2017 is ‘The Writer, the Artist & their Notebook’. This year filmmaker Professor Suzie Hanna has been animating the drawings of English poet Stevie Smith, with particular reference to her character stereotypes and the way that male and female aspirations and relationships are explored. Susie will deliver a session at the Oxford Relit Summer School on connecting the poet’s textual and illustrative vision, and will include a hands-on character development workshop. Professor Suzie Hanna is Chair of Animation Education at Norwich University of the Arts and Chair of the National Association for Higher Education in the Moving Image (NAHEMI).

Image depicting virtual world symposium event at Norwich University of the Arts

‘Virtual Worlds’ Symposium

Wednesday 23 November – 10am-4pm

As part of William Latham’s Mutator VR exhibition, which opens in East GalleryNUA on 15 November 2016 running until 14 January 2017, Norwich University of the Arts will host a one day symposium exploring potential research and innovation themes stemming from the exhibition including: generative and evolutionary art; artificial intelligence; data, design and play; virtual reality; and the implications of living in a world where the boundaries between the analogue and the digital are ever-shifting.

Read the Symposium programme.

Les Bicknell

Artist in Residence for Senior Lecturer

Les Bicknell, Senior Lecturer in BA (Hons) Textile Design has secured Arts Council funding for an artist in residence at the Maxwell Centre NanoDTC in Cambridge for a year. Les has designed his project, unfolding thinking (pictured), to deepen a discussion of the connections linking contemporary art and innovative scientific thinking. Les will be working inside the labs at Cambridge University, making a space and engaging with research students to establish a body of new artwork interlacing with aspects of nanotechnology. His aim is to build a closer relationship with the scientific community, developing audiences for the arts and recognising the potential of the arts in science, technology, engineering and maths. Follow the project on the unfolding thinking website.

Outpost and NUA

Lynda Morris, Professor of Art History and Curation and Chris Rawcliffe have curated the 2016 Members Show at Outpost, which includes the work of, amongst others, Craig Barber, Lecturer in Fine Art alongside a number of NUA and EASTinternational alumni. The exhibition coincides with the British Art Show 8 and runs from 22nd June-31st July 2016.

Poster for Constellation exhibition


Against the backdrop of the British Art Show 8 this collaboration between academic staff, research students and alumni from NUA and the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, offers a more exploratory approach to the possibilities of the exhibition. In Constellation, the artists disrupt the traditional structure of the exhibition, choosing neither the thematic approach nor one that is based upon a selection of coherent works. Thus, the process of dialogue, and how it inflects the creation of new work, is placed centre-stage. Constellation ran at the the Undercroft, Norwich between 2nd-17th of July 2016, and includes the work of Sol Archer, Joseph Doubtfire, Paul Fieldsend-Danks, Gregory Hayman, Sarah Horton, Bernd Krauss, Hunter Longe, Alice Mendelowitz, Melissa Pierce Murray, NUA PhD candidate James Quinn, Carl Rowe, Tim Simmons, Sarah Smith and Judith Stewart.

Emily Dickinson and the Responsive Body

Suzie Hanna, Professor of Animation Education, Dr. Nicole Panizza (Senior Lecturer in Music Performance/Visiting Research Fellow, Coventry University/University of Oxford), Dr. Sally Bayley (Supernumerary Research Fellow, University of Oxford) and Hannah Sanders (Independent scholar and performer) presented an innovative ‘Performance Panel’ entitled ‘In other Motes, Of other Myths: Emily Dickinson and the Responsive Body – Disruption, Interruption and Temporality’ at the Emily Dickinson International Society Triennial Conference hosted by the Cité Internationale Universitaire, Paris, 24th to 26th June 2016.

Richard Sawdon Smith profile image

The Artist as Collector: Collecting as Research

Professor Richard Sawdon Smith, Dean of Media and Fine Art recently published an article on ‘The Artist as Collector: Collecting as Research’ in Uncertain States, the broadsheet associated with the eponymous project that has, since 2009, served as a platform for dissemination of ideas informing contemporary photography. The article evolved out of a presentation by Prof Sawdon Smith, part of a series of three given at the V&A London in November 2015 with support from Arts Council England.

