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'Research' news articles

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Kingston University's new digital archive provides open access to historic collections

Posted Monday 14 July 2014

Len Lawley on a bicycle in front of Kingston Polytechnic signA new website showcases items from Kingston University's Archives and Special Collections. The archive is completely open source with visitors able to search, view and download the images.

The Collection currently features more than 500 historic images with many more to be uploaded in the future.The archivists have put out a call for more historic photos of the University and help with background information on items currently in the collection.

"In the coming months we will get many more of our historic photos online, to support research into the University's history as we head towards our 25th anniversary of becoming a university in 2017," says archivist Katie Giles. "The photographs will also be a welcome additional resource for other areas of research, including social history, women's studies, the history of education and history of fashion."

The first tranche of images relate to the history of Kingston University and its predecessor bodies, with an initial focus on Gipsy Hill Teacher Training College.

Items in the archive have been scanned in colour, but not retouched so as not to misrepresent the condition of the originals held. Images are scanned complete, or cropped to remove the rest of the page if the original was mounted in an album. Some are contact sheets - prints made from strips of negatives placed directly on to photographic paper - and, in time, it is hoped that the individual photos on these will be digitised separately to make them easier to search and view.

"Archives are precious but we want people to use them," says Katie Giles. "In some instances we don't know who the subjects of the photos are or where they were taken. We hope that visitors to the site will help us to identify them, by leaving a comment on the website or by contacting us directly. If anyone has historic images they could donate to the collections that would be very welcome too."

Gypsy Hill student Teachers students paddling in the sea

To visit the Kingston University Archives and Special Collections at Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames please contact the archive at least 24 hours in advance to make an appointment.

Kingston University's Stanley Picker Gallery given boost in Arts Council England funding shake-up

Posted Thursday 10 July 2014

The increased funding by Arts Council England will help projects, such as The Last Man held in 2013, to be given the chance to exhibit at the Stanley Picker GalleryKingston University's Stanley Picker Gallery will have its annual funding from Arts Council England increased by 55 per cent as part of a major shake-up of how its money is distributed across the country.

Gallery director David Falkner said the new investment of £240,000 over a three year period, starting in April 2015, was a major endorsement of the Stanley Picker Gallery's previous, current and future projects. The funds will be matched by the Stanley Picker Trust with the aim of increasing the reach of the Gallery while a new partnership with the Jerwood Charitable Foundation will support the development of an array of new digital commissions that may include social media, mobile phones and the Gallery's website.

The renewed backing from Arts Council England, which distributes public and Lottery funds to theatre, art, dance and other cultural ventures, comes as 670 other organisations were also told they would be supported next year. The figure was down from the current crop of 703 as The Arts Council continues to deal with a 36 per cent cut in government grants over the past four years.

The funding represented a huge vote of confidence in challenging times, Mr Falkner said. "We have worked hard for many years to support contemporary artists and designers, at crucial stages of their careers, to make ambitious new work that is first premiered here at the Gallery before going on to be seen by audiences far beyond Kingston," he said. "The increased funding will mark a major shift in our organisation and will allow us to be even more ambitious with our future programmes - especially with the Stanley Picker Trust also generously increasing their support for the work we do."

In the past year alone, Stanley Picker Fellowship commissions have been seen by audiences from across the globe with Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price, designer Marloes ten Bhömer and artist Andy Holden having presented to audiences at London's Whitechapel Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum as well as Spike Island in Bristol. Current fine art fellow Laura Oldfield Ford recently exhibited at Tate Britain in the highly acclaimed Ruin Lust while design fellow Fabien Cappello is currently showing in Useful and Beautiful at London's Geffrye Museum.

London area director for Arts Council England Joyce Wilson said the organisation was pleased to be able to continue its support of the gallery. "We look forward to seeing the Stanley Picker Gallery's ambitious new commissions come to fruition," she added.

The increased funding by Arts Council England will help projects, such as The Last Man held in 2013, to be given the chance to exhibit at the Stanley Picker Gallery

Kingston University academic calls for robust police investigation into evidence CIA flights carrying terror suspects landed in Scotland

Posted Friday 27 June 2014

Researchers behind a groundbreaking project which tracks thousands of flights linked to rendition are calling for a robust police investigation into evidence that a CIA jet landed in Glasgow after carrying an alleged 9/11 mastermind to a secret torture prison in Poland.Rendition involves terror suspects being transported from around the globe to secret locations for enhanced interrogation.

It has emerged that Scottish detectives are investigating the 2003 stopover after the alleged September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was taken to Poland. They are also probing five other cases which researchers say were part of CIA 'rendition circuits', where terror suspects are moved illegally between secret detention and torture sites....

Kingston University teams up with industry experts to discuss low-cost space travel at UKLaunch symposium

Posted Thursday 26 June 2014

Jack James Marlow presents at UKLaunchKingston University's School of Aerospace and Aircraft Engineering has hosted the first UKLaunch symposium, an initiative that could see the University help develop a low-cost satellite launcher for the UK space industry.

