Residents – Bath Spa University

Meet the Bath Spa University graduates who make up EMERGE.

We have 35 residents - 25 individual residents and three groups - in the EMERGE studio, all of whom graduated from Bath Spa University in either 2019 or 2020 and work alongside each other and our Creative Mentor team.

EMERGE is unique in its offer as our studio residents have been selected based on their creative practice and desire to collaborate, rather than evidence of enterprise and innovation alone.

Our graduate residents have a strong sense of collaboration, and many work across multiple disciplines. All are striving towards creating a sustainable practice as they emerge into their chosen professional sector.

Residents: Art

Abi Charlesworth

abi charlesworthAbi is a sculpture and installation artist that focuses on materiality through play. Objects are produced through the collective use of play, materiality and touch. The forms of these sculptures are her unconscious translation of existing objects. This allows the shape to develop freely to become disassociated with the familiar. In essence, they act as devices of unlearning, freedom and playfulness. The need for forms to exist purely out of aesthetic relationships results in installations of balance and tactility. These objects gravitate and respond towards each other as if paused in the act of play.

Working media: Sculpture, installation

Afzal Shaafiu

afzal shaafiuAfzal's work, mainly paintings and sculptures, is based on the idea of symbiotic and parasitic relationships between organic and inorganic, tangible and spiritual things. By observing nature, and sometimes the interaction between people, he imitates such occurrences and tries to bridge these often contradicting ideas together. The work is also an extension of his own ideals of tolerance and peaceful co-existence.

Evolving over time and adapting to circumstances, social, environmental and political themes are recurrent in both representational and non-representational forms. In Afzal's current art practice, the paintings are how he looks inward into himself, as an intimate investigation of who he is as a person, and the sculptures are how he responds to the world outward, be it a statement or a personal opinion on issues that matter to Afzal personally.

Working media: Painting, sculpture

Alyson Minkley

alyson with black paint on her faceWorking cross-discipline and often with collaboration in socially-engaged, experiential art that explores embodiment and dialogue. Bath Spa MA Fine Art graduate 2020, Minkley originally trained in Sculpture at Kingston in the late 80s. After an early career in environment and community arts, Minkley taught Art and Design in secondary and further education until her recent return to professional practice.

Her work holds tension between traditional solid-state materials and transience in contemporary digital media. Themes include paradox of didactic systems in an age-of-information, political and social manipulation through media and education, challenging social-constructs and cataloguing embodied social anthropology.

As antithesis to working in secondary education and with an inescapable lens of dyspraxia, Minkley advocates curiosity, play and interaction, testing ideas, questioning boundaries and connecting; this is evident both as outcome and process. Art as a vehicle to engender dialogue is recurrent throughout all projects. Socially-engaged, experiential and contemporarily topical, Minkley works cross-discipline with dialogue and embodiment as enduring methodologies.

Working media: Cross-discipline, performance, installation

Chris Else

chris elseChris's work explores the materiality and temporality within painting. He works slowly in order to engage with the materials, existing alongside them and allowing time for them to evolve. His process consists of applying paint in thin washes of colour, and then removing it in order to achieve a stained textured surface that integrates with the grain of the canvas.

When there are no visible brush marks remaining, it appears as if the painting has always belonged there; rather than the painting being put on the canvas, it is engrained into the material. Chris is interested in the notion that a work of art can be a physical object in itself as well as a reflection of experience.

Working media: Painting, installation, DIY

Jodie K Maxwell

a multicolored sculptureJodie's works attempt to investigate a sexually ambiguous identity which may come across in the structures she makes with fabric or clay that resemble female and male genitalia. 

Working media: Textiles, ceramics, sculpture, installation 

Judith Rogers

Judith RogersJudith is an artist-curator who has recently completed an MA in Curatorial Practice. She is passionate about researching and curating visual arts practices that can activate engagement with the contemporary moment, with a commitment to prefigurative action and work from hope and with heart.

Judith's fine art practice encompasses a range of media including sculpture, collage and installation. Manifested through the plundering of objects, ideas, materials and culture, from which fragments can be taken out of context and find unexpected alliances that refuse easy categories.