Suzie Hanna profile image

National Association for Higher Education in Moving Image

Suzie Hanna, Professor of Animation Education, has been elected as Chair of the National Association for Higher Education in Moving Image (NAHEMI). NAHEMI provides a forum for discussion about innovations in the discipline explored through teaching and research, engages with government bodies and industry, and represents the aims and interests of the sector through publication and engagement in public debate.

Stevie Smith and Glenda Jackson

Suzie Hanna, Professor of Animation Education, recently recorded the Oscar-winning actress and former MP Glenda Jackson reading poet Stevie Smith’s ‘The Blue From Heaven’. Prof Hanna has been working with Dr Francis White and Noreen Masud who organised a major conference on Smith that took place at Jesus College, Oxford in March 2016. Read the blog Ms Masud has written about the collaboration. As part of the project Prof Hanna also has permission from the estate to animate Smith’s own drawings, and hopes to have the film completed this summer.

Paintings by Barbara Walker detailing servicemen

Barbara Walker at MAC Birmingham

Lynda Morris, Professor of Curation and Art History, working in collaboration with the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, has curated Shock and Awe, a major new commission of drawings by the acclaimed Birmingham artist Barbara Walker at MAC Birmingham. The exhibition chronicles the contribution of Black servicemen and women to the British Armed Forces and war efforts involving Britain and the colonised nations of the British Empire from 1914 to the present day. As the world commemorates the centenary of World War I, the body of work addresses the stories that remain largely untold, acknowledging an absence of representation over the past 100 years. The exhibition runs from 23rd April-3rd July 2016.

Paul Fieldsend-Danks

Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity in the Arts

Paul Fieldsend-Danks, Head of Taught Postgraduate Awards, will present pedagogic research into collaborative practices at the ‘Arts Without Borders?’ Symposium hosted by the University of the Arts Helsinki and the Centre for Educational Research and Academic Development in the Arts, which takes place from the 19th-22nd of October 2016.


Adaptation, an exhibition at the Transition Gallery explores the indeterminate time and space of literary fiction and how it might be adapted. Matthew Richardson, Lecturer in Illustration, Gerbrand Burger and Jackie Chettur consider the gaps that are inherent in how and why a story is read, imagined and made visible. The distilled narratives are re-formed and extended through print, assemblage, animation, drawing and sound. The exhibition runs from 3rd-25th June 2016.


Ross Trevail, Lecturer in Photography, will be showing some work from ‘Communal’, an ongoing project documenting communal space across the UK, as part of the next Photo Scratch night on Monday the 23rd of May at the Hotel Elephant Studios and Gallery in London.

Fierce Light

Artwork of Fierce Light

Suzie Hanna, Professor of Animation Education has created a new animation of Bill Manhire’s poem ‘Known Unto God’ for the ‘Fierce Light’ exhibition and publication, a major new co-commission of poetry and films from 14-18 NOW, the Norfolk & Norwich Festival and the Writers’ Centre Norwich reflecting on the national and international legacy of the Battle of the Somme. Dr Phil Archer worked on the sound design, and colleagues from Oxford and Sandhurst advised on the research elements reflected in Prof Hanna’s animation; Dr Alisa Miller, Director of Research and Prof Hanna also contributed to the eponymous Gatehouse Press publication. The exhibition, which includes work by poets Simon Armitage, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Jackie Kay, Paul Muldoon, Daljit Nagra and Jo Shapcott and filmmakers George Belfield, Tim Davies, Matthew Kay and Joshua Carver, debuted at the East Gallery NUA on 10th May 2016 and ran until Saturday 4th June 2016, and a touring schedule is currently in development. Read the Fierce Light feature by The Guardian.

NUA Research Seminar: Looking and Ruskin

Nichola Johnson OBE, Visiting Professor in Art Curation, presented on John Ruskin: The Art of Looking and the Teaching of Art. A provocation at the 9th University Research Seminar of the 2015/16 academic year on 12th May 2016.

