Call for papers, workshops, discussion groups and on-line performances – Deadline 1st August 2020


Performance and Wellbeing Symposium 

When  | November 2020

Where | Online

What   | This one-day interdisciplinary symposium gathers together academics, students, writers, artists and practitioners and anyone who is committed to developing imaginative, creative, researched responses to the core themes.

Call for papers, workshops, discussion groups and on-line performances. The symposium has an emphasis on innovative, out-of-the-ordinary ways of presenting artistic methods / practice / research / case studies of teaching on relevant themes/issues / engaging with communities outside of HE – that might contribute to the discussion around narrating and co-constructing work relating to themes of performance and wellbeing.

Themes the symposium will address but is not limited to include:

  • Teaching, practice and research that connect with notions of performance and wellbeing
  • Community projects and work that are committed to diverse and inclusive practice
  • Critical and creative thinking about how performance practices can impact on well-being (this might speak directly to the pandemic and how work on performance can respond to/capture/support experiences with Covid-19)
  • Performing maternity – research and practice that challenges dominant narratives around motherhood

The 500 word abstract needs to include your name, affiliation, the title of your presentation, an outline of your contribution and any technical issues you envisage. There will be a post conference publication with the book series Performance and Communities for Intellect Books.

Please send your abstract to by the 1st August 2020.




Graduate Show 2020

It’s the opening of the University of Brighton’s Graduate Show 2020 this Friday and we are delighted to share the details of this year’s online exhibition.

When? 12 June 2020 12.00pm

Where? Brighton Graduate Show 2020 website

What? A vibrant digital exhibition of work by our brilliant art, design, fashion, textiles, media, photography, film and history of art and design students – as well as a series of live events.

For information go to the Brighton Graduate show webpage on the University of Brighton website.








Art in a Domestic Setting: Surviving Creatively through COVID-19

This series of events celebrates the creativity and adaptability of our talented students in the midst of the C-19 pandemic. 

Discussions with students looking at ways they have replicated the features of specialised studio and workshops spaces in their homes, flats and bedrooms. Keep checking on the Graduate Show pages for the dates for these events. 








Film Cries Festival

14 June at 7pm

Join the School of Media for Brighton’s promising filmmakers awards show where they will be streaming a film festival dedicated to the film and media students. Follow the facebook page for further information.

Introduction to Drawing Workshop

15 June at 12.30pm

This live workshop led by our Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for Fine Art Printmaking, Phil Tyler is open to all and takes us through the fundementals of drawing.

Book Your Place










Fine Art Printmaking: Instagram Live Series

Starts Sunday 14 June 6pm

Follow @fineartprintmaking_uob on Instagram for this series of events every Sunday at 6pm BST from 14 June for a discussion with some of our talented Printmaking students.

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Art in a Domestic Setting: Fine Art Painting 

16 June at 6pm

Join us for a conversation led by Course Leader, Chris Stevens with a panel of graduating Painting students about how they have adapted their home spaces into studios.

Find Out More



How one pandemic interrupted a research project on another

HLF funded project “Spanish Flu in the aftermath of World War One, in Brighton and East Sussex” and Covid 19.

The Centre for Memory, Narrative and History (CMNH) has been working with local community arts organisation Inroads Productions on a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which explored the relatively untold history of the Spanish Flu in the Brighton and Hove area in the wake of World War One.

The project was designed with two main stages of development. In Stage 1, Autumn 2019, working also in partnership with Brighton General Hospital and the AHRC funded Public Engagement Centre Gateways to the First World War, Inroads Productions delivered research workshops using creative learning (drama, writing, dance) with young people in schools and colleges and community groups including Windmill Youth Theatre and Hillcrest Art Start and assembled a range of oral history interviews from the descendants of families affected in Brighton and materials ready for an exhibition.

Stage 2 was due to take place in Spring 2020 and involved working with a group of people drawn from the original groups to devise a performance informed by their learning about the Flu, including some interpretation of the collected oral histories. The two final events were to be open to the general public, with performances at Brighton General Hospital (where Spanish Flu patients had been treated) and the University of Brighton, along with an exhibition of materials, including photos and recordings; and host talks by academic experts about Spanish Flu and World War One.

