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Bath Spa University news

The latest study and research news from Bath Spa University

February 2012
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011


Bath Spa University helps preserve computer games

An archive of computer games websites may seem an unusual subject for collection by the British Library – but with the help of Bath Spa University gaming expert Professor James Newman, a major project is underway to capture a comprehensive view of computer game development.

Professor Newman, who is Director of the Media Futures Research Centre at Bath Spa University, and co-Director of the National Videogame Archive, is advising a partnership of the British Library and the National Media Museum.

A special collection of videogames will be created for the UK Web Archive, preserving the cultural and societal impact of computer games in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Professor Newman explained: ‘This is a major step forward in ensuring that a significant part of UK culture is documented and preserved.

‘Being a gamer isn’t just about playing games. It involves writing about them, reviewing them, debating which version is best, sharing strategies and tactics, writing solution guides, drawing pictures of characters, making movies, writing stories that develop game narratives.

‘We need to make sure that all these practices, all these materials, many of which are shared online, are preserved so that we can understand what games mean, how they are played, and what their impact is.’

For more information, and to nominate a videogame website for inclusion in the collection, see the UK Web Archive website. 

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Bath School of Art and Design at Tent London

Six talented graduates from the Bath School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University have been selected to exhibit at Tent London – the ground-breaking design show described as the ‘most diverse and must-see event of the London Design Festival.’

The selected graduates will be exhibiting their work in textiles and ceramics, demonstrating beautiful pieces created through the exploration of hand and digital skills and crafted with careful attention to detail, form and colour.

The graduates are:

Keith Varney, Penny Seume, Rosie Venables, Kaylee Hibbert, Henrietta Scholes, Ruth Moser

Head of Department Kerry Curtis explained: ‘In the past few years several of our graduates have launched their careers by showcasing at the Design Festival, and in a number of cases this has led to the start of exciting new design companies. At Bath School of Art and Design we aim to provide time and space for people to think and do, to stimulate each other and to share thoughts.’

Bath School of Art and Design has an enviable reputation for the quality of its work in a range of disciplines, including textile design, fashion, ceramics, graphic communication, fine art and photography. The School provides a safe place to experiment and explore, to develop skills for both thinking and doing, and use hand processes and digital technologies to animate ideas and realise products.

The exhibition runs from 22–25 September at Brick Lane, London, and Bath Spa University will be on stand E14.

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Bath Spa University poets in action

A star-studded line-up at the Bristol Poetry Festival 2011 includes staff and students from Bath Spa University.

Creative Studies lecturer Lucy English and student Rebecca Tantony are two of the four-strong Bristol Slam Poetry team who will take on Manchester in what is described as ‘a titanic, inspiring and exhilarating battle between two of the UK’s foremost cities for spoken word.’ A sell-out audience is expected for the Bristol Poetry Slam, which takes place on Saturday 17 September.

Lucy English is also in action on Wednesday 14 September, this time with former student Anna Freeman. The pair will be staging an ‘intervention’ at the Colston Hall, featuring a selection of poems from the acclaimed poetry show ‘Flash’. Lucy and Anna will perform to audience members in the foyer as they wait for the main house event with Nigel Kennedy. ‘Flash’ focuses on revelations and epiphanies in everyday lives, where the sudden flash reveals the briefest moment when everything makes sense.

Bath Spa University has one of the UK’s leading Creative Writing departments, with a distinguished team of creative writing practitioner researchers, including MAN Booker, Whitbread, and TS Eliot prize nominees. Bath Spa is the only UK university to offer a specialism in performance poetry.

For more information about the Bristol Poetry Festival please visit the festival website at www.poetrycan.co.uk.

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Bath Spa University expands postgraduate courses

A raft of new Master’s courses will be on offer at Bath Spa University at the start of term, signalling an increasing focus on postgraduate and research activity.

The courses have been planned with input from industry experts in a range of professional fields to make sure that the advanced knowledge and skills provided to students matches the requirements of employers.

