Installing the Dove of Peace


Crysalis’ achievements

A strong fabric built over three years’ intense collaboration

The three-year Crysalis project is almost complete, and we are celebrating its many successes and its legacy. Industrial partners and entrepreneurs, students, designers, researchers and artists have been working across borders and have set up a new, strong network all about textiles.

We’ve created lots of opportunities; for knowledge transfer, which allowed textile professionals, as well as enthusiastic amateurs, to be inspired with new ideas and the necessary courage to leave the beaten paths. For creativity as a priority, too: experimental and creative session resulted time and time again in beautiful, smart or innovative textile products, which will perhaps appear commercially in the near future.

There were several exhibitions where the public was given a glimpse of a new future for textiles. In the UK, France and Belgium, we exceeded our visitor number expectations, attracting 63,183 visitors, illustrated in our interaction per activities reach map image (below left)

Interaction per activity

Interaction per activity

Besides the added value of Crysalis activities for the individual participants, there were opportunities created to continue the new collaborations and projects. Meetings between enthusiastic and expert people produced synergies that will, we believe, have promising results.

The collaborative weave we have been working on together is strong, but it isn’t finished yet. We want to explore the possibility of continuing to strengthen local textile techniques, for instance, by teaching skills and stimulating knowledge-sharing between European partners. Find out more about the interactions fostered by Crysalis in these three years of work in our interaction per region reach map at the foot of this page.

Of course, textile innovation is necessary to move forward, so we want to continue offering creative people like artists and designers opportunities to develop new applications. One way we are thinking of doing this is through making working areas more accessible via our edge services. More information at


More information: Susiane at






Crysalis activity by region

Crysalis activity by region

The mystery deepens...

Folkestone Centipede

Supported by the Recreate project and showcased as part of the Folkestone Triennial Fringe from Aug – Nov 2014, the Folkestone Centipede is a fictitious narrative about Mme Mireille Hachette’s secret research project that led to an extraordinary discovery in the field of cryptoarchaeology. The find came to be known as the Folkestone Centipede.  From late August until November an international team is attempting to replicate that earlier work using much of the original equipment, to establish whether its results were genuine. Unlike the earlier researchers, the team is keen to develop public interest in their work.  Visitors are welcome to inspect the research processes that the team have set-up in the laboratory.

The Centipede Project may be found on the beach to the west of Folkestone Harbour, near the Dolven Bell. It is housed in a white-painted freight container.

Read all about it!

Hot off the press!

To capture the many projects that have taken place over the last year through Recreate funding we have created a publication series – hot off the press!

A set of five publications showcases a mix of student and staff-led collaborative projects that engage with the Recreate agenda of culture-led regeneration strategies:

  • Transforming Spaces edited by Peter Waters;
  • Reading Rooms edited by Lara Rettondini;
  • Syn City edited by Gabor Stark;
  • Ephemeral Spaces edited by JJ Brophy and
  • Folkestone Centipede edited by Terry Perk and Julian Rowe.

A further three publications will complete the series later this year.

If you would like a copy, please contact Amie Rai:

A question of sculpture…..

Emma Hart - “Giving It All That”, image courtesy of Thierry Bal.

The Sculpture Question Research Group presents ‘The Sculpture Question’ conference in partnership with Folkestone Triennial and University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury.

In a post-medium art world, the term ‘sculpture’ still has resonance and significance for artists who continue to align themselves with its histories and challenges. Yet over the last half century the practice of sculpture has increasingly positioned itself in the realms of installation, architecture, performance and design. In these inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary contexts, how might sculpture, as a discipline of fine art, continue to be taught and defined today?

This conference, supported by ICR, will take the Folkestone Triennial as its case study, while looking back at significant historical precedents, such as Sculpture Projects Münster, Chambres d’Amis and Culture in Action. In these contexts, this conference will seek to argue that sculpture is always political and space is never neutral.

Keynote speakers: Nicolas Bourriaud, Director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and curator of Taipei Biennial 2014; Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain; Mary Jane Jacob, Executive Director of Exhibitions and Exhibitions Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Independent Curator.

