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Café Project #31 – Emma Neuberg

The Democratic Dish: Transfer Project

Emma Neuberg

5. Emma Neuberg_Ceramics Studio at Chelsea College 2018

Emma Neuberg ‘s design for a project that ran in conjunction with the exhibition ‘The Democratic Dish: Mintons Secessionist Ware” was one of the four chosen by judges Grayson Perry, Donald Smith and Amy Hughes, to be made into a ceramic transfer/decal and exhibited in the Chelsea Café. In this dedicated blog we are pleased to present a detailed insight into her process.

Artist Emma Neuberg (CSM alumni, 1990) and VL on BA Textiles at Chelsea, and textile design tutor at V&A, says:

I was inspired by all the Democratic Dish talks and Alessandra & Simon Wilson’s collection on show. So, when I got home, I studied the exhibition catalogue looking for decorative motifs on the ceramics that captured my imagination. I especially liked the swirling compositions, graphic outlines, subtle washes of colour and painterly compositions reminding me of Henri Matisse and Vincent Van Gogh prints. 

Having decided to enter the competition, I went to my studio to start my usual process of drawing in pastels and started two large designs with swirling, vertical and floral motifs. I filled the paper quickly with two very different compositions making them A2 size so that I could easily select an 11 inch circle that would make a fresh and evocative design for a new democratic dish!

I transferred these to my favourite computer software and developed the drawings further. This is the design process I aways use and you can see much larger versions of the same technique on my website where scale is no obstacle:

I arrived at two platter designs, Cloud Buds and Blooms Blur, (I always title my work) and submitted them both. 

I was thrilled to receive an email with a movie attached of Grayson Perry saying, “this person must be a professional…well done, Emma!” he and all the judges had selected Cloud Buds.


I’m delighted to win and be selected by great curators and ceramicists who can see how my vision can be applied to ceramics. Pattern and applied arts have alway been an integral part of my practice as are twentieth century influences from the Belle Epoque to Action Painting. Being half French has contributed to my international sensibility. During my undergraduate years I studied ceramics at Brighton University and my postgraduate in Textiles at the RCA, so it seems fitting to be selected by Grayson Perry!

Naturally, I was delighted to be selected and doubly happy for my second UAL competition win as, way back in 1990, I won the CSM Foundation 1990 Exhibition Poster Competition. The brief was simply to communicate the Foundation’s art and design disciplines (Visual Communication, Fashion, Fine Art, Sculpture and Theatre) so I came up with a remake of Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon where each figure models a symbol of CSM’s disciplines. So, from left to right, the figures carry an artists’s palette, a sculptor’s mallet, a tailor’s tape, a mask and an 8mm movie camera.

I worked on the ideas in the CSM Charing Cross cafe sitting alongside Alexander McQueen and John Galliano and fellow student Gary Wallis worked with me on the font and text.

I love threading together historical influences with contemporary ideas and my Democratic Dish brings to life my London and European cultural and historical heritage in a group of artefacts that will become new London heritage! 

6. Emma Neuberg_Democratic Dish_Ceramics Studio at Chelsea College 2018_Emma Neuberg (L)_Cherie Silver (M)_Ella Rose Caton (R)

This threading of influences took place again with Daisy McMullan (who was taught by Donald) in our group shows The Geometrics (part of my Slow Textiles Group) where we exhibited and published on the Frederick Etchells Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition Rug 1913 (now located in the Chelsea Space Collection).

The finished plates are on display in the Chelsea Cafe until January 14, 2019.

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Cafe Project #31

The Democratic Dish

9 November 2018 – 14 January 2019


Grayson Perry presenting the selected designs at the finissage of ‘The Democratic Dish’ 26 October 2018


In the process of curating the exhibition ‘The Democratic Dish: Mintons Secessionist Ware’, the curator, Cherie Silver, wanted to develop a public programme where people would get a chance to have a go at using techniques used to create the ceramics in the exhibition. Several of the Mintons Secessionist ceramics incorporated ceramic transfers or decals. Decals are designs prepared on special paper for durable transfer on to another surface such as porcelain.

