Our Tutors

James Acott-Davies

James Acott-Davies

I graduated from the Masters of Fine Art course at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2016. During my studies, I focused on how to articulate architectural space by using different methods such as drawing, screenprinting, laser cutting and construction. The combination of the use of hand and machine really does have an exciting quality that I incorporate in my pieces. My position is to create works between art and architecture, offering an alternative approach to the articulation of architectural space. A primary focus of mine is to encourage the viewer to physically interact with the works. But more recently, I have enjoyed the process of and exploring the art of book making.

I am ecstatic to be a member of staff at Cardiff Open Art School and am very much looking forward to sharing exciting ways of exploring processes and techniques.

Sebastian Aplin

Sebastian Alpin

I began learning to draw and paint with books in rural Devon, spent several years in a paint and printmaking workshop in southern Mexico and three years on a Fine Art MA at the University of the West of England. During this time I have shown my work in Mexico, California, Paris, Bristol and Cardiff where I am returning to find inspiration in the kind of drawing and painting that first moved me to make art.

Running painting workshops allows me to look at the work of great artists and wonder how they made their paintings and drawings look so effortless. It is continually rewarding for me to attempt to understand how they achieved this apparent simplicity.

I believe that the techniques that open the doors to great work can be learned and practiced by anybody. It's not difficult, but it does require a change in the way you look at things and I suppose that is what makes drawing and painting so rewarding.

www.sebastianaplin.com

Gawain Barnard

Gawain Barnard

Gawain Barnard is a UK based Photographer who completed an MFA in Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport in 2009.

His Photographic work and research has mainly focused around the environment and people of his youth. Making portraits of adolescence and precise observations of their surroundings, Barnard brought new and fresh reflections of the once industrialised regions of South Wales.

Barnard was winner of the 2013 Aneurin Morgan Thomas award for best artwork from Wales, and was a featured artist of the 2014 Eisteddfod. He is also one of the founding members of 'A Fine Beginning', a collective whose aim is to discover and showcase contemporary photography being made in Wales today.

His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

He is also a photography instructor at the University of South Wales and has been teaching across graduate and postgraduate photography courses since 2006.

www.gawainbarnard.com

Nigel Bowles

Nigel Bowles

Nigel moved to Cardiff in 2000 to study Fine Art, from then has stayed and established himself as a printmaker, gaining knowledge throughout a range of traditional processes and developing methods of delivering technical workshops. He works as a Technical Demonstrator for CSAD, runs the Screenprinting Cardiff Open courses and also works as a Reprographics Assistant for Cardiff Met.

Nigel helped to set up and establish The Printhaus Workshops, a not-for-profit screenprinting workshop, working with local communities, running in-house studios and is now one of the Managing Directors.

Rory Buckland

Rory Buckland

I hold a BA Fine Art and have worked as a creative professional / artist for over 20 years; throughout the UK and occasionally abroad. I teach, exhibit, carry out residencies and commissions, as well as selected commercial work.

I work with lens-based media; usually stills but sometimes moving image. I am interested in creating meaning beyond aesthetics, although the latter has its role in my work.

My more recent output relies upon authoring as well as appropriating imagery to create new pieces of photomontage, often combined with language, to present metaphor or symbolism; each piece being like a jigsaw mystery, whose parts must be understood to fully grasp their relevance as a whole. It is my intention that they become richer through this approach; The whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts.

www.rorybuckland.uk

Giles Davis

Giles Davis

My background has been all about building brands: from advertising to brand strategy, design to digital, tech start-ups to consultancy. I have been on the inside creating and maintaining brands from cars to start-ups, banks to broadcasters from the local to the multinational.

I have lived in Wales for the last ten years and wanted to pass on what I've learned as it seems to fall between design and business teaching, yet is at the heart of both.

The course I'm running with Cardiff Open Art School is a concentrated process in how to create and communicate a brand from the first germ of an idea to global campaigns to keep them relevant. The goal is to get anyone confident in building their own brands from scratch. Along the way, we will learn that brands are made not born and there is method rather than magic in how this is done. We will draw on current examples and latest thinking to understand how there's much more to a brands than a logo or Instagram followers.