Working media: Sculpture, collage and installation


Mark Burch

mark burchMark's current practice explores painting in relationships to retro nostalgia, and a manipulation of references sourced through vintage interiors, images, advertisements and patterns. Attaining the reference first is an important part of the process, as it will inform the formal qualities of the final work.

Motifs like colour, pattern, texture or composition will dictate the content and choice of manipulation; this being a criteria which acts as a tool to redact information. This initial selection process leads to a desire to edit out all unnecessary pragmatism's within the painting, to strip the image down to the core of his interests, leaving only the basic notions of form, depth and a sense of place within time. The abstraction comes with a challenge of reduction, but also gives space for the paint to perhaps behave on its own. Unexpected forms and affairs may occur but are always embraced, which aids to the ambiguity to the image. A juxtaposition of language and references will also make themselves available, depending on the interpretation of the manifestation of the reference.

Working medium: Painting

Nigel Goldsmith

nigel goldsmithNigel is a lens-based artist producing photographs and short immersive videos. His work is mainly concerned with the impact of globalisation on people and planet. Nigel has an MA in Fine Art from Bath Spa University and a BA in Film and Photographic Art from PCL in London.

Recently his work has appeared in the 2019 John Ruskin Prize exhibition at the Holden Gallery in Manchester, the Small Axe Film Festival, All at Sea in Edinburgh, TyPawb Open 2020 and the RWA Open in Bristol. Nigel was born in Carmarthen and grew up in West Wales, he now lives in Bath.

Working media: Photography, Video

Samantha Davies

painting of a woman with a sunburst pattern behind herSamantha is an installation artist making large-scale, wooden, aluminium, steel microphones, sound objects, and sonic installations.

"The work explores and documents a personal process of listening to the landscape around me. I am curious about how an awareness of, and sustained practice of listening, can transform consciousness through receptive insight. My sound installations have evolved through experimentation in listening to found sounds and field recordings, resulting in natural and synthetic soundscapes delivered to an audience in the form of interactive sculptures and spaces to inhabit. The sculptures bring about a heightened awareness of the listener’s body, signposting toward an interdependent relationship between the material and immaterial, the ordinary and otherworldly."

Working media: Sound, installation

Simon Taylor

simon taylor''Nature, place, and being present are all linked with our mental and physical health. Changing and altering our natural environment changes us.''

Simon is exploring these thoughts and collaborating with environmental community groups and wellbeing organisations. His art practice involves analogue and digital photographic processes, drawing, printmaking, books making, and explorations into moving imagery.

Part of his portfolio career includes freelancing as a portrait and documentary photographer. Simon welcomes collaborations and is a member of 44AD Art Space, London Independent Photography, and Space Place Practice research collective. He founded the Bath Photography Festival in 2018 as a non-profit arts organisation aimed at promoting and encouraging creative arts and community involvement.

Working media: Photography, drawing, printing, etching, moving image

Residents: Design

Alice Thomas

alice thomasAlice has recently finished her undergraduate degree in Graphic Communication at Bath Spa. Her creative practice is primarily focused around typography and more analogue forms of print, such as risograph and silkscreen. She also enjoys dabbling in motion, filmmaking and photography whilst creating a body of work that is direct, fun and sometimes even a little bit silly! She likes to take these processes and apply them to where her passion lies, which is predominately making zines, books and prints.

During her time here as a member of the EMERGE programme, she is looking forward to getting back into the print workshop, where she will be designing and printing her own zine each month. Alongside honing her practice, she is looking to establish her online presence to prepare herself for the industry.

Working media: Graphic design, printmaking, motion

Mateja Perosa (Perosa Design)

mateja perosaMateja is building her own brand, Perosa Design: stories told in linen. Textiles is her main medium of expression, through hand and machine embroidery and print. Mateja is also trying to integrate dressmaking into her professional practice, as there is an increase in demand of hand made clothing.