A new Master’s course in Feature Filmmaking explores the business and practice of modern low-budget film-making (both fact and fiction), and is aimed at aspiring directors, producers, and other creative professionals within the film industry.

The School of Music and Performing Arts is adding to its vibrant performance-based portfolio with specialist postgraduate programmes in Performing Shakespeare and Theatre for Young Audiences – both areas of particular interest within the undergraduate curriculum.

The University already has an enviable reputation for producing award-winning writers from its established Master’s courses in Creative Writing and Writing for Young People. A new programme in Travel and Nature Writing provides opportunities for specialist creative non-fiction writers, and builds on the University’s specialism in ecocriticism.

MA Business and Management is expected to attract students from both the UK and abroad, with an emphasis on the complexities associated within modern day organisations and their effective management, along with specialist pathways in Marketing and Creating and Developing Your Business.

A new programme with particular local relevance is MA Heritage Management, which will work in partnership with a wide range of heritage organisations across Bath and the region to reflect on and respond to the challenges currently confronting the heritage sector.

And finally MSc Principles of Applied Neuropsychology is available for potential students interested in social cognition, affective neuroscience and the neuropsychology of psychopathology; whilst MA Visual Communications will offer specialisms in photography, illustration and graphic design with a focus on comparative urbanism.

Bath Spa University Vice-Chancellor Professor Frank Morgan commented: ‘This expansion of our postgraduate provision is a reflection of the academic maturity and ambitions of this university. We are very well placed to deliver advanced study of this range and scope, thanks both to the research expertise of our academic staff, and the specialist facilities at our campuses at Newton Park, Sion Hill, and our postgraduate Corsham Court Centre.’

See the Bath Spa University website for more details.

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Student’s design chosen to decorate Bath Abbey

An art installation designed by a student at Bath Spa University has been chosen to hang in Bath Abbey to mark this year’s Advent.

Bath Spa University student Jane Sargeant Creative Arts student Jane Sargeant won a competition to design an artwork which will hang from the centre of the Abbey during Advent, the four weeks before Christmas. Her piece, which resembles a glass-effect chandelier, was selected by a judging panel that included Bath Abbey’s Vicar Theologian Dr Alan Garrow.

The competition, open to all students on the University’s BA Creative Arts course, attracted 14 entries and Jane has been commissioned from a final shortlist of five.

Having made the initial design drawings, she now has to make and install her artwork. It will be in a contemporary style, with transparent acrylic tubes up to 2.5 metres long falling in tiers from concentric metal circles. The tubes will contain some of Jane’s original drawings and texts about Advent and the Abbey.

Her chandelier-like structure – wide at the top and narrow at the bottom – is intended to reflect some of the Abbey’s interior architecture, especially its beautiful fan vaulting, and will have an Advent theme of darkness turning into light.

Jane, a mature student and former children’s book illustrator, has just completed her final year at Bath Spa University and achieved a first-class degree. This is her first commission in a new career as a designer.

She said: ‘I’m very excited and terrified in equal proportions! It’s a very daunting task because of the height of the Abbey and the logistics of putting something up there. But it’s a wonderful opportunity and I’m really looking forward to doing it.’

Jane’s design was also inspired by one of the information boards for visitors in the Abbey, showing an old photo of a large chandelier which used to hang in the nave from Victorian times.

The installation will be displayed in the Abbey from mid-November and throughout Advent until Christmas Eve.

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Green light for Bath Spa University campus development plans

Bath Spa University is celebrating the news that B&NES Council has granted permission on a planning application for a substantial re-development of its Newton Park campus.

The planning approval was granted at a meeting of the Council’s Development Control Committee, and followed a lengthy process of stakeholder consultation and design development. The Committee voted unanimously in favour of the proposal, and congratulated the University on the quality of the proposal and on the exemplary nature of the consultation process.

The plans are for a new academic building and energy centre, and represent the first phase of a Masterplan that also includes new residential accommodation for up to 600 additional students on campus in the first phase of development. It is hoped that a planning application for the residential accommodation will be submitted to the Council shortly, following a public consultation exercise earlier this year.

