Ordinary People

Whilst writing this blog post, I’ve had to stop several times to recognise and reflect on the theme of Ordinary People on International Holocaust Memorial Day. Ordinary People were involved in all aspects of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution of other groups, and in the genocides that took place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Ordinary People were perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, witnesses – and Ordinary People were, and still are, the victims.

Angela Lawrence, Associate Dean, School of Arts & Creative Industries


I recently returned from a trip to Southeast Asia which included several days in Cambodia, one of the most beautiful countries I have had the privilege to explore. I’m repeatedly asked the question “how was your holiday?”, but in all honesty it didn’t feel like a holiday – more a kind of fascinating but sobering history field trip. Our feet barely touched the ground. We travelled over 22,500 miles across Vietnam and Cambodia in 21 days, by aeroplane, bus, car and tuk tuk, and we walked over 65 miles. We hitched up our backpacks and boarded the overnight sleeper buses that the locals use. We visited UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Halong Bay and the Angkor Wat temple complex. We shared meals and had conversations with lots of Ordinary People that we met along the way, from Cambodia, Vietnam and all corners of the world.

Streetside conversations
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

We visited the famous Angkor Wat temple site, rising at 4am to catch the sunrise over the temples – I climbed to the top of Angkor Wat and looked down on the stunning canopy of Cambodia before going on to visit the Bayon temple and the Ta Prohm Temple, where Tomb Raider was filmed. We swam beneath huge waterfalls and laughed and danced with the barefoot local children. We visited Hoa Lo Prison, aka the Hanoi Hilton, and learned of the appalling lives of the political prisoners who had the misfortune to be incarcerated there.

Ta Prohm Temple
Swimming beneath waterfalls in Cambodia

But by far the most moving site we visited was the Cambodia Landmine Museum. A tiny, outdoor collection in an area no bigger than the ground floor of your average 3-bedroomed house, which cost just $5 to enter (yes, the dominant currency in Cambodia is surprisingly USA dollars, although you’ll often get your change in Cambodian Riel). Here we learned of the atrocities of the Cambodia genocide and of the grim legacy left by the Khmer Rouge; the thousands of unexploded landmines still littering the rice fields, roads, and back yards of this war-ravaged country.

Cambodia Landmine Museum
Mr Aki Ra

We were humbled and honoured to meet the founder of the museum, Mr Aki Ra – an orphan of the Khmer Rough regime before he was even 5 years old, he became a child-soldier whose role was planting these terrible weapons that still today injure and kill dozens of civilians. In 1987 he defected from the Khmer Rouge and joined the Vietnamese army. Knowing so much about land mines and having trained with the United Nations at the end of the war, he became a deminer and spent over a decade clearing mines before opening the land mine museum. The museum was not only a place to tell the story of the Cambodia genocide, but also a home for many children, Ordinary People, who were orphaned by landmines or landmine victims. Mr Aki Ra estimates that he has probably cleared over 50,000 mines and unexploded ordinance (UXO) in his lifetime, yet there are still many more to be found.

Tuk tuks

We weren’t brave enough to visit the Killing Fields, but we felt the impact of the Cambodia genocide in conversations with tuk tuk drivers, market traders, barefoot children, street food vendors, and many other Ordinary People that we met during our travels.  It was a sobering reminder of just how privileged we are to live the lives that we live, in the peaceful countries that we live in.

If I could wish one thing for this incredible country, it is that more of us choose to experience its beauty and contribute towards its ongoing development. The loss of tourism since Covid lockdowns has hit them hard and they are desperate to share their country and their story with visitors – the story of Ordinary People like you or I whose lives have been devastated by the brutality of war.

Beautiful children, Cambodia

 

 

The future of curating at MIMA

The School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University, welcomed its first cohort of  Curator apprentices recently and is looking forward to growing numbers on the unique programme. Professor Sarah Perks and Dr Paul Stewart comment on the success and popularity of this groundbreaking new apprenticeship


Teesside University are the first university to launch the Curator apprenticeship, leading the way with a highly experienced professional team and building on the reknowned work of MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), an international art gallery and museum that sits at the artistic heart of the School of Arts & Creative Industries on the Teesside University campus.

