Monday, 12 March 2018

Fempowerment Exhibition - International Women's Day 2018

It was great to see a number of work by our Illustration students at the F.EMPOWERMENT exhibition at The Coastguard Gallery. The private view took place on International Women's Day, Thursday 8th March.
Local female artists from Portsmouth and surrounding areas were showcasing their artwork in an exclusive exhibition and Zine to celebrate the empowerment of women and the female form.

Participating artists:

Megan MacDonald
Holly Seymour
Ruth Alderton
Sasha Damjanovic
Candy Smith
Ella Ash
Ellis Chen
Taylor Ellis
Chanel Golinski
Jessica Kosca 

Monday, 5 March 2018

Jane Savage PhD Review and Glass Case Exhibition


Jane Savage
Part-time PhD, CCI University of Portsmouth

Registration Feb 2015
Presentation for Annual Review March 2018

Work-in-progress exhibition

Drawing-board Expo: 3 Questions

Artist’s Statement

This is an exhibition of work-in-progress, illustrating three research questions which have arisen from practical and theoretical work. The exhibition is a snap-shot of part of the process which is not intended to contain finished pieces; and certainly not ‘answers’.

First question: Reindeer see lichen in luminous yellow: how do we respond to goldness? I am fascinated by reindeer seeing their scarce food source as ‘gold’, in a wilderness of greys. It resonates with the idea of life-force being depicted in gold by numerous artists; and with the interchanging of the words ‘life’ and ‘light’ – both of which are connected to gold. In these practical explorations I make reference to the sculptural work of Arte Povera artist Giuseppe Penone, and to the Book Artist Mark Iwinski, combining goldness with bark and tree cores.

Second question: All that glistens is not gold: does it have to be real gold, or is association enough? This question concerns materials and considers the practicalities and expense of using real gold in the Artists’ Book; and the peculiar influence of the imagination to enable us to bridge gaps in reality, when we interact with a book form. It begins to explore whether it is solely the reflective quality of gold that is responsible for its appeal, or whether our visceral response arises from the wider cultural significance of gold.

The final question in this snap-shot of work in progress is: In Praise of Shadows: is goldness more powerful in the dark? It takes inspiration from an essay by Junichiro Tanizaki entitled In Praise of Shadows, which brings to life Eastern notions of the aesthetic place of gold and presents a beguiling argument for hiding our most extravagant ore in order to appreciate its special qualities.

There is an inevitable cross-over between the lines of enquiry in the practical research, which is both reflexive and reflective in methodology. Ongoing reflective practice leads to further research questions, such as How much is too much goldness in the Artists’ Book; and does the making process imbue the work with Aura?

Key words: dazzle; uplift; transcend; arrest; restore



Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Kathryn Howard exhibits at the Parallax Art Fair

Kathryn Howard exhibits at the Parallax Art Fair, the twenty-first edition at Kensington Town Hall. The event was open 2-4 February 2018.

The fair has become very popular with Londoners and was were featured on BBC Radio London this year. The larger venue means more space for exhibitors and a bigger environment, especially as they average 10,000 - 16,000 visitors per show. The show was a full-scale consumer fair aimed at supporting entrepreneurial artists and designers.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Jade Spranklen/SPRANKENSTEIN Visiting lecture

Allumni Jade Spranklen (AKA SPRANKENSTEIN) came in to talk to our first years about her dynamic life as a freelance illustrator. She has worked with a number of high profile companies and her work is highly sought after. She kicked off a workshop about 'Zero to Infinity'. Please take a look at her wonderful work on Instagram @sprankenstein and her website at

Monday, 29 January 2018

Ex Libris: Altered Books

Well done to Lyndy Moles from MA Illustration whose artist's book is in this exhibition.

Ex Libris: Altered Books
Exhibition of recycled and transformed books by Sparksartists and friends
9 December 2017 – 24 February 2018

For his Mother by Lyndy Moles

Monday, 22 January 2018

Update from Tsveta Petrova - graduated from MA Illustration in September.

So basically, the Anglo-American School in Sofia (Bulgaria) invited me to do some workshops and talk about my own art and my book. I met some of the high school and middle school groups, I showed them some of my illustrations, I did demonstrations with them where I would draw characters and they would suggest what features they would have and I would draw them on the spot. We had a quick Q&A session, where they asked about my book and all kinds of questions related to my artwork.


The last group I met were the 5th graders, which were so excited for this! They loved the live-drawing bit, and after that they drew their characters as well, at the end some of the kids gave me their drawings as a gift, and some of them even asked me for autographs! It was such a great experience, I really enjoyed it, especially meeting the youngest kids- they were very curious and very impressed by everything!

For more on Tsveta's work visit:

Monday, 15 January 2018

University Alliance: Christmas Design Competition

Congratulations to Georgie Underwood - winner of the christmas card design competition organised by the University Alliance.
See link for details.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Aggie Davies 2016 Alumni

Since leaving University I moved to Berlin to do an artist residency for 3 months - it was amazing! I had really missed having studio space and time to do nothing else but create! I ended up meeting many friends through responding to open calls for art exhibitions over the city,and my unusual work about witchcraft and magic put me in contact with some amazing artists of all kinds, which led to collaborations and pushed me to explore things outside my comfort zone as an illustrator.  One highlight was preforming in the Berlin feminist film festival, on a collaborative performance art piece with 3 other artist friends called "The Witch Within", inspired by rituals and the films "The Love Witch"

I ended up staying in Berlin an extra 3 months, and spent some of the time curating a participatory art project based around the supressed women's voice. We took over a gallery space for a week and invited women to come and share their stories with us and hosted workshops with the aim of empowering women. It went really well and I managed to even make some cash from selling lots of work so it was a sucess!!! Using art mediums to aid and encourage women to open up and express themselves made me think again of taking a new direction and investigating art therapy.

Since then I have been working as an activities support worker for a day centre with adults with brain injury, I first started as a volunteer but they then offered me a job.I absolutely love it and every Monday we dedicate the day to art based activities which is enjoyed by everyone! It is very rewarding and made me think more about the idea of being an art therapist, something I have always thought about and now I think I am ready to apply for an MA course. I also volunteer with an art therapist in a hospice which is challenging but great experience!


Monday, 4 December 2017

Congratulations to Leah Keatly-Phoenix

Well Done Leah

Leah has had her paper cut images of Winchester exhibited and has been asked to exhibit again next April. This is a great achievement.

To read more visit...

Chris Arran visit

The renowned illustrator and lecturer Chris Arran ( came to visit Portsmouth for a lecture and exciting workshop. Here is a video of his wildly creative workshop. We all had bad (and good) songs from yesteryear bouncing around in our heads for days. Enjoy!

Monday, 27 November 2017

Alumni - Lorna Harrington Interview

Read an interview with alumni Lorna Harrington about her new brilliant job with Aardman!

Click the link to read the interview...

This month, we spoke to Designer Lorna Harrington about her background, developing her signature style and talking clay poos with Peter Lord...

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

MA Illustration 2017 - our recent graduates!

Welcome to our graduating students in September 2017, click to visit their online portfolios.

Well done to our MA illustration students. 

Here is a link here to our course publication showing their amazing work.

Click here to find out more about our MA Illustration course...

Congratulations Bo

Congratulations Bo Sun Lam (alumni from BA and MA illustration).

Winner of the BOB Award (Best Of the Best) in The 7th International Tour Competition (Vancouver, Canada station). The exhibition was arranged as an exchange of Art and Culture between Hong Kong and Canada.
The BOB Award winner was chosen from the champions of different age groups and aspects— painting/ photography/ calligraphy/ creative writing.