Re-shaping the Art School archive

Alumni Faith Cannon, Fine Art, has been working with the Canterbury archives to look at how it can be used in art today

Images from a sculpture show at Canterbury, 1989-1990

Images from a Sculpture Show at Canterbury, 1989-90

On starting this project using the UCA archive, it has made me aware of the potential collaboration with other Alumni artists from the past, and the possibilities for students today to use resources which are at their fingertips. Sometimes when you’re on a course you get so tied up with producing work and researching you forget that others have done this before – not just the famous artist, photographer, architect- but previous students. They can be an untapped resource to the artists block, a curatorial presentation or that planning for that ever looming Degree Show!

I thought I would give you a little taster of some the items I have photographed and how I have made new work from those early images. There are possibilities for others to get involved with our collaboration to heighten the use of the archival material.

New collage of past images

New collage of past images

Images from a Degree Show Into the Unknown 2007. New collage of past images from the archive.

Images from a Degree Show Into the Unknown 2007. New collage of past images from the archive.

This Catalogue was of a really high standard and would be of interest to the 3rd year students who may be planning their own shows this year. Please take a look as it is your moment to have some super images of your work.

Canterbury archive

The archives have such a creative depth of ideas to aid your own practice and development. I decided to invite others to get involved to see how they would use the past material. We asked the question ‘How could we promote the use of the archives?’ We used a mind map to channel ideas.


Mind map 3Mind map 4Mind map 2Mind map 1


This drew many interesting possibilities. One artist wanted to do a poster to promote the archives, another sketched the shapes into a design, others photographed details and images that fitted with their own practice. I decided to research one catalogue to see how long it would be until I found a person I knew, as this followed my own practice of continuum and connections. I researched some of the artists to see if after 25 years how their practice had changed. This drew me to look at the materials, processes and how they had evolved. I decided to sketch some of the images to see how the 3D sculpture would have been seen in a 2D form. Those initial ideas that artist create from pen on paper.

This collaboration between the past/present drew me to experiment with the images to see how I could manipulate them to create something new, and the research aspect fuelled the connections element of my practice – and there amongst the archives I found someone I knew!


Created by Faith Cannon and other contributors

Jo Robinson

Colin Pratt

Many Quy-verlander




Explore Your Archive: 1950s Graphic Design

This Explore Your Archive posting brings exhibition images of the educational feature of the IPEX (the international printing and allied trade) exhibition held at Olympia in 1955. The 3,500 ft stand was designed by R.A Richardson from the Maidstone College of Art and carried out by staff and students at Canterbury and Maidstone Colleges of Art.

Follow the whole story of UCA’s creative art history here

Search the art school archives on our online archives catalogue

School of Printing, Canterbury, 1950s

School of Printing, Canterbury, 1950s

School of Printing, Canterbury, 1950s

School of Printing, Canterbury, 1950s

School of Printing, Canterbury, 1950s

August’s Rare Book and Archive of the Month

August’s Archive of the Month is Canterbury’s 1905-1931 Visitors’ Book.

This is of interest to paleography (study of old handwriting),typography, local history, materials, and to the history of exhibitions/sculpture at Canterbury.

Visitors' Book Canterbury 1905-1931

August’s Rare Book of the Month is an in-house printing press 1949 book from Canterbury, produced by a student at Canterbury School of Art. It is of particular interest for Graphic Design

The Selfish Giant, 1949

Explore Your Archive: School of Printing

Follow the whole story here at UCA Storify Explore Your Archive

School of Printing, (Graphic Design)

Maidstone School of Art

Adrian Pearman, 1960s, Student Profile
Adrian Pearman was a student in the 1960s at Maidstone at College of Art in the School of Printing. Adrian went on to have a career in Design.

We have examples of his work here from the 1960s, including:

A co-operate identity project for a diploma show, Maidstone District. This included bus timetables, memo, letterheads, and brochures.
A fictional boutique, His and Hers. At a time where colours were very subtle, the bright colours were very stand out for the time.
The award winning handprinted Decimal Currency Project, a prize awarded by the British Federation of Masters Printers.

Images can be seen in our Archive of the Month, April 2013, and in the blog link

His and Hers Boutique

His and Hers Boutique

School of Printing – Medway College of Design, Maidstone School of Art, Canterbury School of Art

UCA has printing press books from the 1940s (before the age of computers!) produced by students at Medway, Maidstone, and Canterbury Schools of Printing through their merger to the Kent Institute of Art and Design. These books explore Graphic Design and Typography through these schools, helping to also chart the development of the curriculum, and providing context to external Graphic Design courses in the wider world. The quality and texture of paper is also noticeable

Below are two rare book of the month reviews looking at Medway’s and Maidstone’s printing press books

July Rare Book of the Month

May Rare Book of the Month

Modern Architecture in Brazil, December 2012 Rare Book of the Month

December Rare Book of the Month

Modern Architecture in Brazil by Henrique E. Mindlin

Published by The Architectural Press, London 1956.

With the very recent news of the death of Oscar Niemeyer it seemed a good moment to take a look at this book which declares itself to be the “first full-scale attempt to show modern Brazilian architecture in all its aspects”. Published in 1956, it showcases Brazilian architecture from the late 1930s to the mid 1950s. Up to this point, new Brazilian architecture was not much known outside Brazil.

The Preface is written by renowned architecture critic and historian Professor Siegfried Giedion. Giedion notes Le Corbusier’s one month stay in Brazil in 1936 and comments that this visit, during which Le Corbusier worked with a group of young Brazilian architects, was of “outstanding importance” for the development of Brazilian architecture. Le Corbusier’s influence can be seen in the designs featured in this book, as can the influence of other modernist architects Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Brazilian architects though have necessarily studied the phenomenon of sunlight and created all kinds of protective devices to cope with the Brazilian climate.

The author Henrique Mindlin was a Brazilian architect and discusses design problems from personal and professional experience. He discusses the work of seventy of his contemporaries, including Oscar Niemeyer who is best known for his Brazilian take on modernism when he design the new Brazilian capital city Brasilia. Each project is accompanied by photographs, plans and drawings.

Click here for The Guardian article regarding Oscar Niemeyer

This book is located in the Rare Book collection at UCA’s Canterbury campus library.

This book was reviewed by Richenda Gwilt, Librarian

More details about archives, special collections, and rare books can be seen here

Canterbury School of Architecture prospectus

Canterbury School of Architecture prospectus

Travelling Exhibition

UCA Library is undertaking  a travelling exhibition of material from our special collections throughout all the campuses

Rochester is sending out 1950s prospectuses and student sketchbooks from the 1950s specialising in a variety of art and design. They are interesting for the history of  Medway College of Design, history of Art classes, including graphic design work, lithography, cut wood engraving, lettering, fabric printing and trends and popularity in art and design in the 1950s

At Farnham 26th November – 7th January

At Maidstone 7th January-4th February

At Epsom 4th February-4th March

At Canterbury 4th March – 1 April


Rochester Student Sketchbook


Maidstone is sending a selection of material from the Tessa Boffin Archive and Personal Library


Tessa Boffin, was an 1980s photographer, specialising in sex and sexual fantasy


1)    Technical Photography Instruction, 1984

This include instructions for working with film photography in the 1980s and information regarding how Boffin would portray different adverts.

 2)    Income Book, 1991-1992

Income and expenditure book relating to what items she required for photography, exhibition space required and petty expenses

 3)    Coursework Book, 1985-1986

Contains notes and photocopies of photographs relating to The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: AIDS and the Body Politic and Next…Quarantine The Disease of the Soul/Panic. Includes images of newspaper articles in the 1980s relating to AIDS and safe sex, and lesbianism, images from Derek Jahrman, religious imagery, and her own handwritten notes

 4)    Photography prints related to her work The Slings and Arrow of Outrageous Fortune: AIDS and the Body Politic, helping highlight perceptions towards AIDS in the 1980s

 5)    Postcard from Marc Almond, from Soft Cell, 1980s

A letter from Marc Almond, with an image of him on the front, agreeing to pose for Tessa Boffin

 6)    A selection of books from her personal library, some annotated and one with a letter, providing context to her work

At Epsom 26th November – 7th January

At Canterbury 7th January – 14th February

At Rochester 14th February -4th March

At Farnham 4th March – 1st April


Coursework regarding her AIDS work

Canterbury is sending Canterbury Architectural Student Association Journals


Provides information on…


Graphic Design and drawings

Visual images from the 1940s, and drawings of buildings inside journals

Reports on historical architecture, including Roman architecture

Kent and England architecture

  • Includes some drawings/sketches

Architecture in Kent from the 1940s-1960s

‘As a college we are singularly insensitive to our environment. Over the past few years we have seen the systematic murder of that whole area of this city between Burgate Street and George’s Street‘ (CASA 1960s)

Family history

  • Student reports detail students and lecturers names

Student Activity

  • Information on the Student Union
  • Reports of student trips, and activities, including reports on architecture abroad
  • Reports of student sport and social activities
  • ‘On Saturday…1947… a group of… students congregated at ‘Georges’ to consume a flagon of “pig’s ear”‘ (CASA 1948)
  • Visits to exhibitions
  • Creative writing regarding architecture, and other works from students


At Rochester 26th November – 7th January

At Farnham 7th January – 4th February

At Maidstone 4th February – 4th March

At Epsom 4th March-1 April


CASA 1957


Farnham is sending Guildford School of Art Photography, and Book binding and Printing Prospectuses

Provides Information on

–         History of Art Schools

–         History of the Guildford School of Art

–         History of Photography, Bookbinding and Printing

–         Graphic Design and Art interest with visual covers

At Maidstone 26th November-4th January

At Epsom 4th January – 7th February

At Canterbury 4th February – 4th March

At Rochester 4th March -1 April

Epsom is sending prospectuses from the Epsom and Ewell School of Art and Technical Institute, 1930s onwards

Provides information on

–         History of Art Schools

–         History of the Epsom School of Art and Technical Institute

–         History of Art School classes including Art and Design, Architecture, Women’s Crafts

–         Graphic Design and Art interest with visual covers

At Canterbury 26th November – 7th January

At Rochester 7th January – 4th February

At Farnham 4th February – 7th March

At Maidstone 7th March – 1 April

Epsom prospectuses from 1925