The symposium brought academics, students and industry representatives together to examine how the UK can get involved in the 'low-cost access to space business'. Speakers included representatives from the UK Space Agency, Civil Aviation Authority, Reaction Engines, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, and Nammo AS alongside Kingston staff and students.

Kingston students impressed the symposium with their knowledge. Jack James Marlow, PhD Rocket Propulsion student, explained the features of the rocket lab at Roehampton Vale, including the modular, bi-propellant rocket engine he developed. This is used by Kingston students and can also be employed in research and consultancy activities for industry.

Third year Aerospace Engineering students Matthew Edwards, Stuart Watson and Jared Godfrey also presented work from their dissertations. This included small satellite launch vehicle designs plus a possible cooling method for the bi-propellant rocket engine as well an aero spike design that can add an extra 20-40 per cent thrust.

At the symposium Newton Launch Systems shared its research findings, while other speakers discussed the technological options, economics, politics and UK supply chain capabilities involved in the development of a small UK satellite launch vehicle similar to a 21st century commercial version of the BLACK ARROW.

Astro Demonstrator

The eventual aim is to create a consortium that shares the vision of a UK launch into orbit no later than 28 October 2021 - the 50th anniversary of the British satellite carrier rocket BLACK ARROW and its payload, the satellite Prospero.

Syrian conflict captured in debut novel by Kingston University creative writing graduate

Posted Wednesday 25 June 2014

A former Kingston University student is hoping to bring a new level of public understanding to the war in Syria through her debut book 'The boy from Aleppo who painted the war'. Described by the Times newspaper as 'a moving first novel written with an insider's knowledge of the land and its people' - it was written by Sumia Sukkar, 21, who graduated from Kingston last year with a creative writing degree.

Sumia is of Syrian-Algerian descent so feels a personal connection to what has been happening in the Middle Eastern country and her novel, published by Eyewear Publishing, tells the story of conflict through the eyes of 14-year-old Adam, who has Aspergers Syndrome. Adam expresses his feelings through painting as he tries to make sense of the chaos and destruction around him....

Icon of British fashion journalism Hilary Alexander inspires Kingston University student's Graduate Fashion Week knitwear collection

Posted Wednesday 18 June 2014

She's long been revered as a doyenne of British fashion journalism. Now former Daily Telegraph fashion director Hilary Alexander has unwittingly inspired a colourful origami-themed Kingston University knitwear collection that took Graduate Fashion Week by storm earlier this month.

BA(Hons) Fashion student Camille Hardwick, who received a plethora of plaudits and was shortlisted for the coveted Stuart Peters Visionary Knitwear award at the annual fashion showcase, said the inspiration came to her while researching for her final year dissertation. "I was reading a quote from Hilary Alexander in which she said sustainable fashion was an oxymoron and I thought that would be a brilliant figure of speech to base my collection on," she explained. "I started thinking more about contradictory terms such as round corners, fake shadows and deliberate mistakes and decided I'd use them as the basis of my designs."...

Rankin and Times photographers put Kingston University student's Antarctic-inspired Graduate Fashion Week collection in the frame

Posted Thursday 29 May 2014

A Kingston University student's adventurous new womenswear range inspired by the expeditions of an early Antarctic explorer has caught the eye of a firm headed by one of the world's leading fashion lensmen and major national newspaper The Times.

British photographer Rankin, who lists iconic images of the Queen, Kate Moss and Madonna amongst his array of high-profile work, sent his top assistant, Trisha Ward, to capture a pink sheepskin coat created by Lauren Lake during a special Graduate Fashion Week shoot. "To have such a talented photographer who works alongside someone of Rankin's stature take images of one of my statement pieces was incredibly exciting," Lauren,who grew up in Exmouth, Devon, said. "I couldn't quite believe it when I found out and felt a huge surge of pride when I saw the final result. The photos depicted the bold, daring qualities of my collection absolutely brilliantly."...

Kingston University cultural media expert to share insight at British Library exhibition showcasing historical role of comic books

Posted Tuesday 6 May 2014

A new exhibition at the British Library celebrating the history of comic books is an opportunity to show there is more to the art form than just superheroes, according to a senior Kingston University academic.

Cultural media commentator Professor Will Brooker, who has published extensively on such icons as Batman and Alice in Wonderland, will be taking part in a discussion at the Comics Unmasked exhibition which runs until August 19. He said the fact such a prestigious venue was hosting the exhibition showed that a medium, often dismissed as being disposable, had come of age. "The good thing is that the event isn't just focused on the past few decades, it's going back to Victorian times and covering such topics as political cartoons and the role of comics in the suffragette movement," he said. "These days comic books are often just associated with superheroes but, as the title of the exhibition suggests, there's a lot more to it than that."...

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