Hannah is one to watch

Major fashion brands are keeping a close watch on University of Brighton graduate Hannah Croft.

Hannah is fast developing a reputation as a “material futurist”, creating unusual and unique concepts including one new fabric which has crystals “growing” in it.

She has exhibited in Italy’s fashion capital Milan and will be showing at the Surface Design Show in February. She has also worked on projects in movies including Paddington 2 and is giving talks at Lineapelle Show in London and New York in early 2019.

Hannah’s career journey started after graduating with a Textiles with Business Studies BA(Hons) from the University of Brighton in 2008 and later with an MA distinction in textile design innovation from Nottingham Trent.

She first worked in London but found she couldn’t fully exploit her creativity and so moved to her home city of Leicester and opened her own design and fabric studio MUUNA.

Specialising in woven and embroidered fabric, Hannah received funding to buy specialist equipment from the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity which supports start-ups in and around Leicester.

The equipment included a loom and digital software which “allows me to create a technical design file to accompany a physical fabric swatch which clients can use to reproduce my designs for production. This helps speed up development of my work”.

Hannah’s designs are now marketed through an agent, allowing her to concentrate on experimentation and research. Her unique materials are being showcased in material libraries globally including the USA and she counts the likes of Givenchy and Disney among past clients.

Hannah said: “It has been an exciting year for me and I’m proud of everything I have achieved so far.”

Hannah looked back at her time in Brighton: “Brighton is a really special place, there is nowhere else like it and studying there for four years was a pivotal point in my life.

“I feel the course was such a good foundation – I got the opportunity to intern in New York and London whilst on my industrial placement year. These experiences whilst both very different gave me invaluable experience and insight into the industry.

“There are many lessons I learned at Brighton that I’m still coming back too and of course it’s where I was taught to weave, a skill I probably would never have learned had I not done the course as at the time there were so few textiles courses in the country that offered this as a specialism. I was a real novice at weaving back then and struggled technically but years later I got the opportunity to try it again and it fell into place.

“Without my time at Brighton, this wouldn’t have happened.”

The Gritterman’s back

A Brighton graduate and former member of indie rock band The Maccabees will see his children’s story about a man who grits roads performed on stage next month.

The tale of a seasonal hero and the work he loves will be playing in theatres in London and Manchester with Fast Show comic Paul Whitehouse narrating.

The Gritterman was created by Orlando Weeks who graduated from the University of Brighton with an Illustration BA(Hons) degree in 2006.

Twelve years have passed but Orlando said the city and University were still a big part of his life. He told the University last year: “I had wonderful time at Brighton. I made friends there that are still dear to me now.

“I worked alongside people who I still look to for inspiration. Brighton was a place that encouraged creativity and was full of people making things, starting bands, having exhibitions.

“It was at Brighton that my tutors pointed out that anything I was doing in one discipline could and should feed into other areas. This one piece of advice has stuck with me and The Gritterman is my attempt at combining the types of making (drawing, writing and music) that I enjoy the most.”

Orlando spent a decade with the Maccabees and in 2016, when the group disbanded, he started writing and illustrating The Gritterman, his first book. The story’s hero uses his vehicle as an ice-cream van in summer but it is in the winter when he is a gritterman

that “he comes into his own” until the council insists his services are no longer required.

The stage show premiered at London’s Union Chapel and will be at the same theatre on 10 and 11 December and at Albert Hall Manchester on 12 December.

The book, by Penguin, comes with an album narrated by Paul Whitehouse.

Raymond Briggs’ Snowman to feature on new coins

The Royal Mint has released limited edition 50p coins featuring The Snowman, illustrated by former University of Brighton teacher Raymond Briggs CBE.

The issue which includes the Royal Mint’s first coin in colour, celebrates 40 years since The Snowman’s publication.

One scene captures the snowman flying over Brighton’s Palace Pier.

Briggs, awarded a CBE in 2017 for services to literature, taught in the 1960s at Brighton School of Art (now the university’s School of Art). Since 1957 he has been an illustrator and writer, mainly of children’s books but also adult political satire, stage plays and radio plays, producing iconic work including The Snowman and When the Wind Blows.

There are three versions of the coin – nickel, gold and silver. For more information go to: www.royalmint.com. Only the silver coin is coloured.

They have been designed by artist Natasha Ratcliffe who previously worked on the London 2012 and Paralympics Games coins.