Working medium: Textiles

Megan Kimble

megan kimbleMegan Kimble is a Textile Designer who uses her love for botanicals and nature to translate into her specialist work of print and embroidery. Megan’s work often uses a range of processes to build surface patterns within her designs through illustrations that are translated into digital embroidery and hand stitching finishes. The print bases and embroidery techniques used throughout her work all closely relate to the subject matter within the use of found materials that are developed into unique embellishments.

Megan produces work that is tailored to a fashion clientele for womenswear and has made a range of products to support her practice.

Working media: Textiles, print, embroidery

Zoe Faulkner (Naughty Water)

zoe faulknerNaughty Water provides a safety blanket for all small and growing artists to turn to when they find themselves struggling for freelance or commissioned work. It provides mechanisms to maintain the growth and progression of their careers, such as clothing collections, print collections, pop up events and promotional campaigns. This is what fills Zoe's time as a creative and business owner, as well as being the printer behind the clothing and print collections that run.

Working media: Textiles, screenprinting, embroidery, business support

Zoe Gale

zoe galeZoe is a textile designer who uses print and embroidery to created fabrics. She then uses her own fabrics to create products which she sells. These products include lampshades, cushions, wall-hangings, scarfs, bags and more.

Working media: Textiles, digital embroidery

Residents: Media

Amy Gerrish

amy gerrishAlongside her decade-long career in digital marketing, Amy is a recent graduate from the Bath Spa MA in Children's Publishing, and now freelances in specialist digital content for publishers. Sunny Side Up is the umbrella name for both Amy's digital content specialist freelance work, but also a community bonded by a love of children’s literature and eco-positivity.

While these two streams are quite separate for now, Amy plans on unifying them into a positive, focused business that can offer creative digital content to a whole host of publishing and indie clients, while exploring offline messaging of eco-positivity through the production of magazines and child-focussed workshops.

Working media: Digital content, publishing, marketing

Freya McIvor

freya mcivorHaving completed an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, Freya is now channelling her passion for storytelling into creating quality content for small to medium enterprises. Her services include, but aren’t limited to, digital content for websites, e-newsletters, social media and blog posts.

She has five years’ experience in copywriting and creating marketing content for national brands, such as WHSmith, which she is now applying to helping independent brands tell their stories online. She offers a selection of affordable, pay-as-you-go plans that free clients up to work on other aspects of their business, with the knowledge that their editorial and marketing content is in safe hands.

It is important to her that she invests time into learning about and understanding each business so she can put together a personalised content strategy that captures and communicates its ethos, essence and values.

Working media: Copywriting, social media, digital marketing

Jonathan Eldridge

jonathan eldridgeExploring ecologically conscious ways of thinking about, valuing and interacting with urban places and spaces. Jonathan is interested in exploring people’s relationship to and with place, particularly in urban contexts.

His practice looks at new ways of experiencing place through art and place-based conversations which allow unheard of or othered voices to shape how we think about, interact with and value place. He often examines the boundaries and borders between different places, and how these act as porous membranes through which information and bodies pass.

''In a globalized world, our relationships to and with place can appear overwhelmingly complex, we find it hard to grapple with interactions between the micro and the macro, how we relate to the world and how our cities and towns are formed by processes, persons, animals and materials that have their origins elsewhere, or are completely uncoupled from any specific location. I hope to offer tools by which we can navigate this complexity and the fragility of our position within our inherited, dynamic ecologies.''

Working media: Writing, poetry

Kathryn Rose Brown

kathryn rose brownKathryn is a creative writer and currently in the process of completing her manuscript for her first novel. She is a children's literature MA student, bookseller, and graduate artist studio holder.

She also runs the Honest Generation, a story sharing project for young people (but is there for everyone!). The project is based on the power of honesty to reduce loneliness and isolation for students by representing the full experience of what it means to be young today.

Working media: Writing

Nigel Fryatt

Profile photoNigel is a social entrepreneur who fuses an ethical enterprising approach with a creative practice rooted in coding and performance.