Apprentice Curators at MIMA

The Curator apprenticeship is embedded into the MIMA programme, allowing apprentices access to all resources and also for students following the non-apprenticeship route  to contribute to a range of events, projects and exhibitions as part of their learning. It benefits from a knowledgeable and vastly experienced team leading sessions, including our Professor of Curating, Sarah Perks, Dr Paul Stewart, Elinor Morgan (Artistic Director at MIMA), Helen Welford and Dr Pippa Oldfield – all based within the school. Tutors for the first module include Daniella Rose-King (Tate) and independent curator, George Vasey, with guest speakers including Emily Pringle (Tate) and Sophia Hao (Cooper Gallery, Dundee).

Apprentices in the MIMA Gallery

Professor Perks said

“Starting the first Level 7 Apprenticeship in Curating has been such a fabulous journey for myself and my colleagues in the school and MIMA, we have been so excited during the design and implementation of the course and to be able welcome the first cohort to Middlesbrough has made it very real.

We have an even larger cohort for the next intake and a whole new module focused on access, inclusion and working with collections (of all types), with a large group joining us from the National Trust, as far away as Penzance!

We’re getting more and more enquiries from outside of museums and galleries which is really exciting. It’s also helping our research into curatorial strategies too, where we are very focused on activity with local communities and nature recovery.”

Taking part in an intensive study week

The Curator apprenticeship benefits from an intesive block delivery model, with apprentices required to attend 3 one-week blocks of learning across each year of the 2-year course. On completion of the apprenticeship the award of MA Curating is received alongside the Curator Apprenticeship.

Dr Paul Stewart leading a taught session

Dr Stewart comments

“It was a fantastic experience to work with such a diverse and passionate group across multiple areas of curating, from galleries to archives across collections and public programming. The course has really developed a fantastic peer group and solidifed the need to further establish new ways of learning and teaching across the arts and curatorial sectors that support new and multiple entry points.

The apprenticeship builds on the work MIMA already does, connecting art, people and ideas to empower creative lives and positively contribute to the community.”

Apprentices in the MIMA Gallery

Further information about the Curator Apprenticeship

in the School of Arts & Creative Industries at

Teesside University can be found here

From MIMA to Milan for Modern Artisan, Emily

Since graduating from Teesside University with a degree in Fashion Design, life has been a whirlwind for designer Emily Dey. A graduate programme was followed by the opportunity to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime Modern Artisan training programme, giving her the confidence to launch her very own fashion brand. Emily tells her story here…


I began the Modern Artisan programme in London, September 2021. I’d applied for the programme a couple of months previously and waited till the final day before the applications closed as I couldn’t stop swapping and changing my CV and portfolio until the last minute. When I got an interview I couldn’t believe it and rehearsed for hours what I was going to say.

The whole application and interview process was rather intense and very competitive, so when I finally found out I’d secured a place on the programme I was beyond ecstatic.

Before the programme I had just taken part in one of the Teesside University Graduate programmes. I worked for 3 months between the University and MIMA helping curate a sustainable materials library alongside different innovative fashion items. This was all part of the award-winning Chemical City Exhibition shown at MIMA (winner of the Best Exhibition category in the NE Culture Awards). I think that having this experience with the university and being able to curate all the knowledge of sustainable and innovative fabrics really enhanced my chances when applying for Modern Artisan, as that is really what the programme is all about… a sustainable, ethical and innovative future for the fashion industry.