The campus improvement project is the most important buildings development that Bath Spa University has contemplated in the last 20 years, and will provide considerably improved academic facilities for future generations of students. The development will transform the central part of the Newton Park campus, providing a visually stunning building that will blend sympathetically into the existing estate to form a unique blend of modernity and history.

The superb new learning and social facilities for students are an important element of the University’s response to the new university funding regime where students will in future pay higher tuition fees – but will expect an improved student experience.

Bath Spa University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Frank Morgan, said: ‘This is excellent news for the University, and confirms Bath Spa as an exciting, ambitious and creative place in which to work and study. The new development will provide the best facilities for teaching digital media-related courses in the south-west, so this is also a significant boost for the local creative and cultural industries.’

The new building has been designed with the highest criteria of sustainability, in keeping with Bath Spa’s impressive environmental credentials (7th position out of 138 universities in the People and Planet Green League 2011).

Information on the campus development plans can be found on the University’s website.

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Star director for students’ show at Circomedia

Budding performers from an innovative degree course run in partnership with Bath Spa University have a star director for their end-of-year show.

The students, who are taught in Bristol by the circus-theatre school Circomedia, will be directed by the internationally acclaimed John-Paul Zaccarini to give their show even more dazzle.

The 28 students are about to complete the first year of their foundation degree course in Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance, which was launched by Bath Spa University and Circomedia in 2008. The course combines training in acrobatics, aerial skills, balance, clowning, juggling with theatre presentation and story-telling skills.

Their end-of-year show In the Eye of the Beholder is being staged at Circomedia’s central Bristol venue, St Paul’s Church in Portland Square. Performances are at 7.30pm nightly from Wednesday 15 to Saturday 18 June.

The show, for audiences aged 12 plus, features the best of solo and group acts suggested by the students. Its director this year, John-Paul Zaccarini, has previous dance, circus and choreography credits that include a starring role as Skyboy in the Millenium Dome Show; collaborations with Peta Lily, Lindsay Kemp and David Glass; video appearances with Jamiroquai and the Rolling Stones; the creation of aerial sequences for the Royal Variety Show and a Nobel Prize ceremony.

Assistant Course Director Amanda Bolt said: ‘Circomedia’s end-of-year show is always dazzling – an energetic display of all the skills and thrills the public loves best about traditional circus, with the added gleam of what the students have learned here about how to engage and move an audience. The involvement this year of John-Paul Zaccarini is a bonus for the school and spectators alike.’

Tickets for In the Eye of the Beholder are £12 (£10 concessions), available from the Colston Hall box office in Bristol on 0117 922 3686 or at www.colstonhall.org.

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Success for University in securing postgraduate studentships

Bath Spa University is celebrating the news that it has received an award worth some £300,000 to provide financial support for postgraduate students.

The award is from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and was granted following a competitive bidding process to the AHRC by universities across the UK. In a major boost for the University’s Master’s level courses, the studentships will cover tuition fees and student maintenance allowances for arts and humanities subjects: Fine Art, Fashion and Textiles, Investigating Fashion, Ceramics, Creative Writing, Writing for Young People, Scriptwriting, and Songwriting.

The studentships cover the period 2011 to 2014, and Bath Spa has also been awarded additional funding for PhD studentships in Creative Writing from 2012 to 2014.

Professor Paul Davies, the University’s Head of Graduate Studies, said: ‘I am delighted with the excellent outcome of this competitive bidding process. The level of funding awarded by the AHRC recognises the quality of our postgraduate award provision. Over the next three years we will be able to allocate 19 studentships to the most talented applicants in the disciplines covered by these awards.’

The announcement coincides with the University’s expansion of its existing postgraduate portfolio to include new Master’s level courses in Applied Neurosciences, Heritage Management, Filmmaking, Nature and Travel Writing, Performing Shakespeare, and Business and Management.

Further information on the studentships can be found on the Bath Spa University website.