James Smith portrait photo

Breaking New Ground: Photography in the Digital Age

James Smith, Course Leader for Photography recently presented pedagogic research on photography and MOOCs at Future Now: Aesthetica Art Prize Symposium that ran from 26th-27th May 2016.

Progression in Art, Design and Media

Shaun Camp, Year Zero Coordinator for Fine Art and Graphics, presented pedagogic research on work involving Year 0 students at the GLAD Symposium hosted by Coventry University on 7th June 2016.

Illustration research and PhD candidate success

NUA PhD candidate Amy Goodwin has secured support from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust for her PhD project ‘The Archive: A space for disputed, dubious and subverted narrative’. Amy recently showed on-going practice-based research as part of the collaborative show Cassiopeia: HIP at the A.P.T. Gallery in London, and presented at the Southbank Centre as part of the ‘Speaking Signs’ event organised by the live arts cabaret Local Transport on 31st May 2016.

Aesthetics and Aestheticization in Design Culture

Dr Nic Maffei, Senior Lecturer in Graphics, presented a paper on ‘Shininess in Design’ at a conference at the University of Southern Denmark, which took place from the 26th until the 28th of April 2016. Participants considered what is meant by ‘aesthetics’ in design today, how is it perceived and which mechanisms in design culture affect what is understood and perceived as aesthetic, and discussed future collaborative research.

NUA Research Seminar: Breathing Spaces

Dr Rosemary Shirley, Senior Lecturer in Art History and Henry Moore Institute Research Fellow 2015-16, Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University presenting her paper on ‘Breathing Spaces: The smell of a Britain’s National Parks’ at the 8th University Research Seminar of the year on 14th April 2016.

Man working in atmospheric studio

Artist Boss

Jenny Dunsheath’s and Lecturer in Fine Art Dr Mark Wilsher’s new publication Artist Boss: Anthony Caro’s studio assistants and issues of legacy in British sculpture presents a series of interviews with Anthony Caro’s (1924–2013) studio assistants and critical essays that explore the role of artists’ assistants to raise questions concerning the status of production, originality, authenticity, and authorship within the tradition of twentieth-century British sculpture. A series of exhibitions at The Cut Halesworth (30th August to 6th October 2016), New Arts Centre Roche Court (19th November 2016 to 29th January 2017) and the Bath School of Art and Design (December 2016 to January 2017) are also planned. The research project is chronicled online on the Artist Boss website.

Art by Sarah Horton depicting chairs in a boardroom set up

Disruptive Decoration

Tuesday 19 April – Saturday 30 April 2016

Sarah Horton has taught at Norwich University of the Arts for a number of years and has continued to make sculpture while completing a practice-based PhD. Horton’s interest is in the workplace and how different work environments can be disrupted by the intrusion of decorative artworks. The show features a number of free-standing sculptural objects where office chairs are used as a starting point for inventive and playful interventions, and includes documentation of the research process in the form of photographs of interventions into two actual office spaces, at Aviva’s Head Office in London and Berendsen, a large industrial laundry in Fakenham. The show takes place in East GalleryNUA.

Peter Nencini, ‘Radar’ commission, 2015

‘Radar’ and ‘Mut Mut’

Peter Nencini, Senior Lecturer in BA Illustration, has recently completed a number of research projects that have received critical attention and accolades. These include ‘Radar’, undertaken in collaboration with graphic designers Europa with support from Arts Council England and Loughborough University Arts, and ‘Mut Mut’, a group show that was recently review on Eye Magazine’s website. A film of studio interviews with contributors to the show was commissioned by, and is featured on This Is Tomorrow.

Innovative thinking and research featured in Varoom!

The new issue of Varoom! – the Association of Illustrators’ periodical – features a number of contributions by, or features about NUA’s Illustration team. Sinead Evans, Lecturer, and Dr Catrin Morgan, Research Supervisor were asked to ‘identify five key works that could set down a new canon for how illustrators engage with the world’, for an article which asked this of ‘leading thinkers and makers of illustration’. Senior Lecturer Peter Nencini’s ‘Radar’ commission, created in collaboration with graphic designers Europa, is featured in an interview piece by editor John O’Reilly, and the issue also includes an article on the group show ‘Mut Mut’ in which Peter exhibited in December 2015.

