Welcome…

…to the Arts Faculty Research blog, a showcase of ongoing research and practice by the staff and faculty clusters of Hull School of Art and DesignHull School of Performance Arts and Harrogate School of Art and Design.

Here you will find outlines and case studies of various projects created and developed across the Faculty of Arts, ongoing research projects investigated by staff, as well as staff and course profiles enabling you to see not only see and to give an insight into the methodologies and staff experience that drive our students projects.

Course Clusters can be searched individually using the search drop down to the right, or subject/content specific searches can be made via the tag cloud or direct links (also to the right).

For further information, please contact us on:

email – info@artdesignhull.ac.uk

tel – 01482 480970

The RAGEecosystem – A European Serious/Applied Games project.

Sarah Humphries (Dean of the Hull School of Art & Design), Anna Kirk-Smith (Programme Leader for Fine Art) and Gareth Sleightholme (Lecturer in Games) are currently involved in an EU funded project looking at (Serious/) Applied Games and their application with regards to allowing further access to employment for citizens across the EU and part of the Horizon 2020 initiative.

3-2016-02-04-RAGE Publicity Photo - Edit

(above) RAGErs in MAdrid, 2015

So, firstly… What is the RAGE Ecosystem?

RAGE (Realising an Applied Gaming Eco-system) is a project that aims to deliver a collection of self-contained “gaming assets” (in this instance, read discreet, individual, coded elements/software solutions) that support game studios, developers and researchers at developing applied games easier, faster and more cost-effectively, thus making them better suited for their purpose. RAGE will make these gaming assets available along with a large volume of high quality knowledge resources (discussions, papers, metadata etc) through the RAGE Eco-system, a social space that aims to be the single entry point for Applied Gaming discussion and development.

Alongside these discreet technology assets developed by the RAGE project, it will also realise a centralised access to a wide range of Applied Gaming software modules, services and resources (or their metadata) that have been designed and developed in regional and EU funded projects. The RAGE Ecosystem will:

  • Provide centralised access to a wide range of dispersed Applied Gaming assets
  • Share strong expertise in key technology value chains
  • Provide a social dimension supported by community tools for collaboration, annotation,

And with regard to creativity & professional/industrial/creative matchmaking…

  • Support gaming developers in moving quicker from research excellence to the market
  • Organise workshops and offer training courses for developers and educators
  • Support industrial road-mapping with new mechanisms to encourage disruptive innovation
  • Cover cross-cutting aspects such as international cooperation
  • Make available a set of asset creation aids that will allow developers and educators to create their own assets.

Currently the research staff from the Hull School of Art & Design are working with Applied Games developers from Cambridge and Germany to develop two games using the conceptual model of the ecosystem currently in development.

1 – The “Water Cooler” Game.

The “Water Cooler” Game aims to evaluate and enhance industry relevant group-working skills in a range of students (particularly those who have a digital focus to their studies) through the use of self-appraisal and situational appraisal, applied in a virtual group-working scenario that tests the students conflict management skills, attitudes towards equality and diversity in the workplace and team working skills.

Designed as an ongoing/”endless” scenario, the game can be used as part of semester or year long modules that use traditional practical group working as a major part of the studio activity being used alongside any practical sessions, whilst in the support of shorter courses, the game will be used in and of itself.

Both scenarios would result in a series of short or extended gameplay sessions (as appropriate) followed by discussion with the tutor/lecturer looking at data collected by the game showing the players given responses to game based stimuli.

This combination of gameplay based feedback, and tutor feedback would form the basis of an ongoing plan for the player/student when moving into any future “live” group working scenarios.

2 – The Entrepreneurs Game.

This Entrepreneurs Game aims to develop creative industry focused entrepreneurial skills in students who are about to embark on creative careers following graduation. The game aims to support longer professional practice modules within arts faculty programmes, as well as more focused retraining for employment programs.

