Category Archives: Events

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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Dobells Jazz Folk Blues Programme of Events

wide double image dobells
We are delighted to announce an exciting series of events to coincide with CHELSEA space’s forthcoming exhibition Dobells 
Jazz Folk Blues.  

Dobell’s was an iconic record shop that began life on Charing Cross Road and became renowned as “the Record Shop with the Club Atmosphere”.  A programme of accompanying events aims to recreate this atmosphere, highlighting Dobell’s position as a social hub.

Programme of Events (download as a pdf here)

Tuesday 9th April 6.00 – 8.30pm

Wednesday 17th April 6.00 – 7.30pm
Brian Peerless who worked at Dobell’s record shop from 1962 to 1992 will give his unique perspective on this legendary venue.

Saturday 20th April 10.00am – 4.00pm
CHELSEA space celebrates Record Store Day UK with open decks for you to play and listen to your Dobells Jazz Folk Blues records on, a pop up vinyl & books stall and live acoustic music.

Wednesday 15th May 6.00 – 7.30pm
Hear renowned music photographer David Redfern talk about his extensive career. David has photographed all the greats including Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Dusty Springfield, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Hendrix and Dylan. In our exhibition, you can see David’s photographs commissioned by Dobell’s from the 1967 Newport Jazz Festival.

Wednesdays 2.00 – 5.00pm
17th April – Dobells Staff and Customers
24th April – Leon Parker of British Record Shop Archive
1st May – Sound of the World Forum
8th May – Rhythm Section Peckham
15th May – open session

Did you buy records at Dobells record shop?  Come and play them on our decks, chat to customers and staff of the shop as well as other guests and recreate that famous feel of the “record shop with the club atmosphere” at CHELSEA space. Everyone is welcome to any of the sessions listed above.

LUNCHTIME LIVE SETS 12.30 – 1.30pm
Live music will be played in the space during the show run.

See the website and check social media outlets for updates.

Follow on twitter @CHELSEAspace #Dobells


Book Launch: Traces of Modernity by Dan Smith

Book Launch for Dan Smith’s Traces of Modernity (publ. Zero Books) Thursday 18th October 6-8pm at CHELSEA space, admission free

Dan Smith Traces

On Thursday 18th October 6-8pm CHELSEA space hosts the launch of Dan Smith’s  new book – Traces of Modernity. The event will start with drinks at 6pm and at approximately 6.45pm the author will give a short introduction to the book.

Traces of Modernity offers critical engagements with four objects from the nineteenth century; the ruins of Crystal Palace in Sydenham and the dinosaurs that remain, the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and H.G. Wells’ short novel The Time Machine.

Dr Dan Smith is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Theory at Chelsea College of Art and Design.

This CHELSEA public programme event coincides with DOME: Ralph Tubbs and the Festival of Britain at CHELSEA space.  Read more about the book launch and the exhibition here.

Join the Discussion: Toward a Hybrid Gallery Space


In our next free CHELSEA public programme talk, writer, curator and urban researcher Paul Goodwin talks to artists Sonia Boyce, Barby Asante and Peckham Space Director Emily Druiff. What would you ask them?

Take part in this discussion, which seeks to explore how curation can meet education in a hybrid gallery space…

Sonia Boyce & Barby Asante: Towards a Hybrid Gallery Space

Wed 11 July 6-7.30pm, FREE

This free panel discussion sees Paul Goodwin, writer, curator and urban researcher chair discussion between Emily Druiff, director of Peckham Space and artists Sonia Boyce and Barby Asante, investigating a new model that brings together curatorial and educational fields. This talk aims to address the questions: to what extent are these practices considered as art? How do these practices relate to terms such as ‘community’, ‘socially engaged’ and ‘dialogic or relational’ art?

Sonia Boyce, AHRC Fellow and artist will present Network, a film recently commissioned by Peckham Space which worked with young people from Visual and Performing Arts, part of Southwark Children’s  Services. Sonia will also reflect on her recent research ‘The future is social’ where she will discuss ‘how art emerges through collective and often conflictual encounters.’

Barby Asante will present South London Black Music Archive, an artwork recently commissioned by Peckham Space that worked with young people from Leaders of Tomorrow and which will tour to the Tate Modern in November this year. Barby will talk about her practice in relationship to ‘openness’, how and when this takes place and why it is important.

Emily Druiff, will talk about the commissioning process and propose a move towards a ‘hybrid gallery space’. Peckham Space is London’s newest  purpose-built public gallery dedicated to commissioning location-specific artworks made in partnership with community groups. It opened in June 2010 and is located on Peckham Square, London SE15 and part of Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London.

To book your place for this talk or for more information email:

The talks series is free and open to the public and will take place in the main Lecture Theatre at Chelsea College of Art & Design, 16 John Islip St, SW1P 4JU

Pil & Galia Kollectiv on post-Fordist labour, the myth of meritocracy and the riots

Above: Image of Pil & Galia presenting new video work ‘We are Equilibrium’

In the first of our latest CHELSEA public programme events, last week we saw Pil & Galia Kollectiv introduce their talk, Against Human Nature with a very special screening of their new video work We Are Equilibrium, which presents a dialogue between two computers.

The conversation opens with a simple textbook problem in business studies, but gradually the language, mimicking the application of game theory in the business sector, becomes more abstract. The two interlocutors become adversaries trapped forever in a competition without winners, in which Pil & Galia have orchestrated a poignant video piece that draws on military machinery and stock archive footage of 1950s computers as a critique on games theory and cybernetics.


Above: Still of Pil & Galia discussing their band ‘WE.’

Set against the context of the London riots (of 2011), their discussion began with a selection of collected quotes from friends and elsewhere on personal views of the rioters and the possible theories behind their motivation. This was pitted against a sense of a mismatch in their own views and even their own work with that of the current political landscape that they seek to re-address, specifically with this most recent video. Leading onto the consideration of the character of the human and of human nature set in opposition with arts alignment with the genius. That the language to talk about politics is somehow missing, as well as the freedom from individual and institution. They also discussed how their work relates to post-fordist labour in the sense that they are constantly exploiting themselves, like a telesales person who is always ‘performing themselves.’ Questioning what the ideology of our times is, bringing in thoughts on the myth of meritocracy and social constructivism and that fewer people are committing to an ideology and instead the figure of the human as positioned outside of economic, social and biological landscape.


Above: Still of ‘WE’ performing

On their band WE, they shared numerous quotes from theory and philosophy sources that relate candidly to the name of the band, one example from Zizek starts “We is the ghost of our future…” Yet, how all this relates to the making of artworks is really nice to hear, they mention they don’t apply the theory to the work that it’s a much more organic process involved, which makes it paradoxical.


Above: Still from ‘Asparagus: A Horticultural Ballet.’

And so ending on their Showroom commission, Asparagus: A Horticultural Ballet, which was inspired by obscure minimal synth band xex and Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet with some great questions from the floor…

Leave Those Kids Alone! Images

Some images from the event, ‘Leave Those Kids Alone! Teaching, Learning and Resistance Through Art,’ which took place at The Showroom on Saturday 2nd July 2011.
Artists Mirza & Butler constituted a reading circle, inspired by their ‘Museum of Non-participation’ project. The chosen text was Peter Weiss’ ‘Aesthetics of Resistance.
The Free University of Liverpool performative approach involved a game in which they gave themselves one minute to answer a question about the FUL, posed by workshop participants. We discovered that a minute is no time at all!
FLAG gave a presentation on their objectives, philosophy and activities to date. They also made some lovely cakes..
With thanks to The Showroom for being such generous hosts.
All images courtesy of Hannah Clayden (FLAG.)

Leave Those Kids Alone! Teaching, learning and resistance through art


Image: Billy Tang

Leave Those Kids alone! Teaching, learning and resistance through art.’

A CHELSEA public programme event at The ShowroomSaturday 2nd July, 1 – 5pm.

The Showroom, 63 Penfold Street, London NW8

CHELSEA public programme, in partnership with The Showroom, presents an afternoon of workshops, discussions and presentations that aims to interpret, critique and reflect on connections between education, art practice and the contemporary political sphere.

This event aims to create a space for engaged, critical discussion around the idea of the educational turn, radical or alternative pedagogy, the role of the arts institution in supporting (or stifling) dissent, with particular reference to the recent protests and ongoing ideological attack on education as a right, not a privilege.

‘Leave those kids alone!’ features conversation and presentations led by Mirza & Butler, The Free University of Liverpool and a workshop led by FLAG artists group.

We aim to create an open space, with full participation by attendees and participants. Refreshments will be provided.

This event is FREE. To book a place, please contact with ‘Leave those kids alone!’ as the subject heading.

For further information, and speaker biographies, please visit see below.

‘Leave those kids alone! Teaching, learning and resistance through art’ is part of a series of events and projects Chelsea Programme has supported during 2010 – 11, utilising and critiquing the art academy as a space for dissent and discussion and for creating alternative visions of society. This includes If Not, Then What?curated by Cecilia Wee and the Imagining Commoniversity workshop run as part of the Transeuropa Festival.


Mirza and Butler

The ‘educational turn’, ‘radical or alternative pedagogy’ plays a central role in our practice as a way of unpacking terms in order to be able to both understand them, and fully inhabit them. To practice this we have set in motion a number of parallel processes. One of these is our founding of a reading group “The Aesthetics of Resistance” sited at Bishopsgate Library which holds a world-renowned collection on Labour movements, freethought, co-operative movements and collections on 20th Century radicalism. In this book “The Aesthetics of Resistance” by Peter Weiss, working class students seek ways to express their hatred for the Nazi regime. They meet in museums and galleries, and in their discussions they explore the affinity between political resistance and art. Weiss suggests that meaning lies in embracing resistance, no matter how intense the oppression, and that we must look to art for new models of political action and social understanding. We intend to present this project as a frame in which to talk about our contemporary participation in forms of direct action as practice knowledge, where the body acquires knowledge.

We are also part of a collective ‘The Precarious Workers Brigade’ and we are involved with a growing community of artists, cultural workers and educators who are seeking to open new platforms for Free Speech on Precarity and to fight the unprecedented economic cuts across the public sector. This has led to our participation in a number of interventions, workshops on the Theatre of the Oppressed and a recent Participatory People’s Tribunal on ‘Precarity’ held at the ICA. In this way we are working within networks that shift across critical thought and direct action.

In our practice we site these languages of resistance within “The Museum of non Participation”which is itself a provocative concept that talks about both the boundaries of art institutions and the sets of social relations of an artistic practice. This is this work’s political agency, and as artists we are engaged with what we describe as a process of de-colonisation, focusing criticality not only on the institution of art but also towards wider social and political realms of cultural hegemony. Thus as part of our fictional museum we have been thinking through ‘What a collection could be’ for the Museum of Non Participation’. A museum interested in the archiving and production of gesture and action, image/objects – a collecting of people around an action so that both the action and the gesture are what the museum collects. This is manifesting itself as a body of work “On collections and collectivity” and we are working on how social relations might be “evidenced” or represented, argued or proposed. How does one collect representational structures? What is the relationship of “non” to a collection and to the imagination? How can we think about non participation and the art object? or non participation and the object of art?


Free University of Liverpool

The Free University of Liverpool is run by a collective of artists and activists (aka The Committee) devoted to the idea and practice of a free education for anyone who wants or needs it.

‘Higher Education is a right for all not a privilege for the few. It is on this basis the Free University of Liverpool is committed to FREE education for any student who wants to study with us. At the Free University of Liverpool we believe that critical thought and action are at the heart of changing the world we live in. With this in mind we support, teach about and practice cultural activism. We believe in the strength of intervention, in the necessity of interruption and the efficacy of interference in the powers that seek to privatise and instrumentalise education. The current cuts the ConDems announced are promising to ruin civil society in the UK. This is the last straw! We will not sit here and take it anymore. We will rise up and educate each other and ourselves to FIGHT BACK!’

(From the Mission Statement of the Free University of Liverpool)



FLAG is a project exploring and exploding the ‘educational turn’ through events and actions moving in and out of the art school.Launched during a three day exhibition/symposium/live magazine in 2010, FLAG re-turned an exploration of art and pedagogy to the educational site, Chelsea College of Art and Design, as a venture between participants in dialogue with each other and the institution. FLAG aims to critically build on the ‘educational turn’ as it is found in the contemporary art world, bringing this enquiry back into the discursive arena and physical space of the art school – exploring how art students and others can claim and investigate forms of pedagogic engagement as part of their practice. FLAG has since participated in ‘PARADE – Critical modes of assembly and forms of address’ on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground with SALTbox, and in Department 21’s MA Degree Show at the RCA, and will be taking part in the forthcoming ‘Reflections on the Art School’ at Tate Britain in July.

For the ‘Leave those kids alone!’ event FLAG will be represented by

Kiki Claxton

Hannah Clayden

Mario D’Agostino

Katrine Hjelde

Synopsis for FLAG presentation/workshop/discussion

‘It is better to do nothing than to contribute to the invention of formal ways of rendering visible that which Empire already recognises as existent.’ Alain Badiou – 15 Theses on Contemporary Art (#15)

For the Showroom event FLAG will conduct a workshop involving all participants and presenters, based around three topics/questions:

1. Why is the discourse around pedagogy -which has arisen from the Educational Turn – being ignored ‘officially'(within HE policy), particularly in light of current challenges to education, post Bologna? What can be done to change this?

2. How can ‘group practices’ emerging out of the educational turn maintain non-hierarchal structures and work horizontally inside and outside the academy?

3. Whilst FLAG are interested in creating alternatives to institutionally-justified, pedagogic models, it has nevertheless received funding from Chelsea College of Art and Design. How can artists groups / arts practitioners best handle the potential conflict of interest that arise from being in receipt of institutional funding?Can we build transparency into the model, or are we doomed to be a co-opted into the institutional structures we aim to critique?

Imagining Commoniversity


Imagining Commoniveristy workshop – Monday 28th – Wedneday 30th March 2011

Imagining Commoniversity, a workshop led by, will take place within the context of the ongoing project Visualizing Transnationalism.

The workshop takes as a starting point the assumption of the University as a Common, to engage with the recent student-led protests in the UK as well as the protests experienced in mainland Europe. As a temporary laboratory, the workshop will connect and collaborate with the existing European group “Commoniversity” who met at Universidad Libre de La Rimalla in Barcelona last November., will direct the research and together with the participants try to imagine what a common University in Europe could look like, how it could work and what its role in society could be. Through mapping strategies, open collective discussions and the implementation of new media technologies, will build on the experience and tradition of British groups such as Archigram, to sketch and design the ‘vision’ of a utopian Common University of the future.

The workshop will be open to a registered audience (max 20 people) with an interest in education/university, new media technologies, activism, mapping techniques, art and architecture.

WORKSHOP INFO (represented by Pablo de Soto and Alejandro González) coordinated by Emanuele Guidi and Lorenzo Sandoval will follow different approaches during the workshop:

  • Presenting the philosophy and the research behind the practice of Looking at the experiences of avant-garde free-universities and utopian architects as Archigram. Presenting the history and current state of the art citizen cartography and data visualization.
  • Mapping contemporary practices and initiatives emerging recently in Europe.
  • A more local focus on the London and UK situation, the actual crisis and the protest movements so as to start a critical reflection on themes, priorities and urgencies that should characterize the University.
  • The methodology of the workshop will include the use of n-1, an autonomous and distributed digital social network set up by the hacker and free software movement as a tool for activists to organize and improve knowledge production.
  • One or more images will be produced in forms of maps and/or plan to research a possible representation of a common university. Augmented reality, through Quick Recognition Codes (QR codes) will be employed as tool to open a dialogue between a more classical form of map/plan/drawing with the resources available in the internet space.
  • One or more posters will be printed as in the following weeks as final result of the workshop and will be presented together with other posters produced within the context of Visualizing Transnationalism. The posters will be displayed in different cities taking part in the Transeuropa Festival both in form of ‘take-away’ installation and hung in various public spaces and festival venues.
  • A presentation of the workshops findings will take place during the Transeuropa festival in London and possibly a second city (to be confirmed).


There are 20 places available for this workshop, including 7 spaces for UAL students / staff.

To apply, please send a CV and short (no more than 200 words) statement (with ‘Imagining Commoniversity’ as the subject heading) on why you would like to take part to by Sunday 20th March 2011. Successful applicants will be notified by Tuesday 22nd March 2011.


Please note: this is a 3-day workshop.

Queries can be addressed to

Part of Transeuropa Festival 2011

Student Protest – Hackitectura Lab – Mapping the Commons