The curator, together with Amy Hughes, ceramic artist and specialist ceramics technician at Chelsea College of Arts, conceived the Transfer Project, where visitors to the exhibition were invited to submit designs inspired by the ceramics from the collection of Alessandra and Simon Wilson, and/or drawings and archive material from the Minton Archive at Stoke-on-Trent City Archives. Judged by Grayson Perry, Donald Smith and Amy Hughes, four entries were selected and the artists invited participate in a workshop to transform their designs onto plates.

Over 150 entries were submitted by visitors ranging from young children, students, professionals and enthusiasts. The challenge to reduce 150 down to 4 was a challenging one. Here are some examples which shows the diversity of the entries:


We were delighted to have Grayson Perry announce the winning entries at the finissage of the exhibition, introducing the presentation by highlighting his passion for ceramics:

“I started off painting ceramics because I thought there was some mileage in it in the art world because they didn’t like ceramics because ceramics were from where I like to call the suburbs of culture. The high concept high art was like the metropolitan sophisticated centre, and then the art history, the great old masters were like the beautiful countryside and then you always drove through the suburbs on your way to your second house. The art world was quite happy to drag something from the distance like a urinal or a shark, but they didn’t want to visit the suburbs. So I thought it was my job to rehabilitate those suburbs of culture and ceramics was certainly part of that.”

Perry then went on to highlight the reasoning behind his selection, deliberately trying to represent a broad cross section of the entries.

Eva Scott:

“The first one here is by Eva Scott, I don’t know how old she is but there is a myth that all children are good artists, no they’re not, most of them are rubbish, but Eva is a good one. I love the strength of the blue, good work Eva.”

Emma Nueberg:

“This one looks much more sophisticated, the person who did this is a professional I think, this one here is by Emma Neuberg.”

Ella Rose-Caton:

“I’ve got to say this one spoke to me straight away, the final one, it’s high heels, its toilets and its toilet paper. And it also echoes many of the best qualities of a perfect Minton plate, I could just imagine these pipetted on or however they are put on with the plates with slip trail, and I think these Tudor roses are speaking of an alternative Britain that we are about to enter.”

Melissa Newbery-Welcome:

Got a little bit of punky Russian constructivist vibe there, very political artist.


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Eva Scott is 4 years-old and from Musselburgh, Scotland. Chelsea Space is a gallery for everyone, and it was great to see entries from several children, including several from a Scottish school – Loretto, and one from Mayfield Girls.

Rosemary Cronin, UAL Insights Outreach Practitioner visited the exhibition with several groups of students from The BRIT School, and utilised the Transfer Project to engage with them. Melissa Newbery-Welcome is one of those students, using collage materials sourced by Rosemary.

Ella Rose Caton is a student at Chelsea College of Arts and her design was inspired by a previous project on her Textile Design course at the university – an interior/exterior project, in which she redesigned a toilet for girls on a night out. What inspired her at the exhibition in Chelsea Space was the use of shape and composition on the ceramics. The specific designs that inspired her can compared with her final drawing:

Similarly, professional artist Emma Neuberg took inspiration from designs that appear on Mintons Secessionist ceramics, while using her own technique and familiar methods to curate a unique design, from which her textiles expertise comes through. You can read all about Emma’s process in this dedicated blog (link to be added).

We had a fantastic day in the workshop with Amy Hughes working on the transfers.

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The finished designs are installed in the Chelsea Café until January 14, 2019.


You can also check-out this great blog by Nathan Holmes for Chelsea College of Arts:

Grayson Perry stops by Chelsea Space for ‘The Democratic Dish’ exhibition


About the project The Chelsea Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts. These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines. The series is curated in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme.

For more information please contact Cherie Silver at or in person at CHELSEA space. 

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Cafe Project #30


13 June – 3 September 2018


Stitch-School is founded by Senior Lecturer Melanie Bowles and stitch technician Aimee Betts both who work on the BA (Hons) Textile design course at Chelsea College of Arts. They aim to provide inspirational guidance to reconnect to the benefits of hand embroidery through workshops, educational kits and community events around their large communal embroidery table called The Supper Cloth.