“There was always a silence.  I remember in my nan’s parlour … she had an old penny with peoples name on. They did lose people. They didn’t talk about it they didn’t want to go back to the heart ache”

Oral history volunteer about the end of the War as well as the Flu

The performance and exhibition were to be called Breaking the Silence, as the participants discovered that the pandemic was permeated by silence – it was downplayed by the government, and deaths were often covered up by families ashamed that their family member had died of influenza rather than heroically in the War. Indeed the end of World War One itself was shrouded in silence as traumatised returning soldiers did not want to talk about it and the social protocol of the time was to keep silent about painful experiences. This sense of loss and trauma has reverberated through generations ever since, and carries other emotions of guilt, shame, anger and fear, that are embodied as ‘trace memories’ in family stories.

Covid 19 and changes to the project.

In the light of the coronavirus pandemic, and in discussion with the funders, there was no option other than to cancel the planned exhibition and performances. As it became clear that the virus was going to cause disruption to live events for the foreseeable future, project partners agreed to transfer all of the material on to a newly created website, incorporating oral history clips, academic talks, creative writing and visual art, and information about the Spanish Flu in Brighton, as well as sections on local impact, hidden histories and daily life in the town. The overall theme is still about Silence, how people kept stories within families. The website should be live by August 2020.

CMNH are continuing to work with Inroads Productions and investigating the correlations around Silence during the pandemics for 1918 and 2020. 100 years ago the public experience of the Spanish Flu was often hidden and contained, and wartime propaganda meant that the levels of infection were played down, and of course there was no hope of a vaccine.

In 2020, the public arena is the opposite of silence: the competing voices of the media, politicians, scientists and pundits, mean there is a level of noise and conflicting information that makes it difficult for people to really understand what is going on – whilst simultaneously, being forced to stay silent in isolation at home for example or grieve silently for lost loved ones or to stay silent with different opinions in the face of the approved narrative. This is a very public crisis whilst simultaneously being very private.

Notions of silence around care, death, grieving and mourning, both in 1918 and now, are of particular interest and especially the ‘everydayness’ of this. How it is all impacting on local people in reality? Sara Clifford, Director of Inroads Productions says that she is looking forward to pursuing an “in depth exploration of current approaches to these themes and how they link to silence. Who is allowed to say what and where and when? How will people remember this period in history?  Are those feelings of guilt, shame, blame, anger and fear resonating again in the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the War? How will these stories be told and who will hear them in the future.” CMNH will be working with Inroads Productions, taking this important work forward in the form of further collaborative projects and grants. In the mean time Inroads Productions and their project team are working hard to create the website, which will eventually be up live at

Dr Sam Carroll, Sara Clifford, Pat Drake, Lucy Newby, and Dr Deborah Madden.

Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories at the University of Brighton and Inroads Productions

In recognition of this important work the team are delighted to report they have just been supported to take the work forward via the University of Brighton Covid-19 Research Urgency Fund.


Gavin Ambrose – Unseen Sketchbooks

Established by myself and fellow University of Brighton Graphic Design BA staff Beth Salter and Chris Bigg, and supported by Creative Futures, Unseen Sketchbooks is a UK based bespoke publishing house producing limited edition books with designers, illustrators and artists. Each limited edition publication focuses on the work of a designer, artist or musician and looks at creating new and unseen work from their archives. The editions are all short print runs and often involve special print techniques and covers.

Edition one: Chris Bigg – Analogue Process

Part of the rationale for establishing a new model of publishing is something I had been contemplating for a long time. As a published author, I wanted to return to a less restricted way of publishing with a greater degree of freedom compared to traditional models. I consider myself an originator of projects in this context as opposed to a traditional editor or publisher. I intentionally seek to establish some rough frameworks or starting points for projects, but then try to let the creatives involved have as much freedom as is possible. An example of this would be the book we are just printing with Dutch designer Erik Kessels designed by Chris Bigg. The framework for this was to allow as much freedom for Erik in collecting images, and likewise to Chris in interpreting these into a visual narrative. The book, made during the lockdown is in part a response to the times we are in and the struggles people will be facing.

Edition two: Jim Stoten – strike sheets from the printing of the book cover

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 I have also become increasingly interested in the therapeutic role of the sketchbook and its possible use as a tool for healing. I have begun a series of interviews with creatives to begin to explore this.

Edition three: Erik Kessels – Let’s get shitfaced, it’s free.

Unseen Sketchbooks printed to date:

Edition three is Let’s get shitfaced, it’s free. by dutch designer and artist Erik Kessels. Kessels collated a series of images as a form of digital sketchbook which have been interpreted into a new book by designer and unseen sketchbooks collaborator Chris Bigg.