Emily Dey, Sewing machine, Fashion
Emily Dey designing her branded fashion collection

I had heard about the Teesside University Graduate programme from my previous tutor, Lynne Hugill as I’d studied Fashion Design at Teesside University, graduating with a First Class Honours in 2020. Before applying to do Fashion Design I had very little experience on a sewing machine and zero experience pattern cutting – I just liked clothes and designing. Everything I know about creating garments and sewing began at university and I fell in love with it straight away. I have Amanda Jobling and Vicky Wake to thank for teaching me everything about sewing and pattern cutting. They set me on the path to being a Modern Artisan, where I refined all I was taught at university.

In October 2021, The Prince’s Foundation and YOOX NET-A-PORTER unveiled the new artisans in training for the second edition of the responsible luxury training programme at the pre-COP 26 event hosted by the UK Government’s Department for International Trade in Milan. This year’s programme brought together eight artisans, four British fashion and textiles graduates, along with four Italian graduates from the leading Italian design school, Politecnico di Milano. Us artisans embarked on a collaborative ten-month paid training programme, with design training guided by experts from YOOX NET-A-PORTER and industry mentors, and training on small batch luxury production and heritage craftsmanship skills to help build capacity in the UK delivered by The Prince’s Foundation.

King Charles and Emily at Dumfries House

In January 2022, all eight artisans came together at The Prince’s Foundation’s Dumfries House headquarters in East Ayrshire, Scotland. We lived and worked here for six months of intensive training in luxury small batch production. Throughout our time at Dumfries House, we gained the skills to handcraft the entire collection to the highest of standards.

Emily meets the now King Charles

Over the course of the programme, we also had industry visits in the UK and Italy and received ongoing mentorship from YOOX NET-A-PORTER, The Prince’s Foundation and brand partners, initial brand mentors include Gabriela Hearst, Giuliva Heritage, Nanushka, VIN + OMI, Johnstons of Elgin, Tiziano Guardini, Flavia La Rocca and ZEROBARRACENTO.

On the 3rd of November 2022, YOOX NET-A-PORTER and The Prince’s Foundation announced the launch of our responsible ready-to-wear luxury womenswear capsule collection. Available exclusively on NET-A-PORTER and YOOX, 50% of the RRP is donated to The Prince’s Foundation, to support its innovative training programmes. For the first time, Highgrove Gardens, adjacent to Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort’s private residence, served as an inspiration for a fashion collection. The programme and capsule reflect the initiative’s commitment to advance sustainability in luxury fashion and preserve heritage textile skills. We also demonstrate the shared ambition of YOOX NET-A-PORTER and The Prince’s Foundation to preserve the planet for future generations. It is the first collection to align 100% with the Infinity Product Guide, its sustainability and circularity design guidelines, and its first ever carbon neutral collection.

Each piece is embedded with a Digital ID through YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s partnership with EON, leveraging innovative technology to create a more circular industry and responsible customer mindset by unlocking unique product insights as well as care and repair and resale services. The Digital ID also shares with customers how YOOX NET-A-PORTER worked with environmental consultancy Carbonsink to minimise, calculate, and compensate for the carbon footprint of each garment. Carbon credits support the Artisans’ chosen certified offsetting project: Kariba Forest Protection, which protects forests and wildlife and supports community-based training and upskilling on the Zimbabwean-Zambian border.

Now that the Modern Artisan programme has come to an end, I have been working hard on my own brand, Dey Studios. It has always been a dream of mine to own my own fashion brand and with everything I have learnt from Modern Artisan, I feel that now is the perfect time to take the leap.

Dey Studios fashion brand

Dey Studios an independent, British slow fashion brand designed and founded by myself, Emily Dey. Every garment is carefully hand-made using sustainably sourced or dead-stock fabrics. All items are made on a pre-order basis to prevent wastage. This means every item is made in a much more responsible way. In the past, clothing was made to last – nobody ever thought to wear something once then throw it away. We invested in clothing we loved and wore it over and over again and if it broke, we’d simply fix it. Dey Studios wants to bring this back to the norm. Every item is lovingly hand-made in the North East of England, and made to be worn again and again. Dey Studios is reminiscent of all things fashion, film and music of the past. Not only were things made to last but they were beautiful  too.

Each garment gives a nod to past decades where ‘fashion’ wasn’t important, as long as you had ‘style’.

When it came to owning my own brand, I needed all the support I could get so when I moved back home to Teesside, I applied to be part of the Launchpad FUEL Programme here at the university. The FUEL Programme is a 7 week Graduate Start-Up Programme where I was able to take part in numerous workshops and mentoring sessions all dedicated to helping founders learn about all stages of starting a business.

Check out Dey Studios’ Insta page @_deystudios

The FUEL Programme has taught me so many aspects of running a business that I otherwise wouldn’t have known where to start. At the end of the 7 weeks, each business founder had the opportunity to pitch to the trustees for grant funding. I was delighted to have been successful in the pitch and have secured grant money to help take Dey Studios to the next level. As well as funding I have also moved into studio space here at Teesside university, which is paramount when running a clothing brand so I am very grateful.

Follow Emily on Instagram at @_deystudios or email Emily on emily@deystudios.com


Find out more about studying BA Fashion at Teesside University

Imbalance and Time for Change

Alison Reid is a Culture Policy and Development Officer at the MIMA Gallery, which lies at the heart of the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University. Here, she pens her thoughts on Black History Month – the theme for which this year is Time for Change


October is Black History Month in the UK (in the USA it’s February, just to clarify). MIMA is very involved in the University’s approach to Black History Month, working closely with colleagues in Student and Library Services and with our partners and contacts in communities around the region.

In the past two years, more than ever before, there has been a real demand from colleagues for reading and for knowledge about Black lives and histories. People have asked what they should read and where they should look. These questions now shape our approach to Black History Month – from reading lists and listening resources to new series of talks that will take place on the campus throughout this new academic year. It’s always been important to us that we don’t leave this work in October. October is a recurring beginning.

Every week I search for and select a recommendation on Black lives and histories for the School’s internal Friday wrap email. Every week, while I’m searching, the same story comes back to me. So I’m sharing it here.

Twelve years ago I began a course in Intercultural Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. I was lucky enough to go there in person a few times, though the majority of the discussion took place online.

Vancouver (Alison’s own image)

One of my professors was African American, originally from the Washington DC area. He had moved to Vancouver to join his partner, who is white Canadian. When he was still new to Vancouver they went to their local supermarket to shop for food. On the way around the store his partner opened a bag of chips (crisps, to most of us) which hadn’t yet been paid for. She began to snack on them. He looked at her in surprise, and asked whether she felt ok doing that. She realised that she’d never questioned it – it was just something she always did. His response to her was:

“Please, don’t do that with me”.

Because, as an African American man he was already under surveillance, in the sense that in public settings he was always being watched.

It may be a small example, but it says so much to me about imbalance and about the things that some people are able to take for granted. Imbalances and inequalities are gigantic when we begin look at them, and that of course is what we will always need to do. I think this story stayed with me because it helped me to look and to notice better. It’s that word – imbalance – that guides me every time I’m wondering which article, podcast or book to recommend next. In thinking about Black History Month, it may be a place to begin.


To find out more about events and exhibitions at the MIMA Gallery visit https://mima.art/ 

Take a look at our courses in the School of Arts & Creative Industries

UNDERGRADUATE STUDY:

Art & Design Courses

Media & Journalism Courses

Music Technology Courses

Performing Arts Courses

POSTGRADUATE STUDY:

Art & Design Courses

Media & Journalism Courses

Art destruction

As one of the UK’s richest artists prepares to burn thousands of his paintings, Dr Jared Pappas-Kelley, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Teesside University and author of Solvent Form; Art and Destruction, shares his views on the destruction of art in the Guardian.