Picasso in Africa at Calvert 22

NUA’s Lynda Morris, Professor of Curation and Art History, presented a lecture on ‘Picasso and Modern Africa 1945-73’ at Calvert 22 on 15th March 2016 to coincide with the ‘Red Africa’ season and the exhibition ‘Things Fall Apart’ curated by Mark Nash.

Using technology for assessment and feedback

NUA doctoral candidate Katherine Hewlett presented pedagogic research into how to use technology for assessment and feedback in the creative disciplines at the Higher Education Academy’s Arts and Humanities ‘Inspire’ Conference, which took place in Brighton on 3rd and 4th March 2016.

Research and innovation in design thinking

NUA’s Professor Julian Malins and Dr Fiona Maciver have been invited to present on their European Commission funded collaborative project COnCEPT at the Design Research Society’s in Brighton and at the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management 23rd Innovation and Product Development Management Conference in Glasgow in June 2016. They will also present at the IEEE Advancing Technology for Humanity SAI 2016 Computing Conference in London in July 2016.

Aesthetics, Europe and the First World War

In February 2016 Dr Alisa Miller, Director of Research, published an article in a special edition of British Journal of Military History entitled ‘Modern War and Aesthetic Mobilisation: Looking at Europe in 1914’. The journal is fully Open Access and the abstract and article are available to read now.

Photo of Kimberley Mine in South Africa, 1873

NUA Research Seminar: Challenging Visual Culture

NUA welcomes Professor Marcia Pointon, Emeritus Professor at the University of Manchester to present on ‘Challenging Visual Culture: Photography at De Beers Kimberley Diamond Mine 1875-1890’. The seminar will discuss Professor Pointon’s discovery of specific troubling images from the South African mine. The event takes place on 17th March 2016 at the Ideas Factory, with refreshments from 17:00 (seminar begins at 17:30).

Paul Fieldsend-Danks

MA Leader exhibits work at the Royal West of England Academy

MA Leader and fine artist Paul Fieldsend-Danks exhibits work in an upcoming exhibition entitled ‘Imagined Landscapes’ which explores an alternative understanding of place in contemporary art and the role of the artist as spatial narrator, cartographer and geographer. The exhibition at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol features multi-disciplinary artists whose work explores environmental issues such as tidal erosion, coastal flooding and the scars left by human cultivation. ‘Imagined Landscapes’ is open until 12 June, for more information visit the exhibition event page.


Fashion 360

As part of Norwich Fashion Week the University is hosting an exhibition and symposium addressing issues of connectivity, pattern and form. This concept has been chosen specifically to reveal global processes, skills and technologies usually hidden from view, and to reflect and explore the NUA Research Theme ‘Pattern and Chaos’. Led by Harriet Posner, Course Leader for Fashion Communication and Promotion, contributors include Orla Kiely, Christopher Payne, Michelle Lowe-Holder, Dr Kirsten Scott, Sarah Angold, Ciment Pleating, Neuba Menswear and Josefinas (Portugal) as well as NUA academics including Professor Hilary Carlisle, Kevin Freeman, David Tudge, Les Bicknell and Victoria Mitchell. A publication associated with the event and exhibition is also planned.


Design Practice as Palimpsest

Dr Rob Hillier, Senior Lecturer in Graphics, has an article accepted for publication in The Design Collection. Drawing on Dr Hillier’s design practice, developed and created over the timeframe of a decade, the article investigates the creative process, visual methodologies, intrinsic unpredictability and ambiguity associated with ideas of visual change and altered states. In doing so, this article views the potential of developing design practice through the notion of palimpsest, both literally and metaphorically. The article is based on a paper delivered at the Ninth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices in Chicago in March 2015.

Suzie Hanna

NUA Animator to create film for ‘Fierce Light’

Professor Suzie Hanna will produce a film exploring the interactions between poetry and animation for the ‘Fierce Light’ exhibition on the legacy of the battle of the Somme that will open at the East GalleryNUA in May 2016, part of the ‘Created and Contested Territories’ Research Theme. The project will involve 5 other animators and poets, and is supported by the Writers Centre Norwich and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Prof Hanna’s film draws on research undertaken with colleagues at Oxford and Sandhurst that will also be presented at the AHRC-funded ‘First World War: Commemoration and Memory’ conference taking place at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester on 26th and 27th February 2016.