Edition two was Skotchbook by Illustrator and University of Brighton Lecturer Jim Stoten, a selection of pages from his personal sketchbooks, which he keeps in his coat pocket at all times and has done for the last 10-15 years. Jim draws in it every day. Within the pages are comic strips that attempt to make sense of his own thoughts, feelings and reactions to the World as well as poems, hand drawn type, song lyrics, memorable quotes from films, TV, debate forums on all topics and chat show interviews from the 1970s and ’80s. There are also observational drawings from train journeys, exhibitions and visits to the pub, as well random drawings of imaginary people, architectural forms, modes of transportation and animals.

Edition one was Analogue Process and focused on the Designer Chris Bigg who is known for his work for Record Label 4AD including recently working on The Breeders artwork and videos. Our first edition was printed 2 colour, black and metallic orange on G. F Smith’s Munken paper and came in standard magazine format or with a special one-off cover as an edition. The Deluxe Edition has a poster-wrap silk screened cover, screen printed outer delivery box and a one off screen print and ink signed print.

Gavin Ambrose is Academic Programme Leader for Visual Communication in the School of Art at the University of Brighton.

Pandemic Encounters ::: being[together] in the deep third space – May 23, 2020

Creative Futures recently featured University of Brighton Professor of Visual Communication Paul Sermon in relation to his work around videoconferencing in arts practice.

We are delighted to announce Paul is doing a networked performance installation from his living room at home on May 23, 2020, 5:00–6:30 p.m (UK). Organised by Randall Packer and Third Space Network, in collaboration with Leonardo LASER Hosts.

For more information and to register to please visit here

Photo Credit © Paul Sermon

Pandemic Encounters is a networked performance installation inhabited by the live chroma-figure of Paul. Participants are invited to enter into the deep third space to engage & perform a ritual action as a reflection on the Covid-19 state of being[together] remotely. Each action has its own form: an artistic expression, a scientific analysis, a poetic rendering, a political manifesto, a social critique, a dystopic cry of distress, a subtle movement, a moment of catharsis, or a call in the night from some distant corner of the world. Pandemic Encounters is a collective/creative response to a global pandemic that has triggered an unfolding metamorphosis of the human condition.

World Times and Date:

San Francisco: May 23, 2020, 9:00–10:30 a.m.

New York: May 23, 2020, 12:00–1:30 p.m.

London: May 23, 2020, 5:00–6:30 p.m.

Sao Paulo: May 23, 2020, 1:00–2:30 p.m.

Hong Kong: May 24, 2020, 12:00–1:30 a.m.

War & Peace – 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe

University of Brighton’s Dr Frank Gray and the team at Screen Archive South East (SASE) have prepared ‘War & Peace’ – a free to stream 7 minute film to both commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe and provide an introduction to the many films it has collected over the last twenty-five years on the experience of living in the South East during this epochal period of 1939-45. ‘War & Peace’ is designed as a chronological montage in black & white and colour of home front life as captured by film-makers from the region. It culminates with all the exhilaration and exuberance of the celebrations that took place that May in 1945 both on after VE Day on 8 May 1945. It features the building of Anderson shelters, air raid drills in a Hove school, a fire-engine off to an ‘incident’ in Surrey, Spitfires at Tangmere, Land Girls along with their pet dogs on the family farm in Surrey all posing in respirators, the ‘real’ Dad’s Army armed with broomsticks in West Clandon and the terrible and tragic aftermath of Brighton’s Blitz. It concludes with the end of war celebrations in London and the South East: parades, street parties, jitter-bugging and doing the hokey-cokey. ‘War & Peace’ is accompanied by a specially commissioned score from the award-winning screen composer Nina Humphreys.

‘War and Peace’ and all the films below (and many more) are free to stream online at

Watch: ‘War & Peace’:

Many of the films used in ‘War & Peace’ have never been seen before in public. SASE has been preparing for this anniversary by researching, digitising and cataloguing films from WW2. We now have, as a result, over one hundred and fifty Home Front films available to view on our website:

Six SASE films used within ‘War & Peace’ provide a valuable introduction to our Home Front collection and its representation of war years:

‘Brighton Civic Week, Civil Defence Services & Land Girls’ is one of a number of films by Winston Robinson, who during the war served as Brighton’s official cinematographer. This colour film features a visit by Home Secretary Herbert Morrison, who inspects the town’s defences, a parade in Brighton’s Preston Park saluting the twenty-six allied nations and women of the Land Army ploughing, harvesting and driving their tractors.

