Category Archives: Chelsea Cafe Project Archive

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 Cafe Project #28

Sebastian Chaumeton

26 February –  1 May 2018

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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. 

Chelsea Cafe Project #23

Dennis Wilson: Passage

Hannah Rae Alton

Wednesday 26 September – Friday 11 November 2016

Dennis Wilson: Passage’ is a series of drawings about the final days and death of Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson. Part abstract, part illustrative, they examine an imagined internal cartography and the overlaying of two vastly different times in Wilson’s life played out in the same physical space. He drowned in the Marina Del Ray, diving to the bottom of the water to retrieve items he had thrown overboard a decade previously from his luxury yacht The Harmony. The drawings are on 16:9 (widescreen format) paper and as a starting point use stills from “Two Lane Blacktop”, a 1971 road movie starring Wilson and James Taylor heading east from California with no particular agenda.

Only four of the drawings from this series are on display, while the full body of work can be viewed here.


About the artist

Hannah Rae Alton is an artist and lecturer living and working in London. Her drawings interrogate themes of communication, cryptography, military history and radio technology, cartography and other narratives. She studied Drawing at Camberwell College of Arts, and Communication Art and Design at the Royal College of Art, where she discovered an interest in crystal radios and has been building them ever since. She is a member of the Cassiopeia collective, a five-strong group of artists dedicated to foregrounding the process of research in fine art and illustration to make it more accessible to audiences.

Cassiopeia’s next exhibition is at Guest Projects, Hackney, from 1st – 30th November.


Twitter: @CassiopeiaeKnee


About the project

The Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Art and Design. 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 Cafe Project # 22


Caroline Streck

Wednesday 12 July – Friday 16 September 2016


The Bloc-Repair-Kit is a participatory project that was invented for the Susak Expo 2016. The “Kit”, created by Caroline Streck, contained different sized wooden blocks that are stretched with fabric.

The blocks were distributed among the participants of the Expo and the inhabitants of Susak with the instructions to use them in a situation of “emergency” and to send a photo of the situation to the artist. What “emergency” could actually mean was left up to participants interpretation. The blocs were developed as geometric shapes that related back to Streck’s paintings, where they were transformed into a singular physical form.

Within the Expo the forms function as a tool to be used in an open and experimental context.

The Susak Expo is a bi-annual art event that has taken place on the remote Croatian island of Susak since 2006, initiated by artist Daniel Devlin. This year the exhibition runs from May to September.


About the artist

Caroline Streck has been working predominantly as a painter during the course of undertaking an MA at Chelsea College of Arts.

Her current work observes movement and behaviour in urban environments, looking at how the shapes produced by architecture direct or influence the form and flow of human movement. Working from these points, she utilises geometrical abstractions produced from these environments, to explore the potential alienating effect that the forms may have during the painting process. These effects are then set in relation to the use of colour which the artist uses as an intuitive, fluid and playful part of the compositional process




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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 atCHELSEA space.

Chelsea Cafe Project # 21


by Lily Harriman

Monday 16 May – Tuesday 12 July 2016

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Café Project #21 features the work of the young poet Lily Harriman. Lily is currently gallery assistant at CHELSEA space while taking a year from reading English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University. She will be completing her final year in 2017.

The following questions were posed to the poet:

What inspired you to do this series of work?

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Chelsea Cafe Project #20

Contemporary Experiments with Natural Dye Print

Lara Mantell

Wednesday 13 April – Friday 13 May 2016


Display #20 provides an insight into the range of textile work through exploring screen-printing with natural dye extracts. This is an on-going project produced by Lara Mantell, that considers a variety of different, more sustainable and environmental practices in the print and dye workshop at Chelsea College of Arts.

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Chelsea Cafe Project #19

The Contemporary Art Slide Scheme: a brief introduction

Monday 8 February – Friday March 11 2016

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Selection of slide boxes from Box 1 (1992-1995), CASS, Chelsea College of Arts Library. Image courtesy of Chelsea College of Arts Library, University of the Arts London.

Established by CHELSEA space Director Donald Smith with the late Stacey Billups, the Contemporary Art Slide Scheme (CASS) documented exhibitions in London from 1992-2007 for educational and research purposes. The majority of the 35mm slides show images of exhibitions that would have otherwise remained undocumented or inaccessible to a wider public audience. The documentation of these exhibitions predates the extensive use of digital photography and social media, which now make images of exhibitions accessible by almost anyone.

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Chelsea Cafe Project #18

Where for art thou

Friday 27 November 2015 – Friday 29 January 22

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Where for art thou is an ongoing second year BA Fine Art project that invites various students to engage with film/sound in the form of an intervention or a video montage. Shown from a window in the college these projects engage the general public as they traverse the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground of Chelsea College of Arts. In Chelsea Café Project Display #18 artworks and/or documentation corresponding to the recent interventions by four of the artists are on display.

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