Dr Jared Pappas-Kelley

Dr Jared Pappas-Kelley is the course leader for MA Fine Art at Teesside University and supervises PhD students doing practice-based research in Fine Art as well as teaching on both the MA Fine Art and the BA Fine Art. He gained his PhD in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought (PACT) at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and in his own practice as a visual artist he focuses on an instability in the art object and the intersection between practice and theory.

His book, Solvent Form, explores the destruction of art, both in terms of objects that have been destroyed – lost in fires, floods or vandalism – and the general concept of art operating through object and form.  He examines events such as the warehouse fire at Momart in 2004 and works indirectly destroyed by art thief Stephane Breitwieser, ultimately proposing the idea of solvent form (hinging on the dual meaning in the words solvent and solvency) whereby art, while attempting to make secure or fixed, likewise undoes and destroys through its inception.

Artist Damien Hirst recently revealed that he will be burning thousands of his paintings at his London gallery to show art as ‘currency’. His announcement has brought both condemnation and praise from the art community – Dr Pappas-Kelley would argue that all objects of art hold their own destruction latent within them. Commenting in the Guardian on the Momart warehouse fire which destroyed about £30m of British art, he suggests that such an event is good for revealing the way art metaphorically trips on the carpet. Of the fascination with fire and destruction in art events like this, Dr Pappas-Kelley observed, ‘In theory no one is neutral at these specific fires – you either set it, are attempting to put it out or are watching the spectacle of it.’

Image by bedneyimages on Freepik

Hirst, who dominated the art scene in the 1990s will burn his paintings over several weeks, culminating in a final blaze during the Frieze Art Fair in London. Whilst some suggest that this is nothing more than a great publicity stunt, Hirst hardly needs the money, purported to be the richest living artist in the UK. Others see it as something more, an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ act of destruction that creates opportunity for a creative phoenix to rise from the flames.

Dr Pappas-Kelley is currently working on further book projects – one a collection of manifestos commissioned by contemporary artists and thinkers, the other a collection of short reflection pieces on works by contemporary artists such as Janine Antoni, Uta Barth, Terrence Koh, and Kiki Smith. He brings his wealth of knowledge and research activity into the classroom, informing teaching and benefiting students of Fine Art at Teesside.


Find out more about Fine Art at Teesside University:

BA (Hons) Fine Art

MA Fine Art

Panama calling for intrepid illustrator, Amy

A Senior Lecturer from the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University experienced the trip of a lifetime, visiting the Panama to capture the life stories of animals in her drawings and illustrations.

Illustrator Amy Dover

Amy Dover has written the following blog telling a brief story of her travels.


Panama has one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in the world where species from both North and South America live, from strange bugs to colourful toucans, howling monkeys, sleepy sloths and prowling big cats. Naturalists, artists, and illustrators have travelled to be inspired by nature in Central America for 100s of years.

Toucan in tree

But, what was once drawings made of new discoveries, are now drawings of a world which is fading due mostly to the impact of the developed world. I was incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to experience an artist’s expedition to learn from the nature and communities there and create artwork telling the story of animals that live in this biome.

Monkey in tree

In a remote area of Panama between the sea and one of the world’s most dangerous jungles lives one of the last surviving indigenous communities of central America. With special permission from the tribal council, I went on an artist’s residency to live in this community and learn about their unique relationship with nature. The Kuna’s (of sometimes called Guna’s) live across their own district and islands known as the Guna Yala (Kuna land).

The Kuna community

The community that I went to live with are located close to the Columbian boarder next to a jungle known as the Darién. To reach it involves a very small plane into the jungle and a boat over some quite ferocious waves.

Kuna collecting bananas from the jungle

The residency involved many treks into the jungle exploring the flora and fauna, the sounds and smells. I lived within the community for three weeks learning about the mythology, lifestyle and artwork they embroider into the women’s clothing. Creating drawings and printmaking in this environment produced unusual results, with a conscious effort to conserve and not take anything from nature.