Speakers: Amina Menia; Jordan Baseman; Claire Doherty; Anouchka Grose; Emma Hart; Anthony Heywood; Anna Moszynska; Terry Perk; Dominic Rahtz; Shelley Sacks; Iain Sinclair; Sarah Staton; Gilda Williams; Jon Wood.

One day: £15 / £10 concessions
Both days: £20 / £15 concessions
Ticket prices include tea and coffee, and a glass of wine at the drinks reception.

To book your ticket, please visit:


ICR was selected under the European Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVA France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF

Interreg Channel Logo colour strapline horiz

A new CREA-Zone publication: breaking regional boundaries in the pursuit of innovation

Watch out for a digital publication that shows off the activities of the CREA-Zone partners, an  externally-funded cluster  from across the UK, Belgium, France and Netherlands. The cluster aims to bring partners together to promote knowledge exchange and collaborative opportunities.

The publication will be launched at the CREA-Zone event on 5th and 6th November 2014 in the Budafabriek, in Kortrijk, Belgium.

CREA-Zone capitalizes on three previous Interreg projects – VIVID, Crysalis and Villa Cross Media – which were implemented by partners and have contributed to the development of opportunities for entrepreneurs and therefore fostered the development of local areas.

The CREA-Zone publication promotes best practices by showcasing a series of case studies which demonstrate how collaborative and open approaches can be a powerful way of bringing together creative and traditional industries, local governments and members of the public, to co-create innovative concepts, products and services.

The publication encompasses themes such as ‘changing needs required new concepts’, ‘supporting the creative sector’, ‘organising and connecting people and spaces’ and ‘ the power of co-creation’. UCA contributes several examples to the publication, such as:

  • Crysalis Knowledge Transfer Activity – Gail Baxter – Years of tradition embrace new concepts

Gail Baxter is a research student at UCA and a contemporary lace practitioner. She was been working with the Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode (CIDM) and Prud’homme, which is the lace manufacturers’ legal copyright registry, as part of a team tasked with creating a new lace design for one of their historic lace looms. The outcome, a new lace, is modern and innovative in design and style, affording a distinct departure from the tradition floral motifs so often used in lace design. More information here.

  • Crysalis Digital Encounters – Neil Bottle – Travelogue Collage
 two-seater sofa and wall hanging installation

Neil Bottle is a designer with over 25 years’ experience in the fashion textiles industry. His work is held in collections around the world. In the Travelogue Sofa project, Neil has explored the relationships between traditional and contemporary textile print methodologies. Digital print is often associated with mass production; however in this project the limitations of digital design software are pushed to new boundaries with multiple layer applications creating engineered pattern shapes for one piece of furniture. The result is a unique object, which has been designed around the 3D furniture form, encompassing both traditional crafted upholstery technique whilst developing a new level of expertise in the digital textiles design process. More information here.

  • Edge creative expertise and technical services

Universities support graduates in an early stage of their careers by connecting them to the intellectual and physical resources they need for developing their professional practice. Edge provide graduates, freelancers, organisations and businesses access to advanced technology, creative method and a wealth of industry experience. There is a broad variety of specialist equipment to choose from, including; digital textile printing and Gerber pattern cutting for fashion; 3D scanning and 3D printing for innovating and testing concepts in many sectors; laser cutting which helps product developers to be even more creative and, at the same time, more precise and cost effective; thermal efficiency equipment which makes it easier for architects to determine how energy efficient a building is; bronze foundry and glass hot shop support artists to explore new designs concepts. More information at

  • Edge Talents

UCA’s online open innovation platform enables students and industry to co-develop innovation assets via an innovation workflow model. It facilitates engagement and creates collaboration opportunities via the showcasing of students’ skills, creative concepts and early stage designs. At the heart of this programme is a way of working that enriches the student journey and adds value to business. It also allows a greater understanding of factors that enable an increased adoption of university IP by industry and fosters student awareness of commercial needs and this creates innovation outcomes for academics and students alike. More information at

Further information: Susiane Sampaio at

UCA produce multi-disciplinary artwork in collaboration with the Royal Opera House on Verdi’s Requiem


UCA staff, alumni and students’ hard work and creativity were showcased at the Royal Opera House’s High House Production Park in Thurrock in early July as a part of an ongoing project to explore new territories for the meeting of sound, sculpture and light.  This project, as with many other student projects taking place across UCA, was made possible by support through Interreg funding.  The work produced was also showcased at the FUSED Festival, a three-day festival of concerts, workshops and exhibitions run by the Royal Opera House.