Freya Dooley

Freya Dooley

Freya Dooley is an artist based in Cardiff, having graduated from Cardiff School of Art and Design in 2011. She has been a COAS painting and life drawing tutor since 2013, and until recently also ran life drawing sessions at Spit and Sawdust in Cardiff. She has worked for Chapter Arts Centre since 2011 and has previously freelanced for many arts organisations in Wales, including Wales in Venice, Artes Mundi and Made in Roath. Her approach to teaching is to encourage her students to enjoy their work and find art and interest in unexpected places. Her classes are enjoyable and encourage experimentation, to challenge your comfort zones and develop your personal style while learning more about contemporary and art historical influences.

In her personal artistic practice, she works with writing, film, collage, sound and performance. Her recent work uses soundtracks, monologues and collaged images to explore the loss and leakage of the voice. Her works reference literature, pop music, Greek mythology, soap operas and other 'guilty pleasures'. She recently received a bursary from Jerwood Visual Arts, London, to develop her work with the live and recorded voice. Freya also has a collaborative practice with artist Cinzia Mutigli. They have been making performance, broadcast and publication works, as well as initiating projects and events with other artists, since 2013. Freya is a member of Syllabus III, a UK based peer-led alternative learning programme, jointly delivered by Wysing Arts Centre, Eastside Projects, Spike Island, Studio Voltaire, Invia, S1 Artspace and New Contemporaries from 2017-8. She is also a studio member at Spit and Sawdust in Cardiff, an artspace, cafe and skatepark with a creative programme, and where she currently curates the Billboard Commission.

Freya's solo exhibitions include Somewhere in the crowd there's you (working title) ESP Members Show, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, 2019; Speakable Things, Litmus, Oriel Davies, 2018; Rhythms and Disturbances, Unit#1, g39, Cardiff, 2016. Group exhibitions and performances include more of an avalanche, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, 2018; Syllabus x Tough Matter, Delicious Clam, Sheffield, 2018; Syllabus Mix at Guest Projects, London; Can I Be Me, Northern Charter, Newcastle, 2017; A Tribute to JB, FreeShop at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, 2017. Performances in collaboration with Cinzia Mutigli: Being Sharon, commissioned by Experimentica18 Festival, Chapter, Cardiff, 2018; You Will Get the Credit, commissioned by Holly Davey at g39, Cardiff, 2018; I love you but…, Glynn Vivian, Swansea, 2018; and On Record, a project and curated programme commissioned by Cardiff Contemporary in 2014.

www.freyadooley.com

Claire Hiett

Claire Hiett

I never go anywhere without a sketchbook. The importance of documenting your world as an artist, designer or craftsperson, cannot be underestimated. I see and draw things that interest me daily, and due to my passion for recording my world, I'm able to return to develop ideas when invoked by a memory or a conversation. The work I choose to develop is by way of a variety of processes, more recently print making, having initially been a painter, although drawing is an important visual language for me too. In the main, my practice has evolved to be more exclusively that the sketchbook, rather than a means to an end, has become an end in itself.

As well as working for COAS, I regularly run a variety of workshops in Carnegie House, Bridgend, where I also run a weekly Art Club. I teach for Bridgend County Borough Council Adult Community Learning and am a member of the Criw Celf Bridgend team.

Christopher Holloway

Christopher Holloway

Christopher Holloway is an artist based in Cardiff, Wales, working primarily in painting and drawing. He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally and has works held in numerous collections. He has exhibited his work in the Royal West of England Academy and the Discerning Eye Exhibition, where he was a prize winner.

Christopher has worked at the Cardiff School of Art & Design as a lecturer in Fine Art and has contributed to Cardiff Open Art School as a drawing and painting tutor over a number of years. 

www.christopherholloway.net


Layla Holzer

Layla Holzer

I am an Illustrator who works with painting, book making, paper cutting and puppetry to visualise stories that are inspired by the darkness within the real world, using poetic metaphors and uncanny motifs to help beguile, enchant and illuminate.

I have a BA (hons) degree in Illustration and an MA degree in Art and Design, both of which I studied for at the Cardiff School of Art and Design. I have exhibited my work in Cardiff, London, Edinburgh and Stockholm amongst others and have curated shows in Cardiff and London for the arts collective that I am a part of called Pack of Wolves. I have also delivered creative workshops in primary schools, for Widening Access at Cardiff Met and at the Stockholm Fringe Festival.

I am inspired and influenced by many different artists, makers and writers including Paula Rego, Jan Švankmajer, Amy Cutler