Magnificent birds of prey

Travelling on to The Smithsonian Tropical Research Island, I was trekking with an expert learning further about nature through their jungle in quite intense heat. We were followed around for hours by a troop of monkeys who never showed themselves, but you could smell their sweet fragrance in the trees above. The island also echoed with the sounds howler monkeys who’s chorus can be heard for up to three miles. The water around the island hosts a community of crocodiles who could be seen on the banks, as well as many tropical birds and raptors.

Amy trekking through the jungle

Panama city is unusual as it has both tropical and dry forests, the exploration of this showed how closely nature can live to humans. I next  ventured to the islands of Gamboa which is a tropical area close to Panama city, and met some quite gregarious monkeys as well as more crocodiles, birds of prey and a greater collection of mosquito bites. It also hosted the spectacular sloth rescue where these ancient creatures lived their slow lives eating flowers.

Sleepy sloths
Sketches and notes

This was a hugely inspiring trip and I will continue to make work from this adventure, which will be exhibited early next year, as well as the release of a book. The trip would not have been possible without the support of both Teesside University and Newcastle University as well as numerous private clients and Craghopper’s for the clothing.


Amy Dover is Course Leader of BA Illustration as well as Senior Lecturer on BA Graphic Design and MA Visual Communication. She is also a PhD candidate.

Illustration courses at Teesside University:

BA Illustration

MA Illustration

Fine Art students exhibit across Middlesbrough

This August sees a number of fine art students from the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University exhibiting their work for the general public to see


Friday 19th August sees the opening of an exhibition at Parkside West  featuring the work of MA Fine Art students. Titled ‘FEMELLE’, the exhibition is a showcase of the work of female artists including:

  • Amy Austin
  • Charley Duffy
  • Robyn Fyfe
  • Vanessa Langford
  • Donna Morris
  • Evelyn Rodgers

Amy, Charley and Donna all completed BA Hons Fine Art degrees in the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University before progressing on to study their masters in Fine Art.  Along with Robyn, a studio holder at Auxiliary, they have all been accepted onto teacher training courses in September, with a view to sharing their creative talents with the next generation of arts students.

Vanessa is an experienced Community Arts Practitioner of 20 years. She is looking forward to working towards showing her work in the local area on completion of her MA.

Evelyn also completed a BA (Hons) Fine Art at Teesside University and she has plans to develop her sculptural and textile practice, working towards exhibiting locally after her MA studies.

The exhibition opens to public viewing at Parkside West, Middlesbrough TS2 3LF at 10am on Friday 19th August, closing at 4pm. On the 20th August the exhibition is open between 10am and 2pm.

Another Fine Art student, Ellen Ranson, is currently exhibiting her most recent work, inspired by a fellowship in Venice, at Pineapple Black in Middlesbrough until 20th August. Ellen is an abstract expressionist painter who works on large canvases, using bright colours and layers to create a sense of depth on the canvas.

Ellen Ranson

 

Jam Jars, Judges and Journalism

Jim Entwistle, former journalist and head of comms and now a Senior Lecturer in Digital Journalism at Teesside University, reflects on the important role of journalism in society


To the side of my new home is a mouldering garage containing all kinds of odds and ends left by the previous owners – rusted tools, yellowed sheets of newspaper, jam jars filled with obsolete metal fittings. We’re renovating the place and it feels at times as if these remnants are breeding. We’re four skips in and counting.   

I was in the garage last weekend, desperately looking for something with which to write a note to the plumber. Among the cluttered shelves sat a yellow pencil with black writing on the side. I plucked it from the dust, wrote the message on the back of an old till receipt, and then went on to the next job.  

