Sunday, 29 June 2014

Alumni - Emma Dinnage and Alex Meli about to open their studios in Hackney Downs

Hi Maureen and Jackie, How are you both? We (me and Alex Meli) hope you are both well!

We thought it was about time to send you a quick e-mail and let you know what we've been up to over the past year. I think you already know about Alex's job as a wallpaper designer and how well that is going, the designs he is working on are amazing!. I decided spur of the moment to move down to London so I could be more involved in everything creative that is going on here. Completely by accident I ended up living down the road from Alex's workplace so we decided to pair up and start working together.

Last month we started renting a small studio space in Hackney Downs Studios where we are working on setting up a small collaborative business. We're in the very very early stages at the moment but are having an amazing time meeting people at the studios and around the area who work in the industry. It's hard work trying to fit it all in around our full time jobs and fund everything but we're so excited and definitely feel like we are taking a step in the right direction.

Last week we had some very exciting news. First Thursdays is an event run by Time Out magazine, every first thursday of the month galleries and studios in East London open their doors, host a little party and allow the public to take a look at the work and meet the people who create it. Alex and I went last month and saw some incredible work and met lots of exciting people (we also bumped into Richard Goddard!). Next week First Thursdays is taking place again and our studio will be open to the public. Hackney Downs are expecting between 800-1000 visitors so the two of us are working super hard to get our space looking lovely, make enough business cards and get some art work ready for sale. It's an incredible opportunity and we're feeling very lucky to be involved.

It's a fantastic event for networking (there's also tonnes of free alcohol and an after party which is never a bad thing) so if any of the students who have just finished are in London it's really worth taking a look, would you be able to put a link up on the Portsmouth blog for us?

Everything that we are doing here is really exciting but we miss the Illustration course and everyone on it like mad, I think we'd both come back and do our degrees again if we could!

Best Wishes
Emma and Alex



Alumni - Fay Dalton and John Keaveney win film poster of the year!

Fay Dalton and John Keaveney win Total Film's - Film Poster of the Year ! For their beautiful hand drawn illustration for Stoker.

Here's an update of what Fay's working on now for 2000AD...
(Fay graduated from the illustration BA(HONS) in 2010 and has been working freelance ever since).

See more of her work here...
and here...
and here...

Alumni - well done to Matt Burden who has finished his MA at the RCA!

Hi, got some work in the RCA final show this year at the Kensington site. Feel free to drop by if you can! 

(Matt has just completed his MA in Visual Communication, he graduated from Portsmouth Illustration BA(HONS) in 2009. Matt produced an animation, sculptures and a series of huge graphite drawings, you can see the scale in the photo below.).

Here's some links with more info -

Alumni - Congratulations to Neequaye Dsane on his new job!

Hi Jackie how's it going? Thanks for your message...all is good my end....After 8 years in Manchester I moved back down south 2 years ago and have finally found a full time teaching job. Some of my teaching can be viewed at and my own stuff at

From Neequaye's profile:
"I am a qualified teacher based in London. As an established artist / designer with comprehensive subject knowledge, I am passionate about bringing real life experience into the teaching environment.
I pride myself in my ability to engage, enthuse and motivate pupils and for the past two decades I have worked with young people in education, youth justice, youth service and social housing.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in Illustration coupled with a PGDE teaching qualification. I have experience working with young people with Special Education Needs, learning difficulties and ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). I have also worked with young people with behavioural and emotional difficulties, mental health difficulties and with those with medical problems."

Neequaye Dsane

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Alumni - Luke Spooner

It's great to hear from Luke again with an update on the freelance illustrations he's been working on.

Cadavers is the front cover of a soon to be released anthology of stories about what happens to our bodies after we die. It should be released before the month is out by Knightwatch Press.

Darling 1 is the first in a new self directed series of mine I do as an excuse to mess around and experiment.

This is Love and The Dead Are Not are two more illustrations from the 'After The People Lights Go Off' collection.
The God of War is another interior illustration for the next issue of Pantheon Magazine.

Fear's Accomplice Vol.1 & Vol.2 front cover designs for NoodleDoodle Publications' flagship anthology series. They've also got me to do the halloween edition which follows a similar vein in both style and character.

Ares, base 000-1 (which is actually called 'Mother Gaia') and House of clouds are all for various issues of 'Pantheon Magazine. These images are for the cover of the magazine (both physical and electronic)

Amefurikozo is for the front cover of 'Latchkey Tales,' a series run by Solar Wyrm Press. 

This is a possible design for a new magazine called 'Grimdark Magazine. If all goes to plan then this, or another design if they don't like it, will be on the front cover of their debut issue.

Brushdogs is one of about 12 illustrations I put together for a collection of stories compiled as the 'After The People Lights Have Gone Off' by Stephen Graham Jones and released through Dark House Press. 

To see more about Luke visit him at All imagery copyright CarrionHouse 2014.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Improving the Environment for Patients with Dementia Project at the QA

As part of the Improving the Environment for Patient with Dementia project funded by the Department of Health, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust linked with the University of Portsmouth Illustration Department to produce pieces of meaningful artwork to display throughout Queen Alexandra Hospital.

The projects aim was to bring a bit of the patients home into hospital. Patients with dementia are less able to adapt to changes and do find it difficult to cope with new environment due to decrease in memory, concentration, orientation and visuospatial skills. By making the environment less clinical and more ‘home like’ we hoped to aid recovery and reduce the stress of transferring in and out of hospital.

The students were given a brief that pieces should take into account the needs and abilities of our dementia patients, and provide a focal point to engage and stimulate conversation. Key words used were; Home, Nature, Nurture, World without Words and Family & Friends.

Our aim in the beginning was to display 6-10 pieces; however on viewing it was too difficult to eliminate enough of them. We therefore chose a total of 22 and these were given to staff within the Medicine for Older People wards to choose their favourites. We originally thought of displaying them within dedicated patient areas, but had to find alternative areas such as reception areas and corridor spaces.

A big thank you to all of the students who took part in the 'Improving the Environment for Patients with Dementia' project. Your efforts are much appreciated and the pieces display a unique contribution to the hospital. Each and every piece produced showed us how a few words can be interpreted so differently. This is also evident when you see the patients, relatives and staffs reactions. Although we could not pick every piece, you did make it a very hard job! If we had the resources and space we would have loved to have used them all. In the end it was down to picking a variety of different pieces that would entice a wide audience. Of the pieces picked, the project team all had our favourites, but taking into account the brief the following have been picked for the top three prizes.
1st Oliver Arthur-Baines
2nd Phaedra Barr
3rd Charlotte Knowles

Photographs of the pictures in situ will follow as soon as we have them.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Degree Show 2014 Private View

Thanks to everyone who visited the illustration Degree Show private view last night.
It was a great night for the CCI Faculty with the opening of our new building. Here are some pics of the night.

Here are some close-ups of the work on the walls: