Category Archives: Workshop

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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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

If Not, Then What? Workshop Opportunity – Call for Applications


Do you believe that you, your neighbours and peers have much more positive, enlightening and just visions of British society than David Cameron and Nick Clegg? Could you turn these ideas into reality and help others to do the same?

The project If Not, Then What? invites proposals from artists to develop and trial new visions of society with students from University of the Arts London colleges and members of the public, through a series of creative workshops. Leading participants through a process of ‘imaging’ a different kind of society, the workshops will create works to be presented in public spaces, including a structure specially built by artists Charlesworth, Lewandowski & Mann, which will be sited at the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground at Chelsea College of Art & Design from 1-12 March 2011.

A CHELSEA public programme project, organised in partnership with writer/curator Cecilia Wee, If Not, Then What? examines current platforms for democratic participation to explore how art and creative practice can create change in politics beyond the polling booth. The project will explore, develop and critique various forms of collective and local political engagement – considering itself a temporary creative think-tank for arts involvement with politics. Working within and beyond the arts and cultural sector, the project is inspired by the Coalition of Resistance (network of organisations spearheaded by Tony Benn who oppose the forthcoming public sector cuts and ongoing student-led protests.

In addition to a series of workshops by leading British artists engaging with politics, the project will also include commissioned performances, discussions and a series of programmes on London’s art radio station Resonance FM.

If Not, Then What? welcomes workshop proposals from artists working with disciplines including performance, movement, sound, visual art, moving image, and text.

The aim of the workshops is to encourage participants to imagine alternative visions of the future and to produce artworks that encapsulate and express these visions. At least one of the workshops will be focused on producing performative work that can involve a wider public.

We are looking for an artist with an inventive approach, excellent communication skills, confident in working independently under a broad artistic brief – someone who does not shy away from controversy. Previous experience of similar work is desirable, although not essential.

One selected artist will receive a fee of £200 to devise and deliver one half-day workshop.

CHELSEA public programme will support the artist in the facilitation of the workshop, including practical, marketing and logistical support.

If you have further questions, please email

Applications should be emailed to the address above by Monday 10th January 2011 with the following:
- CV and artist statement
- Website link or up to five images of supporting material (or texts as appropriate)
- Proposal (up to 400 words)

– Please do not send large attachments – use online file sharing services for files totaling more than 5MB

Shortlisted artists will be invited to an interview in London (or telephone meeting) on Monday 17th January 2011.

Image: The Grosse Society (counterproductions 2010)