Snowman publishers Penguin Ventures is celebrating the anniversary with collaborations, anniversary products, live and orchestral performances, exhibitions and immersive experiences.

Brighton graduate displays work in solo Brussels show

A University of Brighton alumni is displaying his work in a solo exhibition at the prestigious Centrale for Contemporary Art in Brussels.

Edward Liddle, who received a first-class honours degree in Fine Art Painting in 2012 at the University, is presenting his Carrement! show.

According to the exhibition’s blurb, Liddle “questions the meaning of creating artworks, particularly objects that can be considered as paintings”.

The artist uses objects that he has found on the streets of Brussels, including painted fragments of doors, tables, chairs, floor tiles and remains of wallpapers. Put together, these items form a collection of artworks that “speak and stem directly from Brussels”.

Speaking about what inspired Carrement!, Liddle said: “Walking. Being in Brussels, looking at old buildings, being at markets and going through bins. Things like these [the objects] are everywhere, sometimes discarded and at other times polished and revered.”

Liddle explained that his use of everyday items can be traced back to his childhood and helping his dad out with household DIY – “repairing things, or adding pipes to new places or painting and decorating rooms or furniture. Every art object I have ever made has been informed by those experiences”.

He added that with Carrement!, his aim was not “to destroy artistic hierarchies but to encourage viewers to re-look at the things around with them”.

After graduating from the University of Brighton, Liddle received funding from Arts Council England for his solo exhibition Wowzers!, which was held at Brighton’s Community Arts Centre in 2013. His works have also been exhibited in group shows in London and Cardiff.

Liddle was chosen to participate in a collaborative residency at Hypercorps in Brussels in January 2017, where he worked for three weeks with French artist Lucie Lanzini on a series of new collaborative sculptures.

He will shortly complete a Masters degree in Cultural Theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Of his time at the University of Brighton, Liddle said: “One of the biggest skills I learnt from my time at Brighton was the need for time to reflect.

“Painting can be a very physical, active art practice; making, doing, being hands-on. My time at Brighton taught me the benefits of critical reflection, placing into motion the beginnings of starting to understand why I make the things I do and offering strategies to pursue the ideas I have.”

He added that Brussels has also been crucial to his development – Liddle spent time there after leaving Brighton.

He said: “The second formative period of my artistic practice was spent in Brussels. In Brussels I was able to explore ideas that I had already begun to have but in a location where other artists were also experimenting with how works of art relate to the location, building or space they were exhibited or created in.”

Carrement! By Edward Liddle runs at the Centrale for Contemporary Art in Brussels until Sunday, 18 November. For more information on the exhibition visit: http://www.centrale.brussels/en. For more on Liddle’s work, visit: http://www.edliddle.org/

If you have some news or a story you would like to share in one of our blogs, get in touch: alumni@brighton.ac.uk.

Alumnus Kyle Frank tells us about his studies and setting up on his own!

Kyle Frank studied a BA Hons in Applied Psychology and Sociology and graduated in 2015. He has since set up his own vegan skincare company. He shares his story with us:

What you have got up to since leaving the university?

After leaving university I believe I was in bit of a panic mode – I was not certain on what I wanted to do. I had the opportunity to be an English teacher, but after careful consideration I felt it was not the right career for me. I took some time out – travelled to different countries, and experienced diverse cultures and attitudes. What I learnt along my journey was truly a pivotal moment, and allowed me to free myself from the eurocentric understanding of career and work.

I worked part-time in fashion, while studying closely alongside The Prince’s Trust and completed their business enterprise programme.

I had the opportunity to work with amazing people in business who are specialists in their field, and was learning the key fundamentals of business. I also volunteered with amazing local community projects.

What you are doing now?

I am a entrepreneur – I launched my own self-funded vegan skincare company, FRANK’S REMEDIES. After having acne for several years, and not seeing permanent results, I made it my quest to create a natural solution. Through my own means of study in antiquated literature, and absorbing information on how different cultures deal with acne. I created and formulated my own natural skincare range that finally cleared my skin. A highlight has been being featured in ELLE and Vegan Life as a top ethical brand!



How your degree helped you with your career?

Studying for my degree, gave me a great deal of understanding of society in the ways of which we work together as a collective. Other than knowledge on theories, and theoretical perspectives, it has equipped me with skills that I use on a daily basis, and has enriched my understanding of how business works in a commercial & corporate world.

Any tips for students or recent graduates?

