MA Fine Art graduate wins Penguin Little Black Classics competition

“They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan”  Paper, card, bronze powder, twine, and Penguin Little Black Classics  2015

“They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan” by Alex Wood. Paper, card, bronze powder, twine, and Penguin Little Black Classics, 2015

Chelsea MA Fine Art graduate Alex Wood is one of four winners of a recent competition run by famous publishing house Penguin to launch their new range of books entitled Penguin Little Black Classics.

Students and recent alumni from Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon were invited to make exciting, sculptural artworks out of books inspired by the release of 80 titles including works by Dante and Dickens, Plato, Austen and Oscar Wilde.

Each of the four winning artists has received a prize of £200, and the selected artworks are now exhibited in the windows of London’s Foyle’s bookstore.

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Painters-Stainers award winners’ dinner

BA Fine Art and award winner student Bella Hull (centre) with two of her fellow 'young scholars' and Chris Twyman of the Worshipful Company Painters and Stainers and painter John Walton.

Chelsea BA Fine Art student and scholarship award winner Bella Hull (centre) with two of her fellow ‘young scholars’ and Chris Twyman Clerk of the Worshipful Company Painters and Stainers and painter John Walton.

Last year, at the end of her first year at Chelsea, BA Fine Art student Bella Hull was the excited recipient of a £10,000 scholarship from The Worshipful Company of Painters-Stainers in honour of her painting work.

Generously awarded in recognition of her potential, the money will be given to her over the next two years of her undergraduate degree, and once she graduates she will become an honorary member of the company herself for a year.

Last week, the Painters-Stainers award winners, or ‘young scholars’ as they are known, came ogether from across the UK for a dinner at London’s Mall Galleries.  We spoke to Bella about the evening, and about how the award has already had an impact on her work and degree at Chelsea.

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Chelsea Salon Present: Conrad Shawcross in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston

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Conrad Shawcross: Loop System Quintet, 2005

Author and critic Rachel Campbell-Johnston interviews international sculptor and Chelsea alumnus Conrad Shawcross whose extraordinary sculptures explore the borders of geometry and philosophy, physics and metaphysics.
Places are limited so it is essential to RSVP in comments below.
The talk will take place on Thursday 12th Feb, 6.15pm at the lecture theatre at Chelsea College of Arts and will be followed by a drinks reception.
for more information please visit:

Alumni Profile – Laura Fowle, BA Fine Art


Current work-in-progress (Grab_slide), 2015. Glass, print-out, acrylic paint, self-adhesive foam square

This week we catch up with BA Fine Art 2014 graduate Laura Fowle. Tackling her first year out of education, Laura is going full steam ahead in developing her practice and completing the ArtQuest LIFEBOAT Residency Programme with ACAVA Studios in London. Here’s what she had to say about her time on the BA course and what life is like after Chelsea as she progresses into an exciting future as a professional artist.

Describe your Chelsea experience in 3 words?

Challenging / Encouraging / Thought-provoking

What do you enjoy most about studying at Chelsea?

I really liked how the course was heavily practice based, however also had a strong focus on theory. The combination of the two created a really interesting and engaging way of working. I had a good relationship with my tutor Dave Beech in the third year, and I feel he really pushed me to be more daring and challenged me about my work. I felt like the tutors had a genuine interest in you and your work and wanted to push you further – this was really encouraging and motivating.

How did you enjoy living in London?

I have lived in London for almost 5 years now and have continued to do so after I graduated. I guess I really enjoy the convenience of the city, there is always something on, a show to see, a new bar or an exhibition opening. When it comes to applying for exhibitions I find living in London has been really helpful as I can be more mobile with my work and practice, and living in London definitely makes me feel more of a part of the art scene.

What was your greatest challenge on the course and how did you overcome it?  Read the rest of this entry »

Eavesdrink- BA Fine Art students meet Alumni event


Finishing art school and continuing an art practice outside the institution can seem a daunting task. For third year BA Fine Art students, with only two terms lefts before they finish, life post-degree show is starting to loom on the horizon.

Chelsea BA Fine Art course leader Jeffrey Dennis  and artist Holly Stevenson (MA Fine Art Chelsea graduate) have organised  the first Chelsea College of Arts Eavesdrink – an event where current students can meet Chelsea graduates who have successfully continued their art practice in excitingly different and various ways.

Taking place Wednesday 11th February from 2 – 6pm, the event is a chance to meet Chelsea graduates to gain and share experience and insights to professional and academic life beyond graduation. The focus of this first event will be on graduates who have continued to work and study in London. The event will consist of a series of short talks by the guest speakers, followed by opportunities for students and guests to circulate and share advice in one-to-one mentoring conversations, openly ‘eavesdropped’ by other students.