Extra-Terrestrial: Tess Jaray and Alison Wilding’ at the East GalleryNUA

The East GalleryNUA has announced two research events associated with the new exhibition ‘Extra-Terrestrial: Tess Jaray and Alison Wilding’, which opened on the 26th of January and runs until the 19th of March 2016. On Friday 26th February at 1.30pm Alison Wilding will be ‘in conversation’ with Neil Powell, and on Friday 11th March at 1.30pm Tess Jaray will speak about her work with Amanda Geitner, Director of the East Anglia Art Fund. Both talks are part of the ‘Created and Contested Territories’ Research Theme series of events. Photograph features Alison Wilding in her studio.

NUA Research Seminar: Adrian Palka presents on ‘Sound, Multi-Media Performance and Post-Memory’

The University welcomed Adrian Palka, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Coventry University to present on ‘Men of Steel’ as well as a project focusing on memory, exile and family history tracing his father’s and grandfather’s experiences of Siberia at the fifth Research Seminar of the year on 28th January 2016.

Glen Robinson

NUA design researcher contributes to Japanese translation project

NUA’s Glen Robinson is working with colleagues from the Writers Centre Norwich and the University of East Anglia to produce a series of Japanese chapbooks that are set to appear in the autumn of 2016. The project has received funding from the Nippon Foundation, and Glen has also received a University Research Fellowship to support his part of the collaboration.

Paul Cope

PhD student announces gallery show

NUA PhD student Paul Cope’s solo show – ‘Towards a New Normal’ – opens at The Cut, Halesworth on 16th February and runs until 19th March. Paul’s colourful paintings explore themes of change, process and playfulness. They draw on observation, mapping, diagrams and schematics and are developed through extensive drawing and collage. He is interested in abstraction, pattern, and colour and mark-making. The work references Modernism, the more abstract Surrealists such as Miro, Ernst and Klee, and current painters such as Joanne Greenbaum, Thomas Noskowski and Jonathan Lasker.

Sam Epps, PHD Student

PhD student to publish work

NUA PhD student Samantha Epps has had article on ‘The Page as a Site for Repetition in Conceptual Art’ accepted for publication in the Routledge journal Visual Resources. The journal will be published online in autumn 2016 and the print publication will be available from spring 2017.

Victoria Mitchell

University Research Fellow appointed

The University is pleased to announce that Victoria Mitchell has been appointed Research Fellow based on her significant reputation as a researcher and educator in textile culture and her potential to contribute to the University Research Themes, in particular ‘Pattern and Chaos’.

Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice

NUA staff members Paul Fieldsend-Danks and Sarah Horton have been working with colleagues on the editorial board to prepare a new edition of the journal Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice, which promotes and disseminates contemporary drawing practice and research in its current cultural and disciplinary diversity. The journal invites practitioners, researchers, educators and theorists in the disciplines of fine art, architecture, design, visual communication, technology, craft, animation, etc. to contribute articles. The journal has announced a deadline for new submissions of 1st February 2016.

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Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) to present at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC)

In December 2015 Professor Neil Powell presented at the conference ‘Contemporary Art, Social Activism and Social Crisis in Japan: Echigo-Tsumari, Setouchi and Beyond’.

NUA Research Seminar: Dr Catrin Morgan presents on ‘Evidence and Illumination’

The University welcomed Dr Catrin Morgan, Senior Lecturer in Authorial Practice at Falmouth University to present at the fourth seminar of 2015-2016 on advances in illustration theory and ‘Evidence and Illumination’ on 7 January 2016.

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NUA Research Seminar: Professor Hilary Carlisle presents on ‘Geometry, Gender and Generative Design’

The University’s Dean for Design and Architecture presented the third in a series of Research Seminars on the topic: ‘Geometry, Gender and Generative Design’ on 3rd December 2015.

