January – December 2021

Content refresh for Art degrees

Students in the School of Art and Design recommended more input in terms of digital media and software in Art degree courses.

Our students’ opinions matter a great deal to us and hearing this prompted the School of Art to write dedicated modules for the newly validated University of East Anglia programmes which specifically cover digital media!

To browse our School of Art please click this link: www.colchester.ac.uk/ucc/schools/art/

The Garden Seekers Project

Artist and visiting Lecturer Jane Frederick has recently completed a 9-month research and development project investigating the enduring appeal of historical formal gardens and their ability to provoke wonder and delight.

Her new ‘garden lens’ installation explores the transient nature of gardens and how we experience them in person and in our imagination.

Following the project launch at the online Chelsea Fringe Festival, Jane was commissioned to develop new work as the very first Artist in Residence at Hamilton MAS, the micro art space by the sea in Felixstowe, Suffolk.

Based in the recently restored Felixstowe Heritage Seafront Gardens, she began the project by examining how the privately commissioned gardens of Renaissance Italy went on to inspire the creation of Victorian public pleasure gardens, democratising them for everyone to enjoy.

Photography by Martin Bridges

Working en plein air, Jane draws, paints & films on site in combination with drawing from archival photographs. Back in the studio she combines historical & digital technologies by using antique lenses & Photoshop to develop large-scale drawings and paintings.

During a series of socially distanced seasonal events Jane engaged new audiences in and around the gardens, inviting them to reflect upon why gardens are so important to individuals and the community.

The Garden Seekers Project examines the past, present and future of formal gardens at a time when we arguably need green spaces more than ever, it takes inspiration from the early twentieth century ‘garden seekers’ who travelled Italy documenting the great villas and gardens and reimagines them for a contemporary audience.

The Garden Seekers Project is generously supported by Arts Council England and Firstsite Collector’s Group.

You can find out more about the project by following this link: www.gardenseekersproject.co.uk

New Accessibility Officer in Post

University Centre Colchester is pleased to welcome our new Accessibility Officer: Alexandra Chappell.

My name is Alexandra Chappell and I joined University Centre Colchester in early January as the new Accessibility Officer. I moved from York to Essex in 2014 to study at the University of Essex. I have a BA (Hons) in English Literature and a Master’s degree in American Literatures, specialising in Young Adult Fiction.

In my spare time I do a lot of crafting projects and enjoy taking volunteering opportunities when I can. In 2017, I completed a conservation internship on a nature reserve in South Africa and have more recently volunteered with Summer in the City and Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

In my role as Accessibility Officer I am available to assist all University Centre Colchester students who have disclosed either a Specific Learning Difficulty or Medical Condition and inform them of the support they may be entitled to either as Reasonable Adjustments or as support from the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).

I can also support students through the DSA application process and assist in the creation of individual Medical Plans and Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans where required.

Alexandra Chappell

University Centre Colchester students can contact me directly on uccsupport@colchester.ac.uk. 

I look forward to speaking to and meeting many of you over the next few weeks and months.

Samuel secures role on tour!

Ex Musical Theatre student, Samuel Bailey has just secured the role of Billy Kostecki in the UK and Ireland tour of Dirty Dancing!

Graduating in 2014 with a BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Degree, Samuel went on to secure an agent and kick start his professional career from there!

Samuel has praised his time studying at the College. “My time at Colchester Institute was a time in my life which I will never forget. I had the best experience studying on the Musical Theatre degree course. With great tutors who gave me so much support throughout and most definitely shaped me into the performer I am today for sure!”

“When I got the call from my agent to say I was being offered the role of Billy, I was truly speechless. I’ve worked so hard over the last 6 years doing small scale productions, pantos and cruises to get chosen for something as big as this feels like it’s all finally paid off!”

Dirty Dancing Tour

Congrats Jack!

Congratulations to Jack Chalmers on completing his initial ACS gas qualifications – CCN1 and CENWAT on Friday 12 November 2021.

Jack started gas training at Colchester Institute when he signed up for our BPEC approved Domestic Gas Foundation Managed Learning Programme (MLP) in February 2020 just weeks before the first national lockdown. Jack endured two college closures due to COVID-19 and finally completed his MLP in July 2021, nearly 12 months after the expected course completion date!

Jack was an outstanding candidate with great potential for a career in the plumbing, heating, gas and renewables industry.  Jack was supported throughout his training by his employer AJS Gas and Heating Services who helped him build his on-site training portfolio. 

Jack is the first from the February 2020 cohort to complete his ACS accreditation and is now able to apply to join the Gas Safe Register.

We wish Jack every success in his chosen career and look forward to seeing him again in the future.

Jack Chalmers

Group photo left to right: Steve Denney – Gas Tutor, Jack Chalmers, Andy Burcham – Gas Tutor, Justin Sage – Gas Assessor

Business Students raise money for the Rotary Club

In December, the BTEC Extended Diploma Business students helped support the Rotary Club of Colchester Camulos donate 25 Christmas meals to Home Start families. Business students here at Colchester Institute hosted a Christmas raffle in reception and raised a total of £262.20. As well as this students also organised various food collection boxes around the campus.

The Rotary Club of Colchester Camulos also held various other fundraising activities and raised a total of £1973.41, meaning the full 25 Christmas meals were successfully donated along with several boxes of food for families.