Don’t overthink the future, focus on the moment – its all going to be OK. Also have a friendship group that you can work on projects/assignment(s) with together – I think it’s important to smile and laugh during your experience! It doesn’t need to be so serious all the time.

For the graduates, focus on your passion/message, and see how you can help the world & make sure to network. Feel free to take some time out if you need to, there is no pressure to have it all together! 😊

What is your standout memory from your time at Brighton?

There are many, but I believe a standout memory was being with my friends. We all supported each other, and spent many fun nights in the library together completing assignments! I think it was helpful and important to have that. As as a student, you can easily burn yourself out, so it was great to have friends around you who knew when one of us needed a change of scenery. In hindsight, I would say that memory alone was an essential stage in my university journey were I felt confident, calm and relaxed with my studies/assignments & this positively reflected in my grades.

Thanks for sharing your story Kyle. Don’t forget to check out his skincare range and follow him on Twitter (@franksremedies). If you have a story to share with us, please get in touch alumni@brighton.ac.uk.

25 for 25 – a year of celebrations

The academic year 2017-2018 saw the University of Brighton celebrated 25 years of achieving university status. We decided to mark the occasion by facilitating 25 gatherings of alumni or other events to mark the occasion.

We had gatherings in New York, Kenya, China, Hong Kong, Eastbourne, Melbourne, Thailand as well as many other activities including an alumni book launch, Brighton Festival events and alumni reunions happening in Brighton. Alumni, students and staff came together to contribute to a year of exciting celebrations.

We kicked off by teaming up with alumnus Gavin George (BA Hons Business Studies) who owns the Laine Pub Company. We helped brew Polygon (geddit?) our own special beer to mark the celebration with the help of one of our PhD students. Alumni, students and staff all attended and enjoyed the sounds of DJ, MC Cashback (partner college graduate in FDA Music Production) who played songs from 1992-3.

After a jam packed year of activities, we rounded off the year with an evening at the i360 including a talk by honorary graduate and chief engineer John Roberts and an exclusive sunset flight. We raised £200 towards the university’s student support fund at this event.

A special anniversary edition of The Brighton Effect, our magazine for alumni and friends will be published next month, celebrating the last 25 years and looking to the future. Sign up for our blog updates to make sure you don’t miss any sneak peaks…..




Dr Chaudhary Nazar tells his story

International alumnus Chaudhary tells his story about his studies at the University of Brighton….

I graduated with a MSc in Nephrology from University of Brighton in 2012. I currently work as Overseas Research Supervisor with University of Brighton as well as a Registrar Nephrologist in private health sector of Pakistan.

Prior to this, I worked in Nephrology Department Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan, as a senior medical officer for 3 years. My Master’s degree in Nephrology helped me in retaining that job. The research I did around various topics as part of my modules and dissertation gave me a good insight into various subjects of kidney diseases. The latter greatly helped me in my current clinical role to understand the importance of research in keeping myself uptodate with kidney diseases such as a nephrologist. This also helps to boost my interest in research and due to that interest I have published more than 70 articles with peer reviewed journals relating to different areas of renal specialties involving diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, hemodialysis and transplant. Furthermore, due to my strong research basis and concepts build up at University of Brighton I became editor of different peer reviewed journal including Journal of Renal Injury, Journal of Nephropharamacology and many more. I presented my research paper to different international conferences and as well as national conferences in Pakistan. I also spread the concept of research at Shifa Research Clinical Center by taking lectures and thus guiding many medical doctors too.

I still remember when I moved to Brighton for the first time to complete my studies- it was both nerve wrecking and exciting at the same time! It was a tough time but learning experience too. Today I remember Brighton city as the vibrant place where I build great memories and friendships. It was a reason I applied for overseas research supervisor job at University of Brighton to help students from Asians countries in their various research module and dissertation in completing them. I believe myself lucky to graduate from University of Brighton, then I become an alumni and a supervisor, thus, a chance to return  to the university and live again great memories I build in the city of Brighton.

Recently, I accepted a new job offer, as a Assistant Professor Medicine from one of recognized and privileged institution in Saudi Arabia which will be on a higher pay band and I believe the new role will enable me to make more use of my academic knowledge and skills to manage a bigger team and to handle more responsibilities. My time at University of Brighton motivated me to complete my further postgraduate study from United Kingdom. Later I completed MD Internal Medicine from University of Buckingham, UK in 2015, Master in Public Health from University of Bedfordshire, and Fellow of Royal Society of Public from Royal Society of Public Health.