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Poetry and heavy metal at Bath Spa University careers fair

A leading performance poet and a PR man for Guns N’ Roses and other heavy metal bands are among the guests taking part in a student careers forum at Bath Spa University.

FutureFair, to be held at Bath Spa University’s Newton Park campus on Tuesday 10 May, is being organised by its School of Humanities and Cultural Industries to help the job prospects of students in a wide range of arts subjects.

The event will be opened by poet Matt Harvey, who is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live and the Guardian newspaper and was official poet-in-residence at last year’s Wimbledon tournament.

During the day Matt and various other professionals in different fields will be talking about their work and how they started their career, offering advice to the students in a series of Q and A sessions.

Participants include Paul Elliott, a music journalist who has written a book about the band Guns N’ Roses, for whom he is now PR manager. He will be discussing his 20 years in the music business.

Discussion panels will also feature Sam Holliday, editor of the Bath Chronicle, and other experts currently working in journalism, TV and film, publishing, the history and heritage sector, teaching and working or volunteering abroad.

FutureFair takes place in Newton Building and the Bath Spa University Students’ Union at Newton Park on Tuesday 10 May, from 9am to 4pm.

The event is geared mainly towards students and recent graduates from Bath Spa’s School of Humanities and Cultural Industries, but others from across the University with a relevant interest are also welcome to attend.

Marc Leverton, Employability Tutor for the School, said: ‘FutureFair will not only advise them on specific steps to find a job at this very difficult time, but will also show how the world of work can be hugely enjoyable as well as rewarding.’

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Undergraduate student at Bath Spa University wins publishing deal for her book on Jane Austen

Lauren Nixon, a student from Bath Spa University who is also a guide at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, has written a book about the world-famous author’s novels and life story. It will be published by Worth Press later this year.

Bath Spa University student Lauren Nixon21-year-old Lauren used the knowledge gained from her BA course in English Literature at Bath Spa University and from working at the Jane Austen Centre to compile her book, Jane Austen: a Celebration of Her Life and Work.

Lauren, who will graduate from Bath Spa this summer, has been a guide for visitors and gift shop assistant at the Centre throughout her studies over the past three years.

Her illustrated book is aimed at the general public, combining biography with essays on each Austen novel, their successful portrayal on screen and a selection of her letters.

Lauren said: ‘My book is different from others because it’s not just a biography or on a particular theme, it’s about the woman, the novels and the legacy. It’s factual and informative but not heavily academic. The idea is that everyone with some interest in Austen can read this book and enjoy it, as well as take away some new knowledge.’

The book is being published to coincide with Bath’s annual Jane Austen Festival in September and the 200th anniversary of Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility.

Lauren added: ‘I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but thought it was something I would do much later in life, so I’m really overwhelmed to be given the chance so early on. Of course I’m really proud, especially because I’ve managed to juggle writing, my job and my degree and somehow not become a social recluse!’

Lecturers on the BA English Literature course at Bath Spa University are also delighted by their student’s publishing success.

Professor William Hughes said: ‘This is indeed a great – and rare – achievement for an undergraduate student. Lauren has pursued a genuine interest in literature generally, and in Austen specifically, and has taken it further by communicating it to a receptive public.

‘What she is doing represents a laudable balance between enterprise and scholarship, and a bridging of the gap between the academic world and the public.’

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Bath Spa University student’s design chosen by England football fans

A group of England football fans have enlisted the help of undergraduates from Bath Spa University to give them a new ‘identity’.

Bath Spa student Sarah-Jane’s designEight third-year Graphic Communication students from the University’s School of Art and Design were each asked to come up with a logo for London England Fans, an organisation within the official England supporters’ club. The project was arranged by senior lecturer Tim Vyner.

In a competition between the students each gave a five-minute presentation to a panel of the fans in London.

The judging panel chose a logo created by one of the students, Sarah-Jane Griffey. It will be used by London England Fans on all their T shirts, flags, postcards, lapel badges and even beer mats.