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Professor to show work in Naples

Professor Neil Powell has been invited to show work at the Cam Casoria Contemporary Art Museum in Naples for a show set to run from 11th December until 31st December 2015. Prof Powell will also speak at a symposium associated with the exhibition.

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NUA Research Seminar: Dr Scott Grandison presents on ‘Coding as Art’

NUA’s new Teaching Fellow in Digital Transformation and Creative Coding kicked off the University’s 2015-2016 Research Seminar series with a presentation on ‘Coding as Art: Art as Coding’ to colleagues on 1st October 2015.

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University academic to publish book on Norman Bel Geddes

Dr Nicholas Maffei will publish a monograph entitled Norman Bel Geddes: Founding American Design with Bloomsbury Academic Press. The book is set to appear in 2017.


The University welcomed Adrian Palka, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Coventry University to present on ‘Men of Steel’ as well as a project focusing on memory, exile and family history tracing his father’s and grandfather’s experiences of Siberia at the fifth Research Seminar of the year on 28th January 2016.


New funding won to map the Broads through illustration

Researchers at NUA will partner with the Broads Landscape Partnership to explore the Norfolk Broads through illustrative practice after the University was awarded funding to support the project. The project, entitled ‘Mapping the Broads’, will provide an opportunity for academics and students to make use of a variety of media to gather and expose the many ecological, human and historical layers that make up the Broads landscape. Find out more about the Mapping the Broads project.


NUA contributes to EC consortium

Staff at NUA engaged on a €3.1m design-related European Commission ICT Framework 7 research and development project. The team at NUA provided design research expertise within a multidisciplinary European industry and academic consortium. The project, entitled COnCEPT (an acronym for ‘Collaborative Creative Design Platform’) seeks to draw on a range of interrelated expertise to design and develop a digital platform to support designers. The resultant software will primarily assist the early phases of design, as well as streamlining the management of the design process.

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Professorship awarded

A professorship has been awarded by Norwich University of the Arts (NUA): Krzysztof Fijalkowski, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art and a research supervisor at the University, has been awarded a Chair in Visual Culture for his distinguished career as an educator and researcher.


Royal College Research Leader presents at NUA

Tom Simmons, Research Leader for the School of Communication at the Royal College of Art presented a seminar exploring ‘Designing through experience in public digital space’. Focusing on research undertaken through the AHRC Creative Exchange Hub, this presentation looks at ways in which design is used in the creation and use of public digital spaces.


Professor in demand

Professor Lynda Morris has given a series of talks to mark prestigious art shows. In October Professor Morris gave a talk at GNYP Artspace about the influence of David Bomberg on British painting. The talk marked the exhibition Boy meets Girl featuring the artists Rose Wylie and Zachary Armstrong. In November she talked to Arnaud Desjardin, curator of ‘Don’t Forget. …’, at Large Glass in the context of the exhibition about artists’ printed matter and other art related ephemera. She was also invited to contribute to the Gustav Metzger Day at the Serpentine Gallery.

Neil Powell

Contemporary Art Practice, Criticism and Curation

Professor Neil Powell, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), has published a series of articles reviewing contemporary art exhibitions for the Wall Street International. Ranging from a consideration of Giorgio Morandi’s paintings at the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, to James Turrell’s ‘LightScape’ at Houghton, to an interview with the Hayward Gallery’s Ralph Rugoff about their survey of scientist-turned-artist Carsten Höller’s work, the reviews detail the relationships between artists, curators and galleries, and the intersecting theoretical contexts in which they operate.

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Young Readers and the First World War Canon

Dr Alisa Miller, Director of Research, has published a chapter in Shafquat Towheed’s and Edmund King’s Reading and the First World War: Readers, Texts, Archives, which looks at how the practice of reading shaped experiences of the conflict. Dr Miller’s chapter considers how a generation of young readers were educated about what had happened to the men and women who went to war, and how this influenced the types of media that we now view as fundamental to our understanding of the period.