Using Verdi’s Requiem as the starting point, students from two courses at Rochester and Canterbury campuses investigated ways in which the piece could come alive visually using light and sculpture whilst still maintaining an integral relationship to the sound.

The animation course in Rochester visited a November performance of the Requiem and  using motion sensors attached to the conductor’s body, captured the movements over the 90 minute performance.  Through a series of technical processes, the data was transformed into seven pieces of sculpture.  Phil, Course Leader on the CG Arts and Animation course called upon the skills and talents of his existing students, alumni and colleagues to conceive of and develop the project.  Jonathan Simms (Lecturer in Photography at UCA) described this as a ‘community of learning’.

Although many hands and minds came together to bring this work to fruition, there were two key individuals who played significant roles in the development and actualisation of the work.  Ethan Shilling provided a high level of technical know-how and research to take the original data from the conductor and transform these into digital curves, which became the building blocks for other students to develop ideas from, and Tim Hall, a UCA alumni, who now successfully runs his own business, willingly took on the project and single-handedly fabricated all seven sculptures from sheet metal.

The sculptures were exhibited in the Walled Garden at the Royal Opera House’s High House Production Park in Purfleet, during two festival performances of the Verdi’s Requiem on 3rd and 4th July, conducted by the celebrated Arie van Beek with Thurrock Community Chorus and Brighton Festival Chorus joining forces with Orchestre de Picardie and Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne.

Over at the Canterbury campus, Hugh Harwood, Course Leader Graphic Design: Visual Communication and sessional staff member Hala Georges embedded the project into their Level 1 programme and involved almost 40 students in the production of visual and typographic responses to the Requiem.  These unique and individual responses were digitally stitched together and came together as little moments that illuminated the large outer wall at the Backstage Centre from where the performance had just taken place.  Hala Georges, a UCA sessional staff member working with Hugh said “We were thinking about whether the projection would work on the concrete or the grey wall. We tested it on various surfaces, and seeing it now, it’s very satisfying.”

Richard Brittain, Head of Thurrock Music Services, remarked about the projections; “They are creating a very evocative mood. A great deal of creative thinking has gone into the designs and as the darkness is falling in, they are peering through the light.”

The project enabled some artists to step back from their normal practice to focus on a new direction. Jordan Buckner, a graduate teaching assistant at UCA and CG Arts Alumni said, “I worked on generating ideas for the sculptures in the early phase of the project. Through it, I’ve managed to break away from doing the same thing that I might normally do. It’s allowed me a lot of artistic freedom during the design process. I think my new works will be influenced by this project and allow me to move into new directions, and away from what people might typically expect from a CG Arts graduate”

It also enabled students to learn more about the process of commissioned art. Jonathan Simms, Senior Lecturer, Photography at UCA, said “The value of these external projects to our students, the work that goes into working with external partners and the work that the students do is incredible. These projects join the dots with the academic world and the professional world of commissioned art.”

Members of the audience were invited to put their own slant on the sculptures and showed their enjoyment of the exhibition through their animated conversation. Audience members described the artwork variously as “Those lampshades that we used to get in the 70s that were pre-packed and you had to put together”, “a horses mane” and “a double doughnut,”

Gabrielle Forster-Still of the Royal Opera House said, “It’s interesting to see how the Requiem can inspire art – I really like that.”

UCA’s involvement with the performance and the festival take place as part of ACT – A Common Territory, a European partnership between 12 different organisations. ACT supports creative and collaborative projects with local and European partners and is co-funded by the ERDF Interreg IVA France (Channel) England programme

To view the Images of sculptures, click here.