Watch: ‘Brighton Civic Week, Civil Defence Services & Land Girls’:

‘A.R.P’ a film by architect John Clague, who made a unique record of the Home Front in Herne Bay featuring evacuees arriving at the station, firemen dealing with incendiary bombs and men and women volunteers training to deal with casualties, first aid and gas attacks. He also filmed a visit to the deep tunnel shelters hewn into the cliffs of Ramsgate.

Watch: ‘A.R.P’:

A very recent discovery is the Bell collection’s ‘Childhood Wartime Scenes’ – which shows squadrons of Flying Fortresses flying overhead on a bombing raid and an attack by a V1 Doodlebug and the horrific devastation it brought to suburban Cheam.

Watch: ‘Childhood Wartime Scenes’:

‘Victory in Europe’ made by Angelo Razzo captures scenes on that amazing day in London with GI’s, leading the jitter-bugging and waltzing throughout London’s streets. This film continues to be a mystery as we haven’t yet been able to uncover any biographical information on Angelo Razzo and how he came to be on the streets of London with his camera on this day.

Watch: ‘Victory in Europe’:

‘Victory in Europe 1945’ – another film from Winston Robinson which starts with the Mayor proclaiming the formal declaration of peace to delighted crowds outside the Town Hall before showing the citizens of Brighton & Hove enjoying street parties all across the town with eating, dancing, funfairs and sing-a-longs all celebrating that momentous day.

Watch: ‘Victory in Europe 1945’:

Norman Edwards’ highly atmospheric ‘Royal Thanksgiving’ captures the crowds, street sellers and men and women of the services assembling in Whitehall and along the Mall waiting to see the Royal Family joined by Winston Churchill on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Then moving to Trafalgar Square we see Victory bonfires, dancing and lines of dancers doing the hokey-cokey.

Watch: ‘Royal Thanksgiving’:

These films also relate to two of the themes found on the SASE website:

Home Front

Wartime & Military

Screen Archive Staff:

Director: Dr Frank Gray

Moving Image Archivist: Ine van Dooren

Business & Partnerships Manager: Jane King

Administrator: Louise Conway

Preservation & Production Manager: Nick Clark

Technical Assistant: Stasia Botwright

Collection Manager: Michael Matwiejczyk






Screen Archive South East is a publicly-funded regional film archive serving this region of England. Established in 1992 by the British Film Institute, the University of Brighton and a consortium of local authorities, SASE is dedicated to collecting, preserving, digitising, cataloguing and providing public and commercial access to its screen collection of films, videotapes, lantern slides and digital files. SASE is committed to ‘inclusive heritage’ and nurturing and sharing a vision for screen heritage that combines research, stewardship, curation, exhibition and education with audience & visitor development. It is dedicated to skill-sharing, knowledge-sharing (archival & curatorial) and working in partnership with colleagues both regionally and nationally.

Part of the University of Brighton, it serves the South East of England and its six local authorities: Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, Kent, Medway, Surrey and West Sussex. Its collection of over 25,000 lantern slides and moving images document the rise of screen culture in the region and the nation and represent primarily the changing nature of life in the South East from the late 19th century to the present day. SASE’s Conservation Centre is found within the West Sussex Record Office at Chichester (which includes work space and a climate-controlled media vault). This record office is SASE’s primary partner.

In 2009 SASE was recognised by the BFI as a significant UK film collection and it features on the AHRC website as one of their case studies:

General enquiries should be made to:

Screen Archive South East

University of Brighton

Room G02C

154-155 Edward Street

Brighton, BN2 0JG


Tel: +44 (0)1273 643213


Be creative with your videoconferencing, make it memorable, it makes a difference

On the 21st March 2020 I put out a simple message on my Facebook profile in response to the increasing use of online video communications due to the imminent Covid19 lockdown, “be creative with your videoconferencing, make it memorable, it makes a difference”. Having spent almost thirty years working with videoconferencing in my arts practice, I felt compelled to respond to the current situation with some words of creative encouragement. This sentiment has also been expressed through social media channels and broadcast news reports on the proliferation of creative video chat encounters, from living room performances and streamed DJ sets to family quizzes, karaoke parties and even Skype dinner dates. Whilst we have been quick to creatively experiment our way out of isolation, there are I believe further considerations and approaches to our new networked coexistence we can take. From my own experience of producing many telepresent video installations I have learnt alternative methods and simple techniques to increase our sense of coexistence in these videoconference encounters.