Joining us will be Chelsea graduates, Laura Buckley, Sam Fish, John Hill (Lucky PDF), Ann-Marie James, Thomas J. PriceMathew Sawyer and David Ben White alongside Hannah Breslin from SEE (Student Enterprise & Employability), current postgraduate students Ella Phillips & Julia Norris from MFA Fine Art Wimbledon and Rosemary Cronin & Jennifer Arboine from MA Fine Art Chelsea and Will Stevens and Michelle Cioccoloni, MA alumni from the Royal Drawing School.

The afternoon will insist on generous conversation. After listening to the guests’ presentations, attending BAs will have the opportunity to speak with the guests one-to-one, for advice about preparing yourself for postgraduate courses, work and survival.

More conversation over G&Ts, sandwiches and tea will follow. Places are limited – reserve your free ticket: Eavesdrink Ticket

Eavesdrink will take place Wednesday 11th February, Chelsea Banqueting Hall, 14:00 – 18:00

Organised by Jeffrey Dennis & Holly Stevenson, assistant organiser Isabelle Gressel.

Mean Reds press 1, courtesy of the artist Laura Buckley

Mean Reds press 1, courtesy of the artist Laura Buckley

InTRANSIT Festival of Arts 2015 – Artist Call Out


InTRANSIT Festival of Arts is an annual festival of site responsive art and performance from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The festival champions work that is immediate and relevant, encouraging the involvement of local people and places in the creation of new work. Now in its ninth year, the festival celebrates the changing urban landscape, making use of public and private spaces throughout the borough.

Students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts, who are passionate about working outside of conventional theatre and gallery settings, are encouraged to apply. They are looking to commission outstanding new site responsive or outdoor projects to be presented in Kensington and Chelsea in June this year. With the support of a Grant for the Arts award from Arts Council England, they are particularly seeking out work that focuses on north Kensington and its communities.

The theme for this year’s festival is Paradise on Earth, and they are looking for proposals that explore the interplay between ‘paradise’ and that which is more familiar here on earth. For instance, recognising and imposing pattern; hierarchical structures; the ideal society; and cultivation as perfection. Read the rest of this entry »

London by Cycle Pop-Up Cycle Cafe

London by Cycle

London by Cycle

Visit the London by Cycle pop-up cycle cafe at Chelsea College of Arts, tomorrow Thursday 29th January and at our second event day on the 19th February.

  • Free Bike Checks
  • London Cycling Mechanics
  • Maintenance talks
  • Route planning advice
  • Bike try-outs
  • Free coffee & more!

These student events are arranged by London Cycling Campaign and supported by the Big Lottery Fund. Tell all your friends and come along to get involved!

London by Cycle

London by Cycle


One:Place:Ten – Annual Chelsea Staff Show


Once a year, Chelsea College of Arts likes to swivel the attention away from our wonderful students and celebrate the creativity of our staff. The annual staff show will include pieces from our lecturers, technicians, administrators and caterers and many more.

Join us in discovering the works from our staff as well as celebrating our ten year anniversary in Millbank.

Private View: Thursday 29th January 5.30 – 8pm

Open 30th January – 4th February, Mon – Fri 12pm – 6pm (closed over the weekend)

The Cookhouse Gallery, Chelsea College of Arts

Interview with Fanny Santini & Bronwen Campbell-Golding, founders of Petite Albion

Petite Albion: Fanny Santini & Bronwen Campbell-Golding: Winners of the Creative Enterprise and Cockpit Arts award 2014/2015

Petite Albion founders Fanny Santini & Bronwen Campbell-Golding, winners of the Creative Enterprise and Cockpit Arts award 2014/2015

Fanny and Bronwen are the creators of the luxury childrenswear label Petite Albion. The design duo who graduated in 2014, met whilst studying MA Textile Design at Chelsea College of Arts when, alongside their studies, they began developing their ethical childrenswear label: “Petite Albion was conceived as part of our MA work, alongside our individual final projects. This allowed us the opportunity to research and develop the brand within a creative environment.”

The label specialises in hand crafted items for children aged from 3 months to 6 years,  based on simple shapes and a neutral palette with a touch of colour. The design duo are very passionate about making their products in the UK and in 2014 they won a Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Creative Enterprise award in recognition of their work.

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Interview with Clive Phillpot

Clive Phillpot in Chelsea School of Art library, 1973.

Clive Phillpot in Chelsea School of Art library, 1973.

Writer, curator and eminent voice on the subject of artists books, Clive Phillpot has a long-standing relationship with Chelsea College of Arts, which began in 1969 when he arrived at Manresa Road for an interview for the post of librarian.

Having got the job and expanding Chelsea’s art books collection, he later became the director of the library at MoMA in New York and mapped out the field of artists’ books from an institutional point of view. Working with Printed Matter and Franklin Furnace as well as other New York organisations dedicated to the medium of the book, Phillpot has “helped raise awareness of these works, while giving them the necessary credentials to enter museums” (Introduction to Booktrek by Clive Phillpot, 2013).

He will be returning to Chelsea in January 2015, following an invitation to curate an exhibition at Chelsea Space taking the college’s Special Collections as its starting point.  When we met to discuss the show, it seemed that he had some ambitious ideas.

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