The A-Z Supper Cloth is a public collaboration which took place at The Barbican Centre in March 2018 as part of Make! A Season for Contemporary Crafts, a ten-day embroidery installation where passers-by were invited to drop in and collaborate in stitching this one of a kind piece of fabric.

300 hours 

300+ participants

10 days

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Stitch-School facilitate embroidery events based around their large 2.5 meter embroidery table. These public events are called The Supper Cloth providing a space for people to sit down, slow down and feed their creativity through stitching and co-creating a communal Supper Cloth in special environments. Participants explore the wealth of embroidery stitches, learn together to create a communal cloth. Discovering the benefits of de-stressing as way of engaging in making as an antidote to modern life and fast living creating a sense of well being and relaxation.

The A-Z Supper Cloth was designed specifically for the Barbican Make! season of contemporary crafts during March. The cloth is a digital printed word search on linen. Each letter is an individual stitch,  A-Arrow stitch B – Back Stitch C – Chain Stitch etc. There are hidden stitch words in the cloth, see if you can spot them! The cloth was resident at the Barbican for 10 days, where over 300 people sat and stitched and contributed to over 300 hours of stitching. Participants ranged from ages 3 – 80 years old and were from all over the world to create this communal beautiful master piece

 For more information visit

Additional embroidered artworks are by Melanie Bowles 



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About the project The Chelsea Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts. These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines. The series is curated in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme.

For more information please contact Cherie Silver at or in person at CHELSEA space. 


Chelsea Library, Chelsea College of Arts

16th April 2018 – 31st April 2018

Curated by Laura Callegaro and Carla Gimeno Jaria


Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) was a renowned filmmaker, producer and screenwriter, having made four short films and documentaries and thirteen feature films, Kubrick had a particular filmmaking style which encompassed several characteristics: the use of the music as a pivotal component of the narration, the dark humor, the accurate set design or the realism.

Apart from Fear and Desire and Killer’s Kiss, all his films are based on novels by male writers. Likewise, Kubrick had a unique way of adapting novels, usually altering their structure and narrative. Accordingly, he received mixed reviews for his work, but today Kubrick is revered for his intuition in for the transformative adaptation.

His adaptations, that include a wide range of movie genres, demonstrate his desire to go beyond the aesthetic feature of the film. The filmmaker attempted to extract the crucial points of the story and was always heavily committed to the development of the characters and the ambiance, in order to create the best version of the novel in its visual representation.

Taking the films Lolita (1962), A Clockwork Orange (1972), The Shining (1980) and Full Metal Jacket (1987) as a main focus, this exhibition aims to explore the material from The Stanley Kubrick Archive – located at London College of Communication – to present the diverse processes that Kubrick followed adapting these four novels to films. These four films frame many of the different characteristics of Kubrick’s versatile style of bringing novels to the screen and, similarly, depict his obsession for the duality of humans and the male violence.



In the case of Lolita (1962), Kubrick made significant changes from the original plot of the novel, written by Vladimir Nabokov in 1955, turning it into a love story and tragicomedy. The filmmaker on the one hand, reshaped some of the features of the two main characters, Humbert and Lolita, and on the other hand, added significant sarcasm in some of the dialogues, transforming the script into a more humorous narration.

This shift is precisely captured in the correspondence between Kubrick and the Swiss actor Peter Ustinov (SK/10/8/4), where the filmmaker explains that for him the novel depicts a romance history that portrays “a very different love than the modern ideal”, and in which Humbert is an anti-hero. Specifically, the way Kubrick twisted the tone of the film was through the characterisation of Lolita’s role. While in the novel her character is figured as an object for Humbert’s desire, in the film their relationship seems to be mutual. As can be appreciated in her photographs from the pre-production (SK/10/2/14), Kubrick wanted both to show her as a teenager and as a sexual being, appearing to be erotic and flirty but also innocent and harmless. Likewise, the filmmaker ignored the age gap between Humbert and Lolita in the novel, where she was 12-years-old, increasing her age to be closer to the age consent. Consequently, the controversial paedophilic connotation of the novel isn’t endowed in the film, showing a story where Lolita is manipulating the relationship.

Additionally, one striking alteration of the narrative is the shift in Quilty’s murder, one action that in the novel happens in the end and is not given much significance. In the film, this scene opens the story, as can be read in the second draft of the script (SK/10/1/24), provoking a mysterious beginning for the viewers, who don’t know who Quilty is until the end. This distortion of the original plot was part of Kubrick’s way of communicating to the audience, trying to hold onto the suspense throughout the film. Explicitly, this particular case study of Lolita portrays that Kubrick’s ability to adapt novels, not only the translation from the words to the visual enactment, but also to creatively interpret through research.





In a similar way to Lolita, in A Clockwork Orange (1972), based on the dystopian novel originally written by Anthony Burgess in 1962, Stanley Kubrick prompted different variations from the original to achieve a particular narration within the film language. This was the first time that the filmmaker had the sole authorship in the script, therefore during the adaptation of the novel, he followed a different process to reach what he felt was its best execution for the visual experience.

First, instead of using the British version of the novel, Kubrick wrote the script based on the American version (SK/13/1/15). This decision was personally undertaken since the American version has the last chapter missing. In this chapter, the main character, Alex, shows redemption to his violent ways. Anthony Burgess, English writer (1917-1993), explained that he tried to write a novella as “a sort of allegory of Christian free will. Man is defined by his capacity to choose courses of moral action. If he chooses good, he must have the possibility of choosing evil instead; evil is a theological necessity”[1]. Accordingly, Kubrick wanted to work with the ambiguity of an open-ended finale, where the destiny of the character was clearly unknown, thus pushing the imagination of the viewers to foresee his fate.

Moreover, Kubrick made other alterations or omissions to the story, as can be seen in the Anthony Burgess first draft (SK/13/1/5). The filmmaker steered the film towards one of his main characteristic themes: the male violence and the duality of human, as in Full Metal Jacket. By eluding to part of the physical injuries to the victims’ bodies after the sexual assaults, explicitly described in the novel, he focused more on the fighting and the sex acts. Likewise, by being less explicit and raising the age of the main characters, those in the novel were teenagers, he made on-screen story in the screen more palatable for the public.

Kubrick’s ability to translate the desired ambience and environment described in the book to the film set is remarkable. The original story revolved around a futuristic street gang. In relation to the costumes, Kubrick contacted the production designer Luciana Arrighi (SK/13/2/6/2), who insisted that the most important thing was to define a unique style in order to project what the novel described. Accordingly, as can be seen in the different photographs, one of Kubrick’s main obsessions was finding the optimal characterisation of the main roles: from the hats to the garments, every detail was crucial. Furthermore, regarding the ambiance, Kubrick’s use of classical and synthetic music impacted directly on the tone and narration of the film. The music comprises a fundamental enhancement of Alex’s role, as it gives dramatism and intensity and draws the audience into deepen on his obscure physiological condition. As Burgess himself explains “Alex’s aggressive instincts have been stimulated by classical music, but the music is forewarning him of what he must someday become: a man who recognise the Dionysiac in, say, Beethoven, but appreciate the Apollonian as well. (…) the Beethoven spirit must be here: the spirit of the mature creative mind which can reconcile the creative and the destructive”[2].

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The Shining (1980) was based on the homonym Stephen King’s novel of the same name (1977). As regards its screenplay, Diane Johnson, who was teaching a course on gothic novels at the University of California, became Stanley Kubrick’s ideal co-writer.

Kubrick’s research background for writing the dialogues centred on King’s novel, which in turn refers to Poe’s The Mask of the Red Death and Goya’s etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. He and Johnson also investigated the Freud’s Uncanny concept, producing a screenplay and, eventually, a film which deeply linked to intellectual and literature references of authors who mainly explored the notions of alienation and isolation[3].

Indeed, Kubrick worked over eleven months on King’s novel in order to produce the screenplay, focusing on translating each scene’s aim into a visual outcome, where the realization of the characters was pivotal: details of roles’ behaviour made up the consistency throughout the film, hence, the film itself. For instance, working on Jack’s attitude, we can see Kubrick’s annotations: “Writing the play or not writing the play, is an obsession.” (SK/15/1/1); on King’s novel some thoughts in relation to Wendy’s character are included as well (SK/15/1/2).

Another landmark element of the film is the location: Kubrick’s initial idea was to shoot exclusively in a hotel, therefore, many hotels were taken into consideration. His team were sent to different parts of America and in Europe – Austria, Amsterdam and Switzerland were considered and documented through photographs. Because of costs and weather conditions, the final location for external shootings was the Timberline Lodge in Oregon – of which we can see some pre-production documentation exhibited (SK/15/6/2) – but, as regards the interiors of the hotel, it was decided to film on sets built at Elstree studios at Borehamwood in the United Kingdom.

Katharina Kubrick, daughter and location researcher, affirmed that many American hotels were analyzed by her in order to re-create accurate interiors and props[4]. Interestingly, if examined closely, the architectural plan of the hotel is not geographically coherent: the crew had to build the sets like a jigsaw to make the best use of the space, therefore, once certain elements were used for shooting, they would be replaced and their location changed. Ultimately, the result of this is an opulent space, perceived aesthetically as even more alienating.

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Full Metal Jacket (1987) is a Kubrick’s film based on The Short-Timers (1979), a partly autobiographical novel written by the U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gustav Hasford, who fought in the Vietnam War.

The screenplay was co-written by Kubrick, Hasford and Michael Herr, generating a three-act film following the same division as within the novel: firstly, it illustrates how people are trained to be killers; secondly, a character called Joker is introduced as a journalist witnessing savage war’s dynamics in Vietnam. The last third and final act enunciates a moral discourse around how Joker becomes a killer. Overall, the process in which the film is articulated debates Joker’s loss of humanity, culminating in the act of killing a young female sniper. By being written with the contribution of three different voices, the result of the screenplay is a complex visual translation, which caused a number of debates, as we can see in the letter (SK/16/1/2/3) from Michael Herr to Gustav Hasford, in which Herr claimed Kubrick’s film to be “the real soul” of Hasford’s book.

Even though Full Metal Jacket was produced a generation after the war, in the film Kubrick highlights what reporting from the Vietnam War was like, in the end, an autoreferential conversation and an ideal representation from a US perspective – excluding any Vietnamese point of view. Through this lens, Kubrick critically integrated the American imagery of cowboys and Indians, triggered by Joker.

The cathartic process that Joker crosses in the three phases of both the novel and the film, prompts a reflection on the self-consciousness of soldiers and, above all, relates to how the reality of the war was perceived through the media, almost as a propaganda act. When the crew of cameramen arrive in the battlefield for documentation purposes, we can observe two facts: firstly, Kubrick’s choice of putting a particular song, Surfin bird song (1963), into this scene – representing an emphasis on the entertainment and euphoria for soldiers. Secondly, when interviewed, Joker says: “I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture and kill them”. This sentence was emblematically fundamental for Kubrick, as we can see from his very initial research on the novel.

In fact, a landmark point of the film is the main character’s ambivalence and their nuanced representation by Kubrick. Joker’s dual nature of killer and compassionate human being is clearly manifested in the pace button on his helmet. In a script portion of Hasford, we can see Kubrick underlining the sentence: “It was the first time I felt like that I was alive” (SK/16/1/11) in relation to the desire of feeling the death and the violent features of the war.

This recurrent dichotomy between destructiveness and empathy, between violence and humanity, is a striking ethical contrast – and an analogy at the same time, which is also exposed in A Clockwork Orange. Kubrick’s main concern is declared from the very beginning of his filmmaking process: namely, the selection of novels. For instance, Burgess himself explained his decision to use Beethoven’s music as complementary to Alex’s aggressive adolescent essence.

Finally, Joker’s final words encompass the human position towards sex and violence, the cynical view of the world, and eventually, the acceptance of all these intrinsic features which represent the human being:

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My thoughts drift back to erect nipple wet dreams about Mary Jane Rottencrocht and the Great Homecoming Fuck Fantasy. I am so happy that I am alive, in one piece and short. I’m in a world of shit…yes. But I am alive. And I am not afraid[5].


 [1] Burgess, A. (1987) A Clockwork Orange. A Play with Music. London: Hutchinston Ltd.

[2] Burgess, A. (1987) A Clockwork Orange. A Play with Music. London: Hutchinston Ltd.

[3] The psychoanalyst Karen Horney, J D Salinger, Carson Mc Cullers, Sherwood Anderson. Source: Ljujic, T. (2015) Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives. London: Black Dog Publishing.

[4]  Ljujic, T. (2015) Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives. London: Black Dog Publishing.

[5] Kubrick, S. and Herr, M. and Hasford, G. (1987) Full Metal Jacket. The Screenplay. London: Martin Secker & Warburg Limited.


List of works


  • SK/10/1/24, Lolita – Second Draft, Nabokov and Kubrick, September 1960, script, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/10/8/2, ‘SK [Stanley Kubrick]-Nabokov’, Letter from Nabokov to Kubrick with corrections, 1959 – 1966, paper, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/10/8/4, Lolita Correspondence 1959-1960, Letter from Kubrick to Peter Ustinov, 20 May 1960, paper, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/10/2/14, Costume and make up test – Lolita, 1960, photographs, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive

A Clockwork Orange

  • SK/13/1/5, Anthony Burgess first draft [photocopy], undated, paper, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/13/8/5/12, Max L Rab, letter, 6 February 1970, paper, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/13/1/15, “A Clockwork Orange”, American edition of the novel, 1969, book, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/13/2/6/3, Droog Costume Research Images, 1970, photographs, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/13/2/6/2, Costume Research Slides, Letter by the productor designer Luciana Arrighi, 1970, paper, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/13/9/1, Photographs, Production of the film, 1970-1971, photographs, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive

The Shining

  • SK/15/1/2, Incomplete annotated text from Stephen King’s novel ‘The Shining’, 26 August 1977, paper, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/15/1/1, Handwritten notes on Stephen King’s novel ‘The Shining’, 1977, paper, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/15/6/2, Pre-production sets, Photographs of the sets, 1976-1980, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/15/6/3, Production, Photographs of the filming, 1979-1980, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive

Full Metal Jacket

  • SK/16/1/11, Script portions – unannotated, 1985, paper, SK/15/6/2, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/16/1/2/3 ‘Hasford, Gus’, Letter from Michael Herr (producer) to Gustav Hasford (writer), 23 April 1985, paper, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/16/2/16 Hasford notes, 24 May 1985, paper, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive
  • SK/16/1/1, Photographs, in the filming set, 1985, diverse photographs, paper, from the Stanley Kubrick Archive



From the Jocelyn Herbert Archive at the National Theatre

Curated by MA Curating & Collections

Private View: Tuesday 12 March, 5.30-8pm
Exhibition: Monday
12 March – Friday 16 March, 11am – 5pm 2018

Cookhouse, Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street London, SW1P 4JU

Jocelyn Herbert , Lindsay Anderson& David Storey

Jocelyn Herbert, Lindsay Anderson and David Storey. Photograph © John Haynes

This exhibition provides insights into the professional and personal relationship between renowned theatre designer, Jocelyn Herbert (1917-2003), and writer and artist David Storey (1933-2017). The show is curated by MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Arts and is the fourth in a series of collaborations with the Jocelyn Herbert Archive at the National Theatre.

Jocelyn Herbert designed sets and costumes for seven David Storey plays: Home (1970) at The Royal Court Theatre; The Changing Room (1971) at The Royal Court Theatre; Cromwell (1973) at The Royal Court Theatre; Life Class (1974) at The Royal Court Theatre: Early Days (1980) at Brighton Theatre Royal and The Cottesloe at the National Theatre; The March on Russia (1989) at the Lyttelton Theatre at The National Theatre; Stages (1992) at the Cottesloe Theatre at The National Theatre. This exhibition focusses on material relating to five plays: Home, The Changing Room, Early Days, The March on Russia and Stages.

The exhibition is composed of four main themes: set design; costume design; Jocelyn Herbert’s aesthetic approach and work ethic and correspondence from friends and admirers. The show includes a wide range of materials loaned from the Jocelyn Herbert Archive at the National Theatre including photographs, sketches, drawings, models, notebooks, diaries and postcards. The curators have also collaborated with the British Library to include edited oral history audio recordings from the National Life Stories archive, enabling the audience to hear extracts from Richard Eyre’s 2010 Jocelyn Herbert Lecture, and Cathy Courtney’s interviews with Jocelyn Herbert and David Storey, and experience the designer and writer in their own words.

To view the Workbook published by the MA Curating and Collections students to coincide with this exhibition, please click here .


The curators would like to thank Cathy Courtney and Eileen Hogan for introducing us to the National Theatre Archive, and for supporting this curatorial project. Erin Lee, Anastasios Tzitzikos and Malcolm Mathieson from the National Theatre Archive for your kind assistance in making the exhibition and publication a success. Dave Govier, Charlie Morgan and Mary Stewart from the Oral History/National Life Stories at the British Library. Photographs have been reproduced with the kind permission of John Haynes. All photographs remain in © of John Haynes. We would like to kindly thank the Estate of David Storey and the Estate of Jocelyn Herbert. Lastly, to Donald Smith and Cherie Silver for your guidance in curating the exhibition.


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Did you get that?

Curated by Laura Callegaro

Chelsea College of Arts Library

23 February – 21 March 2018

‘The S.M.S. (Shit Must Stop) portfolio is not about art, S.M.S. is art.’ (1)

Installation view, ‘Semina 1955-1964: Art is Love is God’. New York: Boo-Horay, 2013

Did you get that? offers an overview of the dynamics within the underground practice of publishing, exhibiting (box) art magazines which were circulating from the late 1950s to the 1970s. They were part of a countercultural response to the dominant art system during those decades.

The majority of these art journals were delivered at the address given at the moment of your subscription – and prices were quite low. Leaving the white-cube space, art and ideas became first-hand, disseminated through a more accessible, rhizomatic way.

In the vertical vitrine, are exhibited some three-dimensional journals such as the well-known Aspen, edited from 1965 to 1971. It gave shape to voices of different disciplines within the arts: visual artists, composers, theorists, musicians contributed to it.

The Aspen Fluxus issue, edited by Dan Graham, designed by George Maciunas, was published in 1970. Its contents vary from a musical score by Philip Glass, to a phonograph recording of Jackson MacLow and La Monte Young.

Box art magazines contained a various range of objects and papers, such as specifically instruction pieces: included in S.M.S is Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece for John: “Take your favourite cup. Break it in many pieces with a hammer. Repair it with this glue and this poem”, or Mel Ramos’ Candy, a poster board card with removable figures.

Always located in the vertical vitrine, is shown Assembling, by Richard Kostelanetz, a counter-conventional publishing alternative which specifically reacted against the ‘oppressive crisis in avant-garde literary communication’: individual visual poets and artists could freely contribute to the formation of the issue, without the editor imposing any restriction, according to Kostelanetz’s perspective.

The idea of exhibitions-as-catalogues, radically happened through the curatorial contribution of Seth Siegelaub to conceptual art, is exemplified here through the July-August 1969, initially published in Studio International.

Lastly, the catalogue of an exhibition based on Wallace Berman’s Semina in New York (2013) is a tribute to one of the first art journals, initiated in 1955 in California: boxes containing hand-made assemblages, photographs, poems of both American and European contributors, such as Herman Hesse. Semina’s very core converged in Wallace’s recurrent motto Art is Love is God. Unlike all the other magazines exhibited, ‘there is a sort of initiation on Semina: it choses you, one cannot purchase or request Semina, it simply comes to you. (…) It has some aspects of religion, the religion of art and friends’.

(1) Statement published in ‘Art America’, issue of June 1968, in Boivent M., Revues d’artistes, 2008, p. 62

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Item List:

Studio International, v. 180, n. 924 ( July/August 1970 )

July/August exhibition book, edited by Seth Siegelaub. London: Studio International in association with Seth Siegelaub 1970

Semina 1955-1964: Art is Love is God. New York: Boo-Horay, 2013

S.M.S [Shit Must Stop] n. 5 (October 1968)

Aspen n. 8 (Fall-Winter 1970-1) Fluxus issue, designed by George Maciunas, edited by Dan Graham

Assembling: a collection of otherwise unpublished manuscripts, compiled by Henri Korn and Richard Kostelanetz (1970)

A critical (ninth) Assembling, compiled by Richard Kostelanetz (1979)


If you would like to get in touch with the curator (Laura Callegaro), please email

Chelsea Cafe Project #28

Sebastian Chaumeton

26 February –  1 May 2018

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 17.13.14

Film still from ‘FEELING BLU’, 2018. Image courtesy Sebastian Chaumerton

Café Project #28 features the work of artist Sebastian Chaumeton, currently in his 2nd year of BA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts.

The following questions were posed to the artist:

What is your background in art and how has your practice been influenced by the BA Fine Art course so far?

In short, I did the whole school thing, graduated from a foundation course at Oxford Brookes then found my way to Chelsea. My practice has developed physically on the BA Fine Art course, and also theoretically. The course has given me numerous opportunities to learn, be it in crits [critical feedback sessions on artworks], lectures, exhibitions and tutorials. The workshops have especially given me the skills to execute my ideas. I can’t believe I’m over half way through my time here and cannot wait to see what the rest of this year and third year have in stall for me.

Can you please describe the process of making the mural.

It was as simple as sending a few emails, filling out a health & safety form, attempting to rent a ladder, renewing my ladder safety, renting out a ladder, and starting. I juggled a few ideas around but eventually settled on a blue based work as I liked the idea of pulling the sky down into the wall. I also thought that it would complement the orange/red brick work of the college buildings. The making process was a series of acrylic layers, the first being a variety of blues on which the line work would sit. A subsequent transparent acrylic medium was added for the shadows, as a watered-down blue would drip. Highlights then followed, and finally the line work was painted back on top of the overlaps that had formed. This all happened over the course of two bitterly cold weeks in January-February 2018. Gloves and regular cups of tea were needed.

You use recognisable pop-culture characters within your work, what other forms make up your compositions and how do you decide on them?

The premise of the mural was a collaborative/interactive performance. Next to the mural I stuck a couple of sheets of paper on which passers-by were encouraged to scribble ideas for the wall. This being my first large public work I decided to make the initial question very open to try and limit my influence: ‘write down something…’. I like to think that the wall painted itself in that once the line work began, a back and forth was formed between my brush and the crayon people were using to write down their requests. The imagery would influence the text and the text would reflect the imagery. People could write down anything, so this wasn’t always the case. I acted as a loose filter, sometimes painting exactly what was written or suggested in conversation, occasionally fusing elements or working from ambiguous writings such as ‘teen angst’ and ‘me’. The mural is a visual throwing-up of collective thought. Due to this pop-culture and politics are thrown into the mix alongside absurd fusions like, a pole dancing snoopy and a Fosters drinking shark wearing a Viking helmet. I isolate interesting elements within the paintings that evoke meanings, be it political, popular, or humorous to be realised in alternate mediums. I act as a control within an out of control fusion of forms. This yellow painting presented within the café is born from my own conscience and sub-conscience thought and feelings, however I find it interesting to relinquish responsibility of the imagery. In the future I’d like to consider alternate starting questions for different public sites.

To view the time lapse video of Sebastian Chaumeton painting the mural click here.

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Artist’s Exhibition History

Milk It – Collaborative curation and exhibition in a shop in Marylebone, April 2017; Cook House – Collaborative curation at the Cook House Gallery, Chelsea College of Arts, December 2016; Laboratorium – Collaborative curation and off site exhibition of work at the Ovada Space, Oxford, February 2016 within the Oxford Mail; Natural History Museum (Oxford) – Created illustrations to be used by the Education Department within exhibits at the NHM as well as the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford; Museum of the History of Science – Commissioned work for an in-house sketchbook on the Museum’s artefacts.


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About the project The Chelsea Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts. These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines. The series is curated in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme.

For more information please contact Cherie Silver at or in person at CHELSEA space.