Students Staff

1 March 2016

Family first for Wivenhoe House

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 1:24 pm
Family Art Workshop at Wivenhoe House

Family Art Workshop at Wivenhoe House

Young budding artists flocked to the first Arts Education Outreach family day to be held at Wivenhoe House.

The event was part of the celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of John Constable painting Wivenhoe Park and the theme of the day was landscape.

Members of the University’s vTeam helped run interactive arts activities on several aspects of creating your own masterpiece, exploring composition and artistic licence.

Families were also encouraged to head out into the parkland and take landscape photographs which they could then print off.

All participants were invited to submit entries for the forthcoming Celebrate Landscape open exhibition at Art Exchange, which opens on Friday 25 March.

Everyone interested in art is also invited to sign up for Wivenhoe House’s Constable Challenge on Sunday 12 June which will include a family art day.

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1 April 2014

Youth of today paint pain of past to safeguard our future

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Tags: , , , — Joshua Neville @ 10:52 am

Come discover the inspirational young talent of our local community as the Art Exchange presents the Young People’s Exhibition at our Colchester Campus. Tasked with creating artwork on the challenging subject of the Holocaust, a collection of 12-21 year old students picked up their brushes, their clay and their pencils to produce inspirational work and challenge inequality.


Paris Howells, 12, Southend High School for Girls

From sculpture to audio-visual art, these students have bravely embraced a bold challenge in order to generate interest and conversation around an important subject in our not-so-distant past.

Kate Beckwith, Curator of the exhibition, beams: “The students have done so amazingly well and I have had so many positive comments about their work already. We should all congratulate them on approaching such a difficult theme with such sensitivity and creative skill. The Holocaust really wasn’t that long ago, and remembering can only be a positive thing and go some way to help prevent something like it from happening again the future.”

The exhibition will run until 12 April 2014 at the Art Exchange at the University of Essex Colchester Campus. Visit the Art Exchange website for further details and opening hours.

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10 January 2014

Re-live the power of Human Rights Day

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 4:21 pm
The articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights written on the steps in chalk

Students wrote the articles of the UDHR on the steps in chalk

International Human Rights Day may have been marked on our Colchester Campus more than a month ago but anyone wishing to remind themselves of the powerful ways in which our staff and students marked the day can watch a video of the recital of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Organised by our Arts Office, the recital took place in front of the steps between Squares 3 and 4 which that morning had been marked with the articles of the declaration by a small team of dedicated students.

More than 30 members of the University community took part in the 17 minute long recital.

It was just of many activities organised by staff and students to mark the day.

Watch the video.

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4 October 2013

Welcome Week: the action in pictures


A warm Welcome to all our new students

From Zorb balls to Spiderman via a handful of foam fingers, this year’s Welcome Week was a triumph of colourful fun across all three campuses.
In Colchester, students got their first taste of the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall at the official Welcome Talks, packing out the lecture theatre and learning some important tips to surviving their first week. The squares were full of stalls including a street market while the Arts office entertained with everything from Mexican Morris dancing, to a giant campus map.
In Southend student teams took part in the Befriend Southend Challenge which took them around the town hunting for clues including spotting a familiar-looking Spiderman. Their challenge was rounded off at the Freshers’ Fair, which offered chicken and pizza to the hungry masses while they shopped around finding out about all the myriad clubs and societies on offer.
Our Loughton students have been getting stuck into their studies from the off. Having arrived a little earlier, they have been getting involved in their induction programmes and attending departmental talks.
A big shout also goes out to all our volunteers, helpers, student mentors, ambassadors, frontrunners and everyone who gave their time and energy to help make this one of the most vibrant and well attended Welcome Weeks ever.
See the evidence for yourself in our Welcome Week photos.

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24 September 2013

Tate loans work for new show at Art Exchange

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Tags: , , , , , — Communications Office @ 9:59 am
Image from Francis Alÿs: Seven Walks

Francis Alÿs: Seven Walks opens on September 30 at Art Exchange

The new show at Art Exchange, the University’s gallery at our Colchester Campus, offers a unique perspective on London.

Francis Alÿs: Seven Walks was developed by the artist over several years as he walked the streets of London, evolving an ambitious project that delves into the everyday rituals and habits of the metropolis. It was originally commissioned by Artangel in 2004-5 and is on loan from Tate.

Observing and intervening in the huge open-air studio, Alÿs maps the city through his walks. These are enacted in different parts of the city – Hyde Park, the City of London, the National Portrait Gallery and the streets near to Regents Park. The protagonists for the walks range from a solitary urban fox to a contingent of Coldstream Guards.

Francis Alÿs’s ideas can often be reduced to a set of simple instructions – but the work can be as monumental as moving a sand dune (a project he undertook with a thousand people in Lima), or as ephemeral as pushing a block of ice around Mexico City until it melts. With Seven Walks, we can track a fox on surveillance cameras as it moves around the National Portrait Gallery, hear the sound of railings being drummed, watch a regiment of Coldstream Guards find each other in the City’s square mile, or go for walk for as long as it takes for a pebble to enter your shoe.

A series of talks, tours and film showings have been organised to coincide with the exhibition.

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19 July 2013

Gowns, galleries and graduation

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 3:18 pm

A graduation-themed art event at the Colchester Campus’ Art Exchange gallery, has been proving popular with children dropping in to take part in a variety of activities.

Mini Graduation participants

Mini Graduation participants

To celebrate the University’s Graduation 2013, the Outreach team offered a mini graduation Family Arts Workshop. Youngsters who came along got the chance to try academic gowns on for size, make badges, take part in a sculpture trail and collect mini graduation certificates.

There was also a photography activity and lots of art materials on hand allowing those that came along to get creative.

As well as taking part in the fun art activities, children were also able to have a look at the current exhibition in Art Exchange, Realism in Rawiya which celebrates the work of female photographers from the middle east.

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27 June 2013

Life in the middle east is focus of new photo exhibition

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Tags: — Communications Office @ 1:58 pm

A new exhibition opening at Art Exchange this week celebrates female photographers from the middle east.

Newsha Tavakolian's Listen series, 2013

Newsha Tavakolian’s Listen series, 2013

Realism in Rawiya, which runs until Saturday 20 July, reveals stories about everything from the Arab springs and life in Gaza to graffiti in Egypt and Saudi women who desire to sing solo on stage.

Bridging the worlds of documentary and art, the works on show focus on the photographer’s lived experience. The exhibition includes photos by Myriam Abdelaziz (Cairo), Tanya Habjouqa (East Jerusalem), Delia Khamissy (Beirut) and Newsha Tavakolian (Tehran), all of whom established their careers as photojournalists by working for news agencies and publications across the Arab world.

Realism in Rawiya coincides with the 2013 British Comparative Literature Association Conference: Migration which is hosted by the University and includes a special strand dedicated to the Arab Spring. Find out more. 

Realism in Rawiya opens on 4 July.

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21 June 2013

ESCALA exhibition celebrates Mexican art

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 11:06 am

A new exhibition celebrating Mexican art has opened in the University space at Colchester’s firstsite gallery.

Raúl Piña, Doble eclipse de luna, 1998

Raúl Piña, Doble eclipse de luna, 1998

Mexican Migrations features work by Mexican artists from ESCALA, the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America. It includes recent acquisitions by Graciela Iturbide, Mexico’s foremost living photographer, and prints by Mexican masters Rufino Tamayo and José Luis Cuevas.

The exhibition explores the theme of migration, not just as a movement of people but as the migration of texts, stories and myths across cultures and time, media, genres and species.

A number of the artworks reference and re-imagine Mexico’s pre-Hispanic artistic traditions and worldviews, among them those of the Aztecs who originated one of the greatest migration myths of all time.

Other artworks allude indirectly to internal migration within Mexico, of people and ideas, while others explore the constant exchange over time and between coutnries of art and literature.

Mexican Migrations, which is at firstsite until 3 November, contributes to a wider focus this summer on art from Mexico which includes a conference organised by the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University in July, and the Mexico: A Revolution in Art, 1910-1940 exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts which has been curated by Essex alumnus and former ESCALA Curatorial Advisor, Dr Adrian Locke.

Find out more about Mexican Migrations.

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20 March 2013

Jim Ede Collection at firstsite

Filed under: What's on — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 2:27 pm

Jim Ede Collection at The University Space at firstsiteMlle Bourgoint by Christopher Wood

Monday 18 March to Sunday 9 June 2013

The University of Essex and firstsite will present an exhibition of works from the University’s Jim Ede Collection, including paintings by Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, Ben Nicholson, Richard Pousette-Dart and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

In 1964, the newly-established University received a donation of a number of artworks from influential art collector and former Tate curator Jim Ede. Exhibited in the University Space at firstsite, the Jim Ede Collection exhibition showcases a selection of artworks that illustrate the breadth of his collection and his deliberate focus on British-based art and artists.

Jim Ede had been collecting such artists for some time, creating an extraordinary collection that was to become Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. He described it as a “living place” where art could be enjoyed in a domestic setting unhampered by the austerity of the gallery or museum. As new universities were built in the 1960s, full of post-war vision and idealism, Ede declared that there “should be a Kettle’s Yard in every university”. These pictures in the University of Essex’s collection would have been part of Kettle’s Yard, but Jim Ede hoped that by giving out a few works, we would be inspired to make a collection of our own.

His donation played a formative role of instilling a passion for art that would further blossom in the emergence of the University’s Collection of Latin American Art (ESCALA) and Art Exchange, the University’s gallery that brings new art onto campus through an ever changing programme of exhibitions, thereby making art and culture part of the student experience.

Accompanying the Jim Ede Collection exhibition are series of talks expanding on themes raised, including a talk by Kettle’s Yard Director Andrew Nairne on the genesis of the Jim Ede collection and why the donation was made to Essex.

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