Yellow pencil

Later, at lunchtime, I pulled the pencil from my pocket and looked more closely at its inscription – WILL HIRSTWOOD – EASTBOURNE JOINERY WORKS AND GARAGE – DARLINGTON 2498 – knife-sharpened at one end and teeth marks at the other. Idly wondering about Will, and if he might like his pencil back, I ran his name through Google, and found a good match in an article by Chris Lloyd of the Northern Echo: The ‘despicable, revolting and repugnant’ coffin lid scandal of Darlington  

The story details how a William Hirstwood, a joiner from Eastbourne in Darlington, caused national outrage when he was discovered to be running a macabre scam. Will and his accomplice worked at the town’s crematorium in the 1940s. During a service they would wait until the coffin had passed behind the curtain, out of sight of the mourners, before removing the lid. They would then load the rest of the coffin – and its contents – into the oven before leaving in the hearse, ‘loot’ in the back.  

When detectives visited Will’s depot, they found some 30 coffin lids stacked up, presumably ready for reuse and resale. Will was sent to jail for 18 months for his part, although there was some debate in court about the severity of the crime, if indeed it was one.  

Picture courtesy of the Northern Echo

Chris’ feature, and of course the original court report it was drawn from, perfectly illustrate how much journalism contribute to our society. It is about open justice and holding power to account. But there’s more to it than that. It’s also about the scandal and the salacious and the threads that connect us with each other and that connect the past with the present.  

Journalists play a key role in documenting our social history. As people and events come and go, and everyday life rushes by in a blaze of micro-drama, we rarely get chance to stand still and truly absorb the moments that make life interesting. But in the middle of all this flux, journalists through their daily work give permanence to the otherwise transient.  

Jim Entwistle, Senior Lecturer in Digital Journalism

In March, I joined the team working with the next generation of reporters on Teesside University’s Journalism course. Clearly, times have changed since the 1940s, when the Northern Echo reported on Will’s appearance at Darlington Magistrates’ Court. On top of the fundamentals, our students produce news websites, make video and write for social media. The channels may have changed somewhat, but in essence, the job is much the same. It’s about rooting out those stories and presenting them to the public as a matter of record, however despicable, revolting or repugnant they may be.  

I’m very much looking forward to working with the next intake of Journalism students in September and would welcome queries from anyone thinking about a career in the trade, which is every bit as important now as it was in the days of the Coffin Lid Scandal of Darlington. 


Read all about our  Journalism students

Journalism experience leads Holly to her passion

Journalism graduates went from course to career at Teesside University

2022 Journalism Awards

Teeside University’s partnership with news publisher, Reach

 

Student Installations at the Rye Reflections Art Trail

Students from the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University have teamed up with the Ryevitalise Landscape Partnership Project to create a series of installations for The Rye Reflections Art Trail, which can be visited throughout the Summer at Sutton Bank  

Price of Progress by Natasha Holmes

The Rye Reflections Art Trail is a joint project brought together by the Ryevitalise Landscape Partnership Project in the North York Moors National Park and students from the BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration course at Teesside University, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the UK’s largest funder of heritage. 

Graphic Design students created 5 installations which can be seen along the Art Trail – visitors are able to collect a map from Sutton Bank Visitor Centre which shows exactly where each installation is sited. The pieces have been inspired by memory landscape and changing human relationships to nature, agriculture, and technology. 

The Great Outdoors by Hazel Tilley

Central to the development of ideas have been oral histories collected as part of the Rye Reflections project. Details of each installation and the accompanying oral history extract can be seen on the Teesside University web page  

Students were supported by Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design, Charlie Tait, an inter-disciplinary designer who often works with cultural and heritage based subject matter. Charlie said: 

This project has required a deep engagement to develop creative responses that function in this specific environment. I think the students would agree the project has taken them into new areas of practice and given valuable insight into the practical constraints of realising their work.

We have worked together to analyse research, question concepts and test materials – it has been magical to see this work installed and reflect on the journey each student has been on as they respond to feedback to take their ideas forward.

The project has included an initial field trip with artist, Paula Hickey, and photographer, John Arnison, as well as presentations to project officers, Amy Carrick and Francesca Pert. These experiences have helped students gain insight into the collaborative nature of creative work. I would like to specifically thank our expert workshop technicians; their positivity and knowledge of materials has been invaluable.