“My creative practice fuses the outcome focused psychology of an entrepreneur with the process focused approach of a creative practitioner. I recently co-founded I BUY LOCAL, an online platform that makes it easy to buy local products from independent businesses. We all know the benefits of shopping local and independent - it supports local people; it’s good for the environment; it helps create a stronger sense of community and, importantly, it makes us feel good to do good.

I’m also supporting the growth of the arts sector in the South West through my work as strategic director of The Arts Show with Nik & Nigel - a radio show on Radio Bath which I co-founded with EMERGE colleague, and friend, Niklas Aarre. We're developing close ties with artists and organisations across the region with an aim to raise the profile of the South West so that it's recognised as the leading creative region in Britain. We're on an exciting journey to becoming a fully fledged, regional, arts organisation.

Finally, I'm a coder at heart and always will be. I want to research how ethical entrepreneurship, creative thinking and coding can change the world for everyone.”

Residents: Music and performance

Dumb Found Theatre

three men performing on stageAt Dumb Found Theatre we create work that immerses our audience fully into easily accessible, hilarious, punchy and poignant stories. We are a bold and brand new voice in the arts. We're always testing our creativity - trying new forms, experimenting and playing.

We collaboratively devise all of our work, each of us contributing equally to shows that evolve constantly, stories that we care about, and work that feels wild and alive, every time we perform.

Dumb Found Theatre is run by Bath Spa graduates Joe Topping, Jacob Aldcroft, and Aaron May.

Working media: Performance, devising, comedy, acting

Sam Hawkins

Profile photoSam is a comedian and writer who focuses on the surreal, satirical and absurd nature of the world around him and the people who reside in it.

“Writing, recording and performing are the cornerstone of my practice. I have a particular interest in Comedy Writing, Voice Over and Voice Acting practice. Through observation and obscurity, I unpick social norms through satire and hyperbole. This takes its form as audio sketches, stand-up comedy performance material and curated comedy shows in partnership with local comedy collective 'Fast, Fresh and Dirty Comedy'.

Through my work I intend to explore the incongruous nature of our world and our lives using humour as a means of relaying that information to an audience. I'm constantly in awe of the comedian's ability to neatly package a large and confusing concept into an understandable and funny piece of content. I believe we all need humour in our lives to help us cope with the bad times and elevate us during the good times.

During my residency I'm particularly keen to develop my audio sketch show 'Samthing Different'.

Momentum Acts

momentum acts logoMomentum Acts, founded by Dana Day and Naledi Withers, is an interdisciplinary theatre company that was set up in response to the currently changing landscape of theatre.

The aim of Momentum Acts is to make the often complicated work of Shakespeare more approachable, and to encourage audiences to feel comfortable engaging with his plays by allowing them to experience the work through an additional creative medium.

Naledi Withers is a Bristol-based actor and dancer who has also worked as a storyteller and community arts practitioner. Dana Day is a Bath-based actor and dancer who has taught in her home of New York. Both recently completed an MA in Performing Shakespeare at Bath Spa University.

Working media: Performance, acting, physical theatre, dance, storytelling

Niklas Aarre

niklas aarre

Niklas is a freelance theatre director and radio presenter. His background as an actor and his love for film has given the productions he directs a sense of epicness and great visual style. Nik enjoys telling human-led, intimate stories, targeting a 16-25 year old audience in order to reflect that demographic on stage. He strongly believes in the process; giving time for creativity to emerge within it. Nik’s role in the creative community through Emerge and the South West’s art community inspired him to start The Arts Show on Radio Bath.

'As an emerging theatre director, I have been hugely impacted by the pandemic. Fortunately, myself and fellow Bath Spa Alumni Nigel Fryatt have been able to start a radio show on Radio Bath, titled The Arts Show. This show's focus is to provide a voice for the local creative community, through conversations, performances and interviews. We aim to inspire and educate but just as importantly, to entertain. The Arts Show is every Sunday morning from 10am-12pm online at Radio Bath, on your smart speaker or on DAB radio.'

Niklas is currently in research and development for a new project, based around Norse Myth and Norwegian folk tales.

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