A tip for students currently pursuing their degree is to stay focused and to seek help from your professors and colleagues. Moreover, remember to make good memories too so that when you remember them in sad times they bring smile on face.

If you would like to tell your story in one of our blogs, please do get in touch by emailing  us at alumni@brighton.ac.uk.

Be Fabulous!

Work hard, follow your passion and “be fabulous – just like me” was the advice given to University of Brighton graduates.

Photograph by Simon Dack

Alison Lapper MBE, artist and author, was keynote speaker on 31 July, the first day of the University’s summer graduation ceremonies at the Brighton Centre.

Born without arms and with shortened legs, a condition called phocomelia, Alison is a full member of Foot Painting Artists of the World.

She graduated with a first class degree in Fine Art from the University of Brighton in 1993 and in 2014 she was further honoured with a Doctor of Arts from the University in recognition of her major contribution to the arts and as an ambassador for people with disabilities.

Alison told graduates: “This is a really special day and I hope you’ll cherish it as much I still do mine all these years later.

“You will all be going onto your new careers – enjoy it, make the most of it, don’t let anybody talk you out of what you want to do. If you’ve got a goal, go for it and enjoy it – this is really just the beginning.”

Alison advised graduates to work hard and said: “If you follow your passion as I have done I hope you will get to where you want to be.

“Congratulations to all of you. This is a new beginning for you and I hope you have an amazing career, time, whatever you do with your life.

“And one thing to remember – be fabulous, just like me!”

Welcome Britney!

A video welcoming Britney Spears to Brighton and Hove Pride has been produced with dancers led by a University of Brighton graduate.

The U.S. superstar will be headlining the main stage at Pride on August 4, performing her complete Las Vegas show Piece of me.

Brighton-based 201 Dance Company, who launch a nationwide tour of their acclaimed show SKIN in Brighton in September, and choreographer Andrea Walker assembled the city’s best talent to create a dance video to the 2007 track Gimme More! as a welcome to Britney.

Included were dancers from Brighton’s Streetfunk school run by JP Omari, the multi-award-winning Hip Hop dancer and choreographer who graduated with a BA(Hons) in International Business with French in 2003.

He said: “It was fantastic to be involved in such a great project. I run Brighton’s most successful streetdance school and it was a brilliant opportunity for my dancers.

“To be able to help and facilitate Andrea Walker in his dream to create a ‘welcome to Brighton’ video for Britney was an absolute pleasure. I have been a Britney fan right from the beginning and have seen her in concert three times.

“It is exciting to have her in our beautiful city. My business partner Annelies and I were happy for Andrea to rehearse at our Marina Studios and we shared the information with our dancers to be part of this exciting project.

“Andrea really captured the beauty of our city as well as the world-class

dancers of all ages we have.

“I hope he gets to meet Britney – I’d love to meet her too!”

JP credited the University: “It made me who I am and my course has been integral to me as a successful entrepreneur.”

To watch the Britney dance video, go to: https://www.facebook.com/201DanceCompany/videos/1996149777062311

Lighting up London

A University of Brighton graduate has been lighting up London’s most iconic buildings with political slogans.

Jack Mills, who graduated with BA(Hons) in Humanities and is now Print Features Editor on the magazine Dazed and Confused, teamed up with New York activist group The Illuminator who travel the world projecting messages onto high-visibility buildings.

Jack, 31, said: “For our project #AddressTheNation we took issues that matter most to our readers and projected them into the skyline of London – specifically, onto the Houses of Parliament, the Ministry of Justice, The Royal Courts of Justice, and Nelson’s Column. Across nine projections, we addressed top topics including Brexit, Donald Trump’s visit, the NHS and the abuse of trans people at London Pride.

“It was a first for Dazed and all went well – although a warden did try to move us along while we were projecting onto Nelson’s Column. No disrespect was intended, but this was a way to get our readers’ messages across. Many young people feel they aren’t being listened to by our government, and with Trump’s helicopters flying over London – a visit that many Londoners didn’t want – it felt like the perfect moment to make a big statement.


“There have been no complaints and we’ve been swamped with compliments.”

The Illuminator’s Emily Andersen told Dazed their main aim was to: “Shine a light on the urgent issues of our time – we’ve done a great job of having a moment of intervention, but also involving the power of the audience.”

Jack Mills worked in collaboration with Dazed’s Head of Video Bec Evans who is launching a short film about the night tonight (18 July) on dazeddigital.com.