Telematic Dreaming at Fabrica Brighton 1999

Since the early 1990s I have combined and relocated distant audiences in a range of familiar settings in social and fictional contexts, from life size projections of remote participants on shared bed surfaces and green-screened TV viewers sitting together on the same sofa to distant gallery visitors seated at the same virtual peace negotiations table and performers sharing the same telepresent stage. From the early days of fibreoptic telephone lines to internet videoconferencing these ‘telematic artworks’ have invariably involved customised video and computing technologies to converge duplicated installation interfaces in gallery settings to bring distant audiences together, creating a greater sense of presence and empathy between them. Although relatively complex, they are not impossible to set up at home with bit of video experimentation and some rearrangement of the furniture. Through this practice-based research I have strived to co-locate audiences into a shared third-space of coexistence, having been frustrated with the assumption that simply looking into a camera will convey all the subtleties of body language, expression and a phenomenological sense of self and other.

Telematic Dreaming at Fabrica Brighton 1999

While videoconferencing has become commonplace in business, education and domestic contexts through applications such as Skype and FaceTime, peer-to-peer videoconferencing does not replace a look them in the eye handshake or a reassuring hug on the sofa with a close relative. However, when in your Teams or Zoom meetings I am sure you will have found yourself occasionally glancing at your own image in the smaller picture-in-picture window as well as looking at the person you are meeting – and they will be doing the same. In effect this is a means of relayed eye-to-eye contact. Switching between the views of ‘me looking at you’ and ‘you looking at me’ for each participant is another way of converging these remote spaces. This is the first step towards creating a third-space that my telematic art installations exploit by combining these views within the same specular image in mirrored installation settings, allowing the self and the other simultaneous reflection. The proprioceptive choreography of body movements, facial expressions and hand gestures are key components to any conversation, often used unconsciously, but by simply combing these views within the same image we become kinaesthetically conscious and in control of our combined coexistence, escaping our individual isolation.

Peace Talks for FACT Liverpool 2003

These telematic artworks not only resolve the absence of body language they can offer more than our physical encounters permit. They allow the participants the opportunity to observe and reflect on the performed dialogue occurring in front of them whilst being directly responsible for it. In ‘Peace Talks’ a work I produced in response to the impending war on Iraq in 2003, I combined remote gallery participants at the same UN peace negotiations table. Where a participant maybe listening, but unaware of their hunched stance with arms crossed and head down, which is clearly seen as a stubborn confrontational posture by the other. But when the self is also the other, the participants are immediately aware of themselves both internally and externally, being confrontational to the other – as well as themselves. Thereby being in a position to reflect on the objective point of view they now find themselves within, they can adjust their pose and stance accordingly.

Peoples Screen in collaboration with Charlotte Gould for Guangzhou Light Festival 2015

Through observations and reflections on these public performances and exchanges I have been provided the opportunity to witness emotional bonds and understand the subtle intricacies of the participant’s interactions and experiences within my creative practice. Enabling me to conclude that the act of moving our eyesight from the internalised position in our head to a third-person view outside of our own body offers an entirely new sense of self and conscious experience. Combined with another geographically distant participant, we are effectively sharing the same eyes – the same point of view, where one’s gaze of the other and view of the self can converge. The objectification of gaze is met on equal empathetic terms through this process of conflating our presence in a telematic third-space from the same single viewpoint. Justly seeing the situation from someone else’s point of view, which is simultaneously your own – opening the way to a greater sense of coexistence by expounding the juncture between empathy and presence in our videoconference encounters.

Telematic Vision at ZKM Centre for Art and Media 2009

Whilst we look forward to the day that we can read articles such as this one as old news and return to our physical engagements and social interactions as we once knew them, we might want to consider one optimistic outcome from it all … its unprecedented positive effect on our environment. As pollution levels drastically drop in cities across the world and our carbon footprints have been significantly reduced this will be an opportunity to learn from our Covid19 videoconference encounters and ask ourselves if we really do need to jump on the next long-haul flight for the sake of a handshake or a memorandum signing. When so much more can be achieved and saved by reframing our approach to face-to-face coexistence through being creative with our videoconferencing. Making it memorable now could make a difference in the future.

Paul Sermon

Paul is Professor of Visual Communication at the University of Brighton