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Lecturer presents paper on the visualisation of JG Ballard’s ‘Concrete Island’

Illustration Lecturer Matthew Richardson delivered a paper at The Association of Adaptation Studies conference ‘Adaptations and the Metropolis’ which was held at University of London in September. His practice-based paper was titled ‘Marooned in the future-present: A speculative adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island using Google Street View’ that discussed the visualization of ‘Ballardian’ place and time through a current film project. Matthew is also delivering the paper at ‘Visionaries’, an illustration Symposium hosted by Varoom Lab Journal and Birmingham City University on November 5-6.


Modern History Vol.III to open in September

The final of three exhibitions featuring new commissions and existing works by leading national and international contemporary artists based in the North West will open at the Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre on 19 September (until 21 November). Guest curated by NUA’s Professor Lynda Morris, the exhibitions offer alternative perspectives on cultural, social, and political change, from different generations of artists who reflect on local and global issues, post 1969 to present day. Artists featured are: Conrad Atkinson, Michael Butterworth, Tim Dunbar, Leo Fitzmaurice, Gaby Higgs & Bill Halliwell presented by Matthew Higgs, Lubaina Himid, Tom Lambe, Rory Macbeth, Sam Mullin, Craig Oldham, David Osbaldeston, Emma Rushton and Derek Tyman, Paul Scott, Magda Stawarska-Beavan, Grizedale Arts – The Politics of Craft, and archival material from the collection of Professor Jim Aulich. Initiated by Contemporary Visual Arts Network, North West (CVAN NW), the Modern History exhibition series is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, with additional support from Lancashire County Council, University of Salford, Manchester School of Art and CVAN NW network members.


NUA to open Digital User Research Lab

NUA is to open a Digital User Research Lab, funded by a grant from the HEFCE Catalyst Fund, along with support from New Anglia LEP and business partners in the Digital Creative business community. The Lab will be a place where users of all sorts of digital products will be invited to trial prototypes, using mobile phones, tablets, consoles and computers. Their experience will be tracked by specialist Morae software, and their experience watched live by clients and designers in the Incubation Centre board room. This enables designers and creative developers to optimise their products, putting the user at the very centre of product design. Professor John Last, NUA Vice Chancellor, says: “The Digital User Research Lab will be a focus for digital creative business, enabling us inspire the designers of tomorrow and create economic mobility for regional business to access an international customer base.”


Lecturer presents paper in Bangalore

Lecturer Matthew Richardson gave a paper ‘In Praise of Folly: a Palimpsest of Foolery’ at The Itinerant Illustrator symposium taking at Srishti School of Art and Design, Bangalore in December. The paper considered the form of the palimpsest and the use of visual rhetoric in relation to development and research undertaken for the book. Matthew’s illustrated In Praise of Folly by the 16th Century Dutch humanist reformer Desiderius Erasmus was recently published by Folio.

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Dean of Media profiled in journal

Professor Richard Sawdon-Smith has co-authored an article for the Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine about his work. Illustrated & Dissected: Professor Richard Sawdon Smith introduces his photographic art, which explores “ideas through the use of medical illustrations which include early anatomical drawings, personal medical photography and facial modelling. The work highlights how such imagery can be used in the context of a patient seeking understanding and acceptance of ill health and disease using the body as a canvas on which to translate the experience.”


Lecturer curates show at The Minories Gallery

Lecturer Mark Wilsher curates an anthropological investigation of the aesthetics of a locality, presenting a selection of 40 industrially-produced artworks borrowed from households within two miles of the Minories Galleries. Everyone is an curator (29 August – 24 October) presents a variety of artworks, from reproductions of famous works by Picasso, Van Gogh and Matisse to posters from children’s bedrooms advertising Disney movies and Minecraft.

NUA at European Academy of Design Conference, Paris

Dr Fiona Maciver of NUA presented a paper on design collaboration at the recent European Academy of Design (EAD) conference which took place at Université Paris-Descartes and Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne on 22-24 April 2015. Staged every two years in a different host institution and country, the EAD is a forum for leading academics in design from around the world to share emerging knowledge and research in the discipline. The theme of this year’s conference was the ‘Value of Design Research’.