Using live, causal feedback interfaces the game will help the player explore and identify those key skills and knowledge areas required to develop a comprehensive business plan appropriate to a particular creative market sector model or start-up enterprise whether as a sole trader or a creative service provider, or even a “bricks and mortar” enterprise such as a creative product store or a gallery.

The game will allow the player/student to experiment with effective balance and prioritisation within a “safe” sandbox environment whilst understanding the value of The Creation of a Business Plan; Knowing your Industry Networks, Funding a Start-up, Cashflow and Financial Planning, Branding & Marketing Strategies, Audience etc. With a combination of gameplay and tutor feedback the game will form the basis of the development of an ongoing action plan when moving into “live” entrepreneurial practice or business planning phases.

To date the members from a range of Universities and Companies across Europe have met at a number of RAGE conferences to debate and push the project and the highly individual “User Case” scenarios forward in order to fully test the premise of the RAGEecosystem, these conferences have taken place in Heerlen in the Netherlands at the OUNL; Lisbon at the The Escola de Polícia Judiciária-EPJ, London at the Applied Gaming Conference (Gaminomics 2015); Toledo; Paris; and most recently (see top of post) in Spain at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM); with the next RAGE Conference expected in September in Manchester hosted by Bolton University.

Researchers and developers continue to work outside the conference scenarios via Skype and face-to-face meetings (with Cambridge developers Gameware visiting HSAD and staff in December last year).

The focus of these conferences for our research staff have not only taken their inception from the studio practice of the staff and students of the Games Design BA and Fine Art and other specialisms, but are now positively feeding back into the teaching and learning processes and discussions therein.

Papers are expected to be submitted as the project draws closer to its completion in 2020.

(below) RAGErs in Heerlen, The Netherlands, at the first RAGE conference.

RAGE team at Kick Meeting in Heerlen

 

 

Art & Design students’ responses to NSS

Art & Design in a seismically active landscape: responding to the NSS

29 Jan 2014

Chelsea College of Art and Design University of the Arts London

a HEA GLAD (Group for Learning in Art and Design) conference

 

 

 

The conference presented updated findings from research by Professor Mantz Yorke (Visiting Professor, Lancaster University) Professor Bernadatte Blair (Emeritus Professor, Art and Design Pedagogy, Kingston University) and Professor David Vaughan (Principal, Cumbria Institute of Arts)

 

Is Art and Design disadvantaged by NSS? – Professor Mantz Yorke

This is a new section of research which adds to an ongoing research project. The project has already established that there are issues with NSS scoring for Art and Design regarding certain questions, particularly in relation to feedback and course organisation and management. 

 

 

This research compares a number of courses in post-’92 institutions:  Performing Arts, Nursing, Imaginative Writing, Biology, Law, Business, History.  It seeks to establish:

 

  • What proportion of results is attributable to the nature of Art and Design?
  • What part might part-time staffing play?

 

39 institutions were included in the survey.  

 

  • Compared with the other subject areas above, Design and Creative Arts has the highest percentage of all part-time staff (66%)

 

  • Business is closest of the above subjects to Design and Creative Arts in number of part-time staff employed and the effects on results.

 

  • Medical and nursing students also have problems with the question regarding course management and organisation  

 

The big picture conclusion is that the higher the number of part-time staff, the lower the NSS scores BUT 1) the effect is small 2) there is wide variation at institutional level

 

Deal or no deal? Expectations and experiences of first year Art and Design students (HEA research) – Professor David Vaughan

 

2009 GLAD NSS Research Project:  I can’t believe it’s not better:  the paradox of NSS scores for Art and Design.

 

  • Art and Design (including Media and Performing Arts) makes a substantial contribution to the national economy

 

  • It is a national success story

BUT

  • When viewed through the lens of NSS, it does not come out well in comparison with other subject areas

 

  • Is NSS fit for purpose
  • Are the questions appropriate to these subjects?

 

Pedagogy of Art and Design:

 

  • Do we take it for granted?
  • Do we explain it?
  • Do we understand it?
  • Do we do enough to prepare our students for HE A&D study?

 

We need to ask these questions, but not in the way they are framed in the NSS.

 

The scenario above led to a research project with 1st year students.  Responses were based on a Survey Monkey online survey of 20 institutions in June 2012.  778 valid responses were received.

 

The respondents:

 

 

  • Mostly young white British
  • 1st time HE students
  • The majority had taken a Foundation Studies Art & Design year or similar
  • Less than 50% were in part-time employment
  • Ratio 4:1 Female:Male
  • 4 in 5 had enrolled at 1st choice HEI
  • 4 in 5 had visited the institution before enrolling

 

Most potent influences on choice:

 

  • HEI location – London favourite!
  • Visit
  • Portfolio interview
  • Prospectus
  • Possible future career and lifestyle

 

 

  • The majority were satisfied with information provided, apparently
  • Pre-enrolment info helped to understand 1st year of study
  • 70% understood what the deal was with the HEI
  • 2 in 3 students had attended induction
  • Some felt they had a lot of info
  • Some felt they had very little info

 

Positives:

 

‘every tutor has experienced life in the design industry’

‘the majority of tutors are visiting designers’

‘You can see tutors any time you want’

 

There were equally negative comments about tutor availability.

 

Assessment

 

A high proportion of students agreed that assessment methods were as expected

 

Re feedback, there were positive statements about crits – students felt these were useful experience for life.

 

Mostly the learning environment met expectations

More than 4 in 5 students had access to practical equipment when they needed it

 

Shared studio space, paying for equipment and use of facilties produced a negative response. There were many comments about this cost in addition to course fees. THE PURPOSE OF STUDIO FEES AND WHAT THEY ARE USED FOR MUST BE MADE CLEAR.

 

Day to day organisation received average results, but were considered moderate to negative.  Students don’t seem to fully understand what course organisation means.

 

Summary

For successful first year experience the following are key elements:

 

  • Students understand the deal with HEIs – expectations on both sides
  • Prior engagement with institution produces positive experience
  • Minorities get parity of attention
  • Good study accommodation
  • Good resources readily available
  • Good technical support (some students said they learnt more from technicians than from teachers – role of technicians very important in art colleges)
  • Effective and efficient organisation

 

For successful transition to HE students need to be:

 

  • Clear about every aspect of the course
  • Clear about the different forms of assessment, criteria and reasons for choice of these

 

  • Understand what to expect from crits and PODS (by watching videos of sessions?)

 

NOTE:  There is a much higher proportion of students with dyslexia on Art and Design courses than many other courses (often about 66%).  This may also apply to specialist Art and Design staff.  Should take into account the effect of this on organisational issues.

 

The nature of part-time employment makes a difference to staff involvement in management and organisation of the course.  The role of part-time tutors who are industry professionals is crucial, but this needs to be balanced by stability in organisation and management.

 

Effective staff show commitment through:

  • quality of teaching
  • One-on-one tutoring
  • Consideration for students
  • Prompt and informative feedback and feed forward – what they might improve
  • Thoughtful and efficient course organisation

 

 

Does NSS have any influence on application or recruitment?

Has it changed the way we do things?

Does NSS stifle innovation because institutions become risk-averse?

 

2013 Student Academic Experience Survey (HEPI + WHICH?) – higher contact hours, smaller group sizes, students who have p/t jobs often do less well, many students in new universities would have made other choices…

 

 

Think more deeply about what’s behind the question responses – have a dialogue with students to define the issues

 

How do Art & Design students understand and interpret questions in NSS? – Professor Bernadette Blair

 

2 x post-92 universities of similar size. Sample across variety of Art and Design courses.  12 students interviewed.

 

Are skills of professional designers transferable to educators?

 

Q1:  Staff are good at explaining things

 

–       Positive about technical support and studio base staff

 

Q2:  Course is intellectually stimulating

 

–       Visiting tutors are important in providing intellectual stimulation

–       Very high quality outside professionals crucial for development of students

Students interpreted ‘intellectually’ in diverse ways:  ‘what relates to the real world’;  ‘more academic’; ‘intellectually is a funny word to use for a design course…’

 

Q3:  Is feedback prompt?

 

–       Ongoing ipsative feedback is implicit in A&D but not always understood by students as such:  ‘that’s teaching, not feedback’ (when defined as crits etc).

 

–       Feedback sometimes recognised as just written, formalised feedback

 

Design education is situated around conversations and dialogue – don’t always know whether something is good until you try it.

 

Q4:  Course organisation

 

Ambiguity and uncertainty is part of the nature of the discipline.  It contrasts with academic courses because there are ‘a lot of things going on at the same time for the tutor.’One interpretation of good course organisation is that studio practice runs smoothly.

 

Students found this question ambiguous.

 

Q5:  Quality of course

 

Students considered this a very generic question, which scored low.  ‘it seems a bit silly to have one little box to tick on behalf of everything.’

 

The NSS questions will be interpreted in the students’ own context. The pedagogy of Art & Design is dialogic rather than monologic.  The questionnaire is monologic in nature.

 

In considering NSS responses, need to be aware of:

–       the fast-changing context, especially in relation to technology

–       of the epistemological and pedagogical differences between disciplines

 

Conclusions:

 

Many institutions recognise the lack of validity of NSS and organise their own reviews.

 

NSSe – piloting a process that concentrates on student experience rather than student satisfaction. No guarantee that this will be any more satisfactory if it follows the same model of questioning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Searching for words

IMG_0918_editedYou just can’t get away from it.  Even at a weekend.  In London.  At the Royal Society of Medicine.  Up on the screen are four topics for an exercise on Subject-Angle-Execution or finding original angles on stories. One of the topics is ‘Hull has won the title of City of Culture 2017’.  Most people choose ‘Christmas’ and suggest all sorts of entertaining ways of approaching that old chestnut.  But one woman suggests an approach to the Hull story, considering what 2017 will mean to the local community by exploring the effect of City of Culture on the community in Derry, the current holder.

My own response is a riposte to the stream of predictable sniggers in the national press, a sort of ‘let them get it out of their system’ angle with a strong dose of irony thrown in.  But hers is a much more refreshing approach and anyway, I don’t really want to spend the day thinking about Hull.

I was taking part in a masterclass on freelance journalism run by The Guardian newspaper.   I am interested in this as part of my own professional practice, but especially wanted information to pass onto the students on the BA(Hons) Journalism and Digital Media programme at HSAD.  And I’d always wondered what the Guardian workshops were like and who attended them.  On the latter point, what an eclectic and interesting mix of people.  I sat between a markets inspector, whose patch was Borough and  Smithfield markets and a science academic and journalist.  Many others already worked as freelance journalists, which indicated that they reckoned the day would hold something even for professionals.  A tall blonde girl, who was quick to respond in the open sessions, was wearing one of those dresses that you see on the rails and wonder if anyone ever buys.  A vivid royal blue shirtwaister buttoned up to the neck, with hemline well below the knee.  Probably the least flattering garment she could have chosen, but so distinctive that I bet everyone will remember her. The real draw for me was Marina Hyde, my favourite columnist, who was doing a Q&A session at the end.  But the day was packed full of useful and practical information.  Sessions on Features Pitching, Dissecting Publications, the Do’s and Don’t’s of Pitching, How To Break Into Freelance Journalism, Original Writing  and Top Ten Tricks and Tips were backed up by contact addresses and advice on the best method and time to follow up contacts.  Sessions were timed to the minute, there were opportunities to talk to the speakers and we were provided with a great lunch. This was real value for money, well-organised and to the point, delivered by experts and with plenty of material to take away.

And Marina Hyde?  More Caitlin Moran than Orla Guerin and she’s grown her hair, but the acid wit of her engagement with all things absurd, pretentious and celebrity-oriented  makes her unassailable in the column writing business.  So now I just need time to put all that information to good use.  And as a bonus, I did manage to bag one of the speakers for our annual Journalism Day at Hull Truck Theatre on Thursday 20 March.

Train return Harrogate to Falmouth= 16 hours + Pedare conference 8 hours = 24

FalmouthUnilogo (1)

Wise Men A fact: You will always feel like your work isn’t good enough. As a salve, or simply as a way to stay sane, be in the world. Ride the train. Listen to strangers. Occasionally, if you’re brave, speak to them. Walk in the city you live. Pay attention. Don’t bother with taking notes, or buying fancy notepads. Try to remember as much as you can. Have just enough confidence in yourself to not be an asshole. Then, get up and go to work and try again.” taken from…Stuart Nadler http://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/fifteen-successful-authors-share-their-best-writing-tips 

After, I guess, what must be 17 years…I returned to Falmouth! having studied illustration at the Woodlane campus in 1994, the place of course looked different, the sleepy Cornish town as I remember it, is now set within a contemporary facade of cool bars and restaurants….hip!! and so back to the reason for travelling North to the South, spending 16 hours on an aching bottom to the point of being almost delirious-was to attend the Pedare (pronounced Pe-da-re) conference held at The Exchange, Penmere. 

To provide some background information… ‘Pedare’ is the Centre for Pedagogic Arts-Based Research. It’s community is made up of educators, academics, scholars, researcher and practitioners, their focus is to generate leading research in e-learning, pure pedagogic research, performance based pedagogy and visual thinking within the arts curriculum- ‘We explore the creative curriculum generating leading edge teaching and learning methods, practices and insights that contribute to and inform education practices and policy’…Perdare 2013

 

Workshop 1 Visual Thinking led by Rob Bloxham from ‘ORB’ creative agency http://www.thisisorb.com/

The first part of this session was to get into partners, one to tell the story, the other to draw it and then re-tell in 30 seconds. (the aim here was to see how much you were able to remember through visuals). The 2nd part of the session required us to get into groups of 4 and apply drawing’s only to come up with a number of ideas exploring a particular brand. Our Brand was called ‘Glide’- life made simple…the concept behind this was life could be made sooooooooooooooo much easier if students who use ‘Glide’ for help with financial matters, i.e. paying bills etc would be much happier students?. We decided to come up with an app called Sim-ple which required 5 players to sign up and become one of the household issues, the game would resolve in the student being directed to ‘Glides’ webpage and sign up??? something like that anyway…

 

Workshop 2 Interactive Spectatorships Led by Dr. Dario Llinares and Dr Sarah Arnold

Taken from Pedare website…Interactive Spectatorships is a project funded and based at Falmouth University. It aims to investigate the effect of social networking technologies, and the attendant influence of new digital cultures, on film studies pedagogic practice specifically and film spectatorship generally. We aim to explore the potential forcommunications media such as Twitter to be deployed as a interactive tool for facilitating students’ critical engagement and discussion of indicative viewing. 

This was a great session, and valuable to my research, it looked at encouraging students into a situation where a screening of i.e. Jackie Brown, Catfish, Moon etc with aid of twitter could be used as learning tool. Its focus -a multi-tasking platform that enables students to express him or herself through ongoing commentary that is in real time rather than an after thought discussion with tutors and peers. Further, a student used in this pilot did note that he watched it again (alone) without any distractions and although may have not been discussed in a group situation was talked about with other cohorts for up to a week later…whether we think this is a good idea or not is questionable? but the aim here is not to take away the notion of watching a film, that little place of worship, where the screen poses itself as a bright shiny god-like figure. Instead, it is about enhancing teaching and learning to watching media, in this case using twitter as a quiet mode of communication to act and respond in real time. 

 Workshop 3 Screen Writing- Everything but the Movie led by Neil Fox 

note to myself- Must watch Casablanca!! Again another interesting session…the focus here was to work with ‘haiku’ a Japanese poetry form that uses just a few words to capture a moment and create a picture in the readers mind. Thus a tiny window into a scene much larger than itself. We all had to write one and later read aloud for others to guess…ok this was mine.

‘intense relationships and lobsters in a pan,

large framed glasses, androgyny, exhibition of dialogue, 

attraction, love and comedy ingenious’

 

Wise Men A fact: You will always feel like your work isn’t good enough. As a salve, or simply as a way to stay sane, be in the world. Ride the train. Listen to strangers. Occasionally, if you’re brave, speak to them. Walk in the city you live. Pay attention. Don’t bother with taking notes, or buying fancy notepads. Try to remember as much as you can. Have just enough confidence in yourself to not be an asshole. Then, get up and go to work and try again.” taken from…Stuart Nadler http://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/fifteen-successful-authors-share-their-best-writing-tips 


After, I guess, what must be 17 years…I returned to Falmouth! having studied illustration there at the Woodlane campus in 1994, the place of course had changed, and for the better! what I remember as a very laid back sleepy town, with too many pasty shops and ‘Trago’ department store has had a make over; the old docks now have a contemporary facade of cool bars and restaurants. And so the reason for travelling North to the South, spending 16 hours on an aching bottom to the point of being almost delirious; was to attend the Pedare (pronounced Pe-da-re) conference held at The Exchange, Penmere. 

 

To provide some background information ‘Pedare’ is the Centre for Pedagogic Arts-Based Research. It’s community is made up of educators, academics, scholars, researcher and practitioners, their focus is to generate leading research in e-learning, pure pedagogic research, performance based pedagogy and visual thinking within the arts curriculum- ‘We explore the creative curriculum generating leading edge teaching and learning methods, practices and insights that contribute to and inform education practices and policy’…

 

Workshop 1 Visual Thinking led by Rob Bloxham and others

The first part of this session was to get into partners, one was required to tell the story and the other to draw it and then re-tell in 30 seconds. The 2nd part of the session required us to get into groups of 4 and apply drawing only to come up with a number of ideas exploring a particular brand. Our Brand was called ‘Glide’ life made simple…the concept behind this was life could be made easier if students which to Glide for help with financial matters, i.e. paying bills etc. We decided to come up with an app called Sim-ple which required 5 players to sign up and become one of the household issues, the game would resolve in the student being directed Glides webpage and sign up??? something like that anyway…

 

Workshop 2 Interactive Spectatorships Led by Dr. Dario Llinares and Dr Sarah Arnold

Taken from Pedare website…Interactive Spectatorships is a project funded and based at Falmouth University. It aims to investigate the effect of social networking technologies, and the attendant influence of new digital cultures, on film studies pedagogic practice specifically and film spectatorship generally. We aim to explore the potential forcommunications media such as Twitter to be deployed as a interactive tool for facilitating students’ critical engagement and discussion of indicative viewing. 

This was a great session, and valuable to my research, it looked at encouraging students into a situation where a screening of i.e. Jackie Brown, Catfish, moon etc with aid of twitter can be used as learning tool. A multi-tasking platform that enables students to express him or herself through ongoing commentary that is in real time rather than an after thought discussion with tutors and peers. Further, a student used in this pilot did note that he watched it again (alone) without any distractions and although may have not been discussed in a group situation was talked about with other cohorts for up to a week later…whether we think this is a good idea or not is questionable? but the aim here is not to take away the notion of watching a film, isolated, within the confounds of darkened room, a place of worship, modeled on a theatre, instead it is about enhancing teaching and learning to watching media, in this case using twitter as a quiet mode of communication to act and respond in real time. 

 

Workshop 3 Screen Writing- Everything but the Movie led by Neil Fox 

note to myself- Must watch Casablanca!! Again another interesting session…the focus here was to work with ‘haiku’ a Japanese poetry form that uses just a few words to capture a moment and create a picture in the readers mind. Thus a tiny window into a scene much larger than itself. We all had to write one and later read a loud for others to guess…ok this was mine. any ideas??????

‘intense relationships and lobsters in a pan,

large framed glasses, androgyny, exhibition of dialogue, 

attraction, love and comedy ingenious’

Heidi Donohoe 

Writing in Creative Practice: Towards Academic Publishing

rabbit-jigsaw2-small (2)

Piecing the jigsaw together… WRITING PAD

This interesting and thought provoking workshop focused on creative writing and how it can be turned into writing for academic publication. Nancy de Freitas, associate professor at AUT University, New Zealand and Editor-In-Chief of studies in material thinking, presented to us the context of material thinking practices, thinking about methods and insights on good structure, clear writing and style as an underpinning to research, processes, images, objects and spaces. Alkie Groppel-Wegener led genre in crafting academic writing, you can follow her on http://tactileacademia.wordpress.com/

To view full posting please go to http://heididonohoe.blogspot.co.uk/

References: 

Gavin Melles and Julia Lockheart, Writing purposefully in art and design: Responding to converging and diverging new academic literacy  http://ahh.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/02/28/1474022211432116

Nancy Roth, Writing as pretext: On the way to an image  http://ahh.sagepub.com/content/9/2/256

Robert Nelson, Toward a history of rigour: An examination of the nasty side of scholarship,  http://ahh.sagepub.com/content/10/4/374

Brian Paltridge, Sue Starfield, Louise Ravelli and Sarah Nicholson; Doctoral Writing in the Visual and Performing Arts: Issues and Debates

 

Lindy Norton

Award-winning artist Lindy Norton specialises in hauntingly atmospheric dry-point etchings and joyously colourful illustration. An experienced educator and practitioner, both areas of practical expertise inform her Illustration teaching at Hull School of Art and Design (HSAD).

Lindy-Norton-630x834

She has 17 years’ commercial experience as a freelance illustrator in London, notably working on children’s books, greetings cards, wrapping paper and packaging. Her portfolio includes work for clients such as: World Wildlife Fund; Hamlyn; National Gallery Publications; Medici Society; Greenpeace; The Born Free Foundation; Boots; Marks And Spencers; and Random House. She does private commissions, and counts TV medic Dr Miriam Stoppard among her clients.

In recent years, she has shifted the focus of her personal practice towards fine art and exhibited her dry-point etching work in the Royal Academy in 2011. The following year, a large dry-point piece, Martin’s Room, won first prize in a competition at the Ropewalk gallery in Barton-upon-Humber, where she delivers regular workshops to beginners and experienced artists.

Visit www.the-ropewalk.co.uk for details of Lindy’s next dry-point printmaking workshop.

She also delivers workshops at Studio Eleven, in Humber Street, Hull, and is currently working towards a solo exhibition of drawings and etchings.

“My research is chiefly my own practice,” she says. “With my fine art dry-point work, I like the atmosphere of empty rooms and the quality of light coming through windows. You could say I’m exploring a sense of human presence without explicitly including the figures“.

Although Lindy says she loves to explore dry-point as a medium, she has not turned her back on her illustrative past.

“I still like the decorative qualities of the illustration work,” she says. “It’s more cheap and cheerful – in many ways, a happier piece of work than a dry-point.”

Lindy has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from HSAD and an MA in Printmaking from Chelsea School of Art. While working as a freelance illustrator in London, she taught at Stourbridge School of Art, and returned to HSAD, this time as a lecturer, in 2000.

Lindypic2

Some of her commercial illustration work can be seen HERE & HERE.

Caroline Miekina-Houseman

A freelance illustrator with more than 30 years’ experience, Caroline Miekina-Houseman has adapted her craft for use in the digital age.  After all this time she is still excited by the many different styles and applications of the genre. She prefers to think she is not typecast, and is fluid and adaptable, but concedes that her portfolio has a certain colourful, playful, upbeat consistency, which she hopes sums up her attitude to her life and her work.

Arbeia Roman Fort Septimius Severus family jigsaw interactive

Having made the transition from traditional media to digital in the late 1990s, she now enjoys blending the “integrity” of the hand-drawn with the “excitement and freedom” of digital. She continues to use a range of media, from oils to vectors.

smarties packaging

Over the years, her illustrations have been used by clients including: Nestle UK in York for its seasonal packaging for Smarties and Milky Bar; advertising agencies producing educational, medical and architectural literature; and an impressive range of museums and galleries.

Pipiatum Latin app - ALL

“Some of my early influences were the greats of the Golden Age of Illustration,” says the Harrogate School of Art and Design (HSAD) media lecturer. She refers to the “flowering” of mass printing and publishing that occurred during the industrial revolution. These influences still underpin her professional practice and her current MA research draws upon parallels between that era and the present.

Caroline says:

“Arthur Rackham, one of my all-time heroes, is a very good example of a traditionally trained artist who was able to take advantage of the rapid progress of new technology and infrastructure in the late-Victorian epoch to share his phenomenal work with a worldwide audience. In a similar way, illustrators and creative people in general are now discovering that we can use evolving technology to share our work in new ways. We have to move along with current practice and be prepared to take advantage of all the new avenues that are available to us.”

ECM explore discover and realise - ALL

Caroline has lectured at HSAD on a part-time basis since 2002, and has found a niche teaching digital media. She specialises in illustration, graphics, retouching, photo manipulation, 3D visuals and spatial design.

She delivers modules on the FdA Visual Arts, Interior Architecture and BA Applied Creative Design courses, as well as running evening classes in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Keswick Museum and Art Gallery - exhibition hall

Keswick Museym and Art Gallery Mountain Heritge room

In 2009, she joined forces with museum designers JANVS Design, for whom Caroline has produced designs, 3D concepts, visuals and illustrations for clients such as: National Trust – Clumber Park Discovery Centre; London Transport Museum; National Coal Mining Museum; Waterford Viking Triangle; and the recently opened temporary exhibition ‘Strike a Pose’ at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

Her illustrations have been commissioned for use in two recent temporary exhibitions in Mickelgate Bar, York commissioned by York Archaeological Trust; The Battle of Towton 2011-2012 and A Royal Gateway 2012-2013.

3 Towton Who's Who II Lancastrians col

Caroline’s current research interest is an MA in Image and Time-Based Media. She is linking sequential imagery and the story telling legacy that found favour during the golden age of illustration with research on the historical and academic aspects of an 18th-century North Yorkshire hero, Jack Metcalf, commonly known as Blind Jack of Knaresborough.

She is working on 12 finished images, based on an anonymous contemporary account of his life, The Life and Times of Jack Metcalf. These will be exhibited at Henshaw’s Arts and Craft centre for blind people in May 2014.

“It’s an extraordinary story about an extraordinary character. He had a series of very physical adventures, including taking part in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, marching with the king’s army and playing his fiddle … it’s hard to believe that Blind Jack had no peripheral vision at all, and it’s certainly an avenue I am investigating as part of my research. I’m trying to bring that story into a form that 15 to 18-year-olds would engage with, and bring to life the rollicking adventure story that it is.

“I know from my experiences teaching National Diploma Graphics and Multimedia that it can be quite a difficult audience to impress,” says Caroline, “it needs to be presented in a style or styles that will grab their attention and make them want to find out more.”

Viking Zwartbles Xmas 2008

In her spare time Caroline enjoys playing the violin and helping her husband to look after their flock of Zwartbles sheep – not necessarily at the same time.

Caroline has BA (Hons) in Art and Design from North Staffordshire Polytechnic and a PGCE from Huddersfield University.

Some examples of her work can be seen at www.miekinaillustration.co.uk and on her blog.

Some of the museum, gallery and visitor centre projects she has worked on can be seen HERE.