‘R’ by Zhipeng Qiu

The installations will remain on the Rye Reflections Art Trail until October 2022 and represent a unique opportunity to see how students in the School of Art & Creative Industries work on live project briefs as part of their degree course. For further information about courses in Art and Design please visit the following pages  

Undergraduate courses in Art and Design 

Postgraduate courses in Art and Design 

PR students land jobs before graduation

Even before they have received their graduation certificates and flung their mortar boards high into the air, 60% of our final year Public Relations and Digital Communication graduands* are already in their dream roles! 

(*a graduand is someone who is eligible to graduate, but has not yet graduated – it can be your fact for the day!)  


Don’t take our word for it, listen to what our future graduates have to say. We asked them three short questions about their time at Teesside University: 

How did Teesside Uni help me prepare for my job?  

“My time at TU helped me to build confidence in my abilities, which left me feeling prepared to take on a new career!” – Sarah  

“Working with real world clients and developing the skills to help clients achieve their goals really helped me prepare myself for working in the industry. It helped me develop a ‘can-do’ attitude, which proves useful in an agency environment where no one day is the same.” – Adam 

“My time at Teesside University has helped me massively prepare for my job in so many ways, I don’t think I’d be this prepared for it without going through the University route!” – Laura  

Laura – Marketing Manager for Skins and Needles, Durham & Middlesbrough

Laura also says 

“Through my course I’ve been able to have a better understanding of the industry and build connections through guest lecturers and modules pushing me to speak to other creatives in the Northeast (especially when building my portfolio), which then led me to push my work out further to the online community. 

Through one of my modules, Teesside University helped push me to start my own blog which allowed me to speak to different businesses and related individuals. My blog helped me gain my first marketing job and helped me get accepted into the role I’m in now. Without this, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”   

The best thing about the PR course is… 

“The fact I was able to work on real world projects for real clients in a safe space where I could experiment with ideas was my favourite part of my time at university as it gave me a solid foundation of real-world experience and skills and still allowed me to try new things.”Adam 

“The best thing about the course was that a lot of it was practical, meaning we got the opportunity to design and create a range of PR and communications campaigns.”Sarah 

“The best thing about the PR course was the detailed learning because I was involved in quite a small cohort, this allowed all of us to be a consistent support line for one another through social groups and being friends with one another outside the classroom. The smaller groups allowed for us to get in-depth answers from our tutors about certain topics and more involved help with our learning.”Laura 

How’s work going and what are you doing?   

“Work is going great thanks, I love it!  My role is a mix of internal and external comms for a global company”Sarah  

Sarah – Communications Assistant at Venator, Winyard (Head office)

Adam sounds rather busy too:  

“My job as an account executive at an advertising agency entails taking care of clients’ needs to relay that to the necessary departments within the agency. For example, if a client wants a front-page advertisement including in tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph, I would be the first point of contact for the client and would relay that message to the artwork department in order to ensure client’s needs are met. 

I’m also currently compiling a competitor review for a football club to analyse competitors messaging techniques and any changes in (kit) design, and I’m working on populating a social media video report to see which of our videos have a higher level of engagement, and which videos don’t.” 

Laura is also multi-tasking: 

“I’m the sole marketeer across Middlesbrough and Durham studios for both tattooing and barbers, Skins and Needles Apparel, and other barbershops we have in the Northeast.  

My day-to-day responsibilities include social posting, customer relations, brand management, content management (with the team), paid advertisements, email marketing, but they’re not limited to any ideas that the team or our artists can come up with! Sounds a lot I know but with the right time management you can do anything. “– great advice from Laura.  

    • Adam is an Account Executive for Drummond Central, Newcastle. 
    • Laura is Marketing Manager for Skins and Needles, Durham & Middlesbrough.  
    • Sarah is a Communications Assistant at Venator, Winyard (Head office) and range of global locations. 

Find out more about our undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in Media and Journalism, along with other courses in the School of Arts & Creative Industries