Mark Perryman, from the fan club, said: ‘The brief was to come up with an image that combined London, England and football. The student designs were all very good, but Sarah-Jane did it absolutely brilliantly. Hers was something we could all visualise on our T shirts.’

Sarah-Jane’s design will be launched by the London fans at England’s next home qualifier for Euro 2012, against Switzerland on 4 June at Wembley. All eight students are being given tickets for the match.

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Cheesy shoes designed by students at Bath Spa University make tasty footwear

There are plenty of cheesy designs in the fashion world but none more so than the ones created by a group of students at Bath Spa University. They have made a range of shoes literally made from cheese.

The ‘Jimmy Cheese’ shoes designed by one of the students, Lisa DillonFifty first-year students from the University’s degree course in Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors were commissioned by a Somerset cheese manufacturer, Pilgrims Choice, as part of a national ‘cheese couture’ competition.

One student, Lisa Dillon, crafted her ‘Jimmy Cheese’ shoes from Cheddar and bread, sculpting the heel from a block of Cheddar and using a stale cheese sandwich for part of the platform sole. The front was moulded from more Cheddar and extra melted cheese was shaped to embellish the design.

The Bath Spa University fashionistas have also made other accessories such as hats, belts and ties out of cheese and cheese wrappers, using not only Cheddar but also varieties such as Wensleydale and Double Gloucester.

Their ‘cheese couture’ creations will go on display at the 2011 Royal Bath and West Show in early June to promote the region’s cheese. The students intend to stop their work disintegrating before then by storing it in a fridge.

Amanda Goode, Bath Spa University’s joint course leader in Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors, is impressed by her students’ tasty footwear collection.

She said: ‘They have risen to the challenge and really pushed the boat out, experimenting with the cheese and coming up with some fabulous ideas which only youth could think of.’

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Student at Bath Spa University wins three-book publishing deal

A creative writing student at Bath Spa University, Maudie Smith, has secured a publishing deal for three children’s books. She will have her Opal Moonbaby series published by Orion from early next year.

Bath Spa University student Maudie SmithMaudie is currently studying on Bath Spa University’s MA Writing for Young People course, which has an excellent track record of graduates achieving publication. Novels by Elen Caldecott, Jim Carrington, Alex Diaz, Marie-Louise Jensen, CJ Skuse and Sally Nicholls (who won the Waterstones Children’s Book Award in 2008) have all been published in the last four years.

However it is rare for students on any university creative writing course to have their debut work accepted by a publisher before graduation.

Julia Green, programme leader on the MA Writing for Young People at Bath Spa and a well-known children’s author herself, said: ‘I’m thrilled with Maudie’s success. This is the first time one of our students has achieved a publishing deal at such an early stage, before she has even completed the course! It’s very exciting and inspiring for fellow students.’

The Opal Moonbaby series is for children of seven upwards, with the first book due to be published in paperback by Orion in January 2012 and two more Opal novels to follow.

The stories offer an entertaining mix of fantasy and adventure with real-life issues. They are about a girl called Martha who makes friends with a strange little furry creature, Opal Moonbaby, sent down from the planet Carnelia.

Maudie Smith, a mother of two children aged nine and eleven, is currently writing her second and third books of the series during her Master’s studies at Bath Spa University.

She said: ‘Getting published is the icing on my cake! That and the experience on the Bath Spa course, at the end of which I shall hopefully have an MA under my belt, leave me feeling that I have both the permission and the confidence to be a full-time writer.’

Before her new life as an author and Bath Spa student, Maudie used to be an actress, working for years with the Bristol-based Public Parts Theatre Company and performing in their shows for children.

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University poetry graduate is new Bard of Bath

A creative writing graduate from Bath Spa University has become the new Bard of Bath. Jennifer Walter is the 15th Bard following an annual competition to find the city’s best poet, singer or storyteller.

Jennifer graduated last summer with a first-class degree from the University’s BA Creative Writing course. She succeeds another Bath Spa student, Jack Dean, in this honorary role to promote the Bardic tradition through talks and performances.

Both Jennifer and Jack are active on the local poetry scene and studied Performance Poetry at the University as part of their courses. It is the only performance poetry module available at any British university.

The Bard of Bath title, revived in 1996, follows an Iron-Age Celtic Druid tradition where Bards were poets, musicians and history-keepers. All of them had a high status and a position in mystical and religious society.

As a modern Bard Jennifer receives a robe and a beautifully carved chair to keep for her year in office, during which she will organise poetry events for the local community. Last year she ran the ‘Poetry in Pubs’ event at the Bath Literature Festival.

Jennifer is delighted to be chosen for her new role. She said: ‘I’ve just had my most productive writing day ever. It must be these new Bardic powers!’

Lucy English, who teaches the Performance Poetry module at Bath Spa University and is a performance poet herself, commented: ‘It’s great that our students have won this prestigious appointment for two years running. Jennifer and Jack are both very enthusiastic and gained a lot from their poetry studies.’

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Bath Spa University student coaches at Table Football World Cup

A student from Bath Spa University is participating in the World Cup – for table football. 20-year-old Richard Potts has travelled to France as coach to the British junior team at the International Table Soccer Federation World Cup.

Bath Spa University student Richard PottsThe annual tournament for national champions in football’s miniature version takes place from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 January in the French city of Nantes. There is live television coverage of the event on Eurosport, featuring separate competitions for men, women, juniors and seniors.

Richard, who is now in his third year on the BA Creative Writing course at Bath Spa University, first started playing table football in college when he was 16. He was appointed national junior coach after playing for Britain’s juniors at the 2008 World Cup.

According to Richard table football players in the UK are at a disadvantage because most of their counterparts in continental Europe start at a much younger age, when they can barely see over the table.

He said: ‘The World Cup can be a very nerve-wracking and intimidating environment for our juniors, many of whom are competing for the first time at this level. As coach I do my best to make sure they feel comfortable in their matches and offer them advice if they are struggling.’

On top of his coaching role Richard has been accepted as an official member of the press at the tournament, giving him a chance to interview the world’s best table football players. He will be writing a full report as part of his Creative Writing studies at Bath Spa.

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Open Learning Week at Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University is opening its doors to the public for a week in February and inviting people to get a taste of university by sitting in on undergraduate lectures.

Bath Spa’s Open Learning Week – from Monday 14 to Friday 18 February – will involve a whole series of lectures on subjects ranging from History to Drama, and Philosophy to Food. The lectures, which total more than 30, are all scheduled classes that will be attended by undergraduate students. Visitors are welcome to attend just one lecture, or as many as take their interest.

The many highlights include lectures on:

  • Evolution and natural selection, with Biology subject leader Dr Ian Todd
  • Frankenstein, by Bath Spa’s internationally renowned expert on Gothic studies, Professor William Hughes
  • Buddhism, with Professor Richard F Gombrich, President of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies
  • Jack the Ripper and prostitution in late 19th century London, by senior History lecturer Dr Bobby Anderson

This is the first time the University has held an Open Learning Week. Head of Marketing Tessa Alton explains:

‘We hope a lot of people in and around Bath will be interested in seeing what goes on at the University in a normal working week. It would be particularly good to see visitors who have never been to university, but perhaps have children or grandchildren who are students now, and would like to see what is involved. Or perhaps people who went to university themselves, but some time ago, and are curious to see how things have changed.’

Places on the lectures are limited, and there is a ‘first come, first served’ online booking system available on the University’s website.

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Going Japanese – Tokyo inspires Bath Spa University design graduates

A study trip to Tokyo from Bath Spa University had an inspirational impact on two young graphic designers, Andrew Joyce and Joey Meuross. The city’s urban landscape captured their hearts and their imagination, resulting in a series of works that will go on display in Bath in February.

One of the pictures by Bath Spa graduate Andrew Joyce that’s featuring in the exhibitionAndrew and Joey both graduated from Bath Spa University last year with a degree in Graphic Communication. As part of their course they spent six months being taught their subject, and the Japanese language, at Josai International University near Tokyo.

The mix of futuristic technology and Eastern tradition experienced by the pair during their stay has inspired a joint exhibition, Tokyo, which opens at Bath Artists Studios on Monday 14 February.

Andrew Joyce’s work features epic cityscapes, which often look like they are made of sweets. The exhibition will also include a giant skyline mural by him. Joey Meuross makes extensive use of pixelated illustration and will be animating some videos of places in Tokyo for the show.

Andrew said: ‘We each wanted to capture our own favourite aspects of Tokyo – a city we both love. For me it was the vast cityscape and cramped streets, while for Joey it was the noises and overall colour and vibrancy of a neon city.’

The Tokyo exhibition can be seen at Bath Artists Studios in Comfortable Place, Upper Bristol Road in Bath from 14–22 February, 11am to 5pm daily.

For more details about Tokyo visit the gallery website.

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Student Emily’s fashions on London catwalk

A fashion student from Bath Spa University, Emily Booker, is to have her designs paraded on the catwalk in London. She was selected as a finalist in a national competition, which allows her work to feature at London Fashion Week later this month.

Bath Spa student Emily’s design illustrationsThe competition is run by the charity Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD). This organisation aims to launch the UK’s most promising undergraduate designers and bridge the gap between college and industry.

Emily Booker is in her third year on the University’s BA Fashion Design course at Bath School of Art and Design. She entered a sketchbook documenting the concept and development of two outfits based on the competition brief ‘Escape’. Emily also had to submit styled fashion illustrations of the outfits.

As one of 15 finalists Emily then had to develop her two outfits, drafting the paper patterns to make each piece, printing fabrics and making accessories so that her designs can be worn by professional models. They will be showcased on the catwalk as part of London Fashion Week. Final judging takes place at the event on 22 February. The overall winner receives £2,000 and a work placement.

Emily’s designs were inspired by the clothing traditionally worn by Eskimos, which she associates with warmth, comfort and protection from the pressures of daily life.

Emily said: ‘This is an amazing opportunity to showcase my ideas as a designer and to represent Bath Spa University, which has given me the skills to make those ideas a reality.’

Two years ago Holly Simpkins reached the finals of the same annual competition – the first fashion student from Bath Spa University to do so.

Louise Pickles, Fashion course leader at the University, said: ‘It is a tremendous accolade that Emily has got through to the final of this prestigious event, which will give her well deserved exposure to the fashion industry, as well as the national fashion press.

‘There is an incredible amount of work involved in developing designs for the catwalk, especially at a time when students are also preparing their degree work. Emily has been incredibly hardworking and professional in the way that she has managed her studies alongside developing this collection.’

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Bath Spa University lecturer’s play nominated for Olivier Award

A play written by Bath Spa University lecturer Hattie Naylor has been nominated for a national theatre prize. Ivan and the Dogs is on the shortlist for a Laurence Olivier award.

Bath Spa University lecturer Hattie NaylorHattie’s nomination is for her stage version of the play, which she wrote originally for radio. It has received widespread critical acclaim.

Ivan and the Dogs had a month-long run at the Soho Theatre in London last autumn, before transferring to the Bristol Old Vic. There will soon be a chance to see it in Bath, with performances at the Ustinov Theatre from 5 to 7 May.

Hattie Naylor is a part-time lecturer on the MA Scriptwriting course at Bath Spa University. Ivan and the Dogs was first broadcast by BBC Radio 4 as an Afternoon Play in 2009 and won the Tinniswood Award last year for best radio drama script.

Ivan and the Dogs, which took Hattie five years to write, is based on the astonishing but true story of a four-year-old Russian boy who walked out of his family home in Moscow in 1996 and lived on the streets with a pack of wild dogs. Ivan survived winter temperatures of minus 30 degrees by cuddling up to the dogs in their den.

The annual Olivier Awards will be presented in a glittering ceremony at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Sunday 13 March.

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