Dr Maciver presented a paper entitled ‘New contexts, requirements and tools to enhance collaborative design practice’ which she co-authored with NUA’s Director of Research, Professor Julian Malins, and Dr Aggelos Liapis of Intrasoft International. The article explores new and novel technologies and methods for enhancing creativity in design. Collaboration and ‘co-design’ are pertinent topics in current design discourse, and Fiona’s talk was of interest to a diverse industry and academic audience at the conference. The full paper is available for download on NUA’s research repository.


NUA research visit to Studio Levien

Researchers from NUA’s ConCept project were hosted by London-based product design consultancy Studio Levien over a two-day research period in May. Studio Levien is an internationally recognised product design consultancy specialising in ceramics, kitchenware and bathrooms. With a studio and workshop based in the creative hub of Southwark, the consultancy is world-renowned in its field. Its work has been awarded internationally, including by the Red Dot, American Society of Interior Designers and the D&AD, and its roster of clients features well-recognised names such as John Lewis, Ideal Standard, Designer’s Guild, Villeroy & Boch and Costa Verde. NUA’s Julian Malins and Fiona Maciver were lucky enough to be able to spend two days with the Studio Levien designers testing digital prototypes of a software interface currently in development as part of their work on the European ConCept project. This was part of ongoing research between NUA and Studio Levien on the changing requirements of design professionals. Further visits are planned in 2015 and 2016, and will culminate in the completion of the new software platform scheduled for September 2016.

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Professor provides expert opinion on Tom and Jerry

Professor or Animation Education Suzi Hanna has contributed her thoughts on the technical challenges faced by animators in the 1970s and ’80s for an article about cultural icons Tom and Jerry on the Intel website. Read From 2D TV screens to Virtual Reality? The amazing technological adventures of Tom and Jerry.


NUA and the Association of Art Historians Annual Conference 2015

The Association for Art Historians Annual (AAH) conference – hosted by the University of East Anglia – took place in Norwich from the 9 – 11 April. NUA academics chaired two day-long sessions focusing on the themes ‘Avant-gardes and Wars‘ and ‘Surface Affects and Shiny Things: Bringing Meaning to Light‘. NUA academic Dr Judith Stewart and PhD students Samantha Epps and Nicola Simpson were also invited to present papers, and MA students acted as guides and session assistants, gaining access to discussions on cutting edge research, practice and theory. NUA also hosted registration and academic sessions on the opening day of the conference, which was attended by over 450 international delegates.


Fellow delivers paper

Research Fellow Dr Alisa Miller delivered a paper at the Fashion, Dress and Society in Europe during World War I conference, which was held at the Institut Français de la Mode, Paris in December 2014. Her paper was titled Gladys Peto, commercial fashion illustrator and the Sketch – elite consumer culture and the changing image of the modern woman, 1914-1919.


Animated film selected for LSFF

Proem, an animated film co-created by Professor of Animation Education Suzie Hanna, has been selected out of 1,500 entries for the 12th London Short Film Festival at Curzon Soho in January 2015. In September 2014 the film won Best Music/Sound and was runner up in the Best Editing category at the Liberated Words Festival in Bristol. Judges Helen Moore and Howard Vause said “Proem is an animation tour de force – in a class of its own.” Professor Hanna animated the film using hand cut stencils imitating some graphic aspects of contemporaneous 1920s New York artists who were in Hart Crane’s coterie. View more of Professor Hanna’s work.


Professor sits on panel for photography exhibition

Dean of Arts and Media Professor Richard Sawdon Smith sat on the selection panel for Uncertain States Open Call Exhibition, which has opened at Four Corners in London and runs until 31 October. The show contains the work of nine lens-based artists, which will also be features in issue 20 of the Uncertain States broadsheet newspaper. Professor Sawdon Smith selected Melbourne-based photographer Georgia Metaxas, whose work investigates the personal and cultural manifestations of ritual.


Professor curates show in Ghent

Professor Lynda Morris curated ‘Genuine Conceptualism’, an exhibition reflecting on the artistic avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s, based on her personal archive. The show opened in the Herbert Foundation in Ghent, Belgium in July and continued until 8 November. Additionally, her Vanley Burke retrospective exhibition ‘By the rivers of Birminam’ travelled to the Fada Gallery at the University of Johannesburg over the Summer.