Val Jacobs is the course leader for BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles. She has academic and administrative responsibility for the programme and looks after the enrichment part of the course: facilitating live projects, arranging visiting speakers, exhibitions, shows, study trips and visits. Val maintains close links with industry and employers and has developed a unique network of Industry Mentors who support final year students.
Prior to her career as a university lecturer, Val has worked extensively in the fashion industry as a stylist, consultant and as an independent designer, selling to Japan and the USA, to stores including; Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges and Liberty.
Val has also experienced working with a number of high street brands including River Island, Topshop and M&S. Her work has appeared in magazines in including Vogue and Harpers and Queen.
Louise Seager is a workshop supervisor for the BA (Hons) Fashion & Textiles course. She studied at the London College of Fashion, gaining skills in pattern cutting, design and garment construction. This led to work at Courtaulds, River Island and other London design houses. After leaving London, she ran her own business designing and creating wedding dresses and special occasion wear.
In recent years she has learnt new innovative pattern cutting techniques such as Transformational Reconstruction, a form of origami pattern cutting and vintage couture techniques.
Louise teaches the following modules/skills: Pattern Cutting; Garment Construction; Textile Processes.
Rebecca Alexander is a Lecturer in Contextual Studies. Rebecca’s experience includes being both a student and subsequently a member of staff at University Centre Colchester. Rebecca is an avid collector of decorative objects and vintage fashion. Eclectic collections of interior and fashion objects infuse her work in education and printed textile development.
Her freelance design practice involves developing ideas for print and colour across a range of markets for both fashion and interior contexts. Drawing plays an important part in the development of her work, which is often eclectic, yet always trend lead.
She designs prints for her own label, an activity that is highly relevant to her work as a lecturer.
Jonathan Kelham is the course leader for BA (Hons) Fine Art. Prior to joining UCC, Jonathan taught in Further Education on visual arts programmes in Southampton. As a visiting artist he has contributed to BA and MA programmes at the Universities of Sunderland and Chichester, Camberwell College of the Arts, and his alma mater, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design.
Jonathan is a multi-disciplined artist and researcher interested in the notion of a melancholic, romanticized and idiosyncratic Englishness. His current practice incorporates; drawing, digital imagery, film and animation, developing subjective utopian visions.
He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and an Associate Research Fellow of the Centre for Fine Art Research (BIAD).
Barry Hurd is the course leader for BA (Hons) Graphic Design. His teaching has always been underpinned by his own professional practice. Barry’s current work includes publications and marketing material for high-profile educational institutions such as Birkbeck College (University of London) and the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE)
Barry has, and continues to have, extensive industry experience as a designer. This included creative and strategic roles with News International; Senior Art Director roles with Dynamics Advertising (McCann Erickson) and Quadsite and design appointments with KHH and Random House Publishing.
Barry is a member of the International Society of Typographic Designers (MISTD) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
Christopher Matthews is a lecturer in Photography. Educated in New Zealand, Christopher’s professional experience is as a commissioned documentary photographer. His photographic work is held in collection of Te Papa Tongarewa (National Museum), Alexander Turnbull Library, Auckland City Art Gallery and Christchurch City Art Gallery.
Christopher’s practice spans a number of research foci, including an ongoing project about the photojournalist Kurt Hutton. He has already produced a limited edition portfolio of the photographer’s East Anglian work (in conjunction with the Report Archive) and a biographical text is currently in progress.
He worked in NZ film industry before coming to the UK. Christopher is the recipient of an Anglo-Israeli Award (1996) and Arts Council England funding (1996, 2005).
Neil Ayling is a lecturer in Fine Art. Neil’s career combines his ongoing studio practice with lecturing in Higher Education. He has given guest lectures, workshops and masterclasses at a number of universities, including Central St.Martins, Manchester Metropolitan University, Loughborough University, Plymouth University and Bath Spa University.
Hierarchy between imagery and materials in Neil’s practice doesn't exist. At least that is his intent. He explores ways to fragment, isolate, self-reference and manipulate imagery through the making process.
Neil also works as a studio assistant at Sir Anthony Caro’s Studio, Barford Sculptures Ltd, where he also delivers educational workshops for schools.
Sarah Sabin is the course leader for the BA Art & Design Foundation year. Sarah’s experience of teaching combines Higher Education with secondary school and outreach projects. She has taught at Colchester Institute, Colchester Sixth Form College, and a number of adult community colleges.
Sarah has been an artist and educator for over twenty years. Her art work interprets and reimagines sites and their histories, through making, public participation and site specific projects in the public realm.
Sarah also has experience of informal education/ gallery education programmes, including Arts Council England funded initiatives.
Dr Matthew Bowman is a lecturer in Contextual Studies and teaches the following modules: Critical and Contextual Studies; Developmental Research; Dissertation. Matthew has taught at the University of Essex and the University of Suffolk in addition to his role at University Centre Colchester.
Matthew Bowman is an art critic and historian who has published widely. His research focuses on twentieth century and contemporary art, criticism, photography, the art market, and philosophy in the USA and Europe. He has given lectures and talks at the Tate Gallery, The National Museum in Oslo, The Royal College of Art, the University of Nottingham and numerous other places.
His research interests are rooted in art history, especially art since World War II, and continental philosophy from Kant onwards.