Literature-inspired art festival launches in Lincoln


A nightclub, a church, an underground Roman gateway and a 12th century Guildhall once used for storing royal wines are some of the unusual locations which will be transformed by a new literature-inspired arts festival.

Running for a week from Monday 4th May 2015 at venues across the city of Lincoln, UK, the event will offer audiences the chance to experience interactive installations inspired by the late American author Kurt Vonnegut.Vonnegut, described as ’the counterculture’s novelist’, was a prisoner of war during World War II and survived the bombing of Dresden in an underground slaughterhouse meat locker used as an ad-hoc detention facility. This was the inspiration for his most famous novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, and his experience of war had a profound influence on much of his work.

The Vonnegut Arts Festival, launched by a group of 30 creative students from the School of Fine & Performing Arts at the University of Lincoln, will include five exhibitions located across the historic city. It will celebrate some of Vonnegut’s most acclaimed work and encourage new audiences to experience art through different mediums.

The festival is being organised by Jessica Smith and Ellen Young, both students on Lincoln’s Fine Art undergraduate degree.

Jessica said: “Bringing together emerging young artists studying at the University of Lincoln, we hope this exhibition will make art more readily available in Lincoln. The five exhibitions will be spread across the city in venues that may well be familiar to people, but which may not ordinarily be associated with art. By exhibiting in places that people are likely to visit as part of their daily lives, we hope to encourage new audiences to experience our work.”

Each of the exhibitions will draw on themes from a different Vonnegut novel. Slaughterhouse-Five will open in The Scene nightclub, Mother Night will take place in the ancient St. Swithin’s Church and The Sirens of Titan will transform Posterngate – the underground Roman gateway hidden underneath a bank in the centre of Lincoln.

The God Bless You, Mr Rosewater exhibition will take place in the basement of Circle nightclub, while Timequake will be housed in St Mary’s Guildhall – thought to have been the property of Henry II and built for the crown-wearing ceremonies of Christmas 1157. Since its construction in the 12th century, the building has been used for royal wine storage, as a Guildhall, school, undertakers, shop, council venue, and now a temporary exhibition space.

The festival will include interactive artwork from painters, digital and sound artists, sculptors and textile makers, many of whom will draw on the theme of time – a prevalent subject throughout Vonnegut’s novels.

Installations include a specially-crafted paint machine, through which the artist relinquishes control of the final artwork and encourages the audience to take part in its creation, and a sound recorder which takes its audience back in time to hear their own voice of the past.

Paul Edwards, Senior Lecturer in the School of Fine & Performing Arts, said: “All the students have been creative and dynamic in the way that they have managed this ambitious, site-specific project that requires finding venues not ordinarily associated with the visual arts and then making work that negotiates the peculiarities, limitations and opportunities of each location.”

Details on exhibition premiers and opening times are available via the Vonnegut Arts Festival Facebook page:

Story credits: Elizabeth Allen

Journalism Graduate Scoops Top Award

Natasha Turney
A graduate from the University of Lincoln has been named Journalism Student of the Year at the inaugural Midlands Media Student Awards.

Natasha Turney was awarded the accolade by Sky News Managing Editor Peter Lowe, who headed the judging panel.Natasha’s film, Death of a Clown, which was produced while Natasha was an undergraduate student at Lincoln’s School of English & Journalism, was named winner of the ‘Culture’ category at the awards ceremony. She then went on to receive the most prestigious award of the night, ahead of the winners from eight other categories.

Death of a Clown
is a ten-minute film about the difficult times faced by people who run circuses and those who work in them.

Peter Lowe said: “The fusion of her minimalistic scripting, the interviews and the excellent pictures, for which Natasha was responsible, resulted in a very rich, beautifully-paced piece. All the winners have enormous merit, but I think Natasha showed the greatest amount of quality and creativity in her work.”

In addition to picking up her trophy, Natasha won a six-week internship with Trinity Mirror titles in the Midlands, which include the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Coventry Telegraph and Sunday Mercury. Now working as a broadcast assistant at BBC Lincolnshire, Natasha studied Journalism and radio and television broadcasting at the University of Lincoln from 2011-2014.

Fellow Journalism graduate Emma Everitt also received an award on the night for her film, Ups and Downs of Education. Emma’s production was named as the winner of the Social Economics category.

Also shortlisted for awards were Jonathan Hart for his long-form radio, and Anna Paterson for her film work.

John Cafferkey, Senior Lecturer in the School of English & Journalism, said: “Once again, Journalism students from the University of Lincoln have been recognised for their excellence. We are really proud of the graduates who were nominated and of Natasha and Emma for their wins. For Natasha to receive the Student Journalist of the Year Award shows that our graduates are not just competing with other Journalism graduates, they are leading the way.”

The awards, launched to recognise the emerging talent of next-generation journalists and broadcasters, were organised by Cloud 9 Event Management as part of Birmingham Press Club’s 150th anniversary celebrations. They attracted more than 110 entries from media students throughout the East and West Midlands.


Story Credits: Elizabeth Allen

Creative Careers Week


Not sure what to do after you graduate? Maybe you need help making your CV stand out in the creative industries? Wondering about going freelance, but not sure where to start? Creative Careers Week is the place to be to answer all these questions and many more! From the 26th-29th of May the Careers and Employability Team are hosting a week of workshops and talks to help and advise you. The sessions are free and open to students at all levels. For more information visit the Careers & Employability site.

Lincoln Lecturer shortlisted for BAFTA Craft Award

Grant Bridgeman, who teaches in the Lincoln School of Film & Media, has been shortlisted alongside his team in the Best Sound (Fiction) category at the BAFTA Craft Awards 2015.

The annual  British Academy Television Craft Awards honour the very best behind-the-scenes talent working in television. This year a diverse range of programmes will compete for the coveted BAFTA masks. Contenders include the teams behind fantasy drama Da Vinci’s Demons; historical crime drama Peaky Blinders; and Saturday-night favourite Strictly Come Dancing.

Grant has been nominated for his work as a sound-recordist on Cilla, alongside colleagues Richard Davey, Simon Gershon and Keith Marriner. They will compete with the sound teams behind Sherlock, That Day We Sang and The Missing for the BAFTA Craft Award, which will be presented at a glittering ceremony in London on Sunday 26th April.

Cilla is a British drama television series about the early career of Cilla Black. It was broadcast in three parts on ITV in 2014, with Sheridan Smith playing the starring role. The series is based around Black’s hometown of Liverpool and follows her rise to fame from 1960 amateur appearances in local clubs.

Speaking about his nomination, Grant Bridgeman said: “Being nominated for the BAFTA Craft Award for Best Sound (Fiction) for Cilla is truly amazing. My sound team on set (Sarah Howe, Gareth Duffy, Ryan McMurray and Sally Hesketh) did an amazing job of capturing the dialogue and live singing performances from the brilliant cast. We were using a combination of the latest sound recording technology with fully-working period microphones to capture the sound of the period as accurately as we possibly could.

“The post-production work was overseen by Richard Davey (with Keith Marriner and Simon Gershon) at Jumbuck, who took the whole piece from the sound on set to the vibrant sound of the sixties. It was such an enjoyable job to do as it felt the whole crew were pulling together to help capture those fantastic audio performances.”

Stephen Mangan will host the British Academy Television Craft Awards on 26 April at The Brewery in London. He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be back for the fourth time as host of the British Academy Television Craft Awards, representing the very best in television. A BAFTA is one of the most prestigious awards to receive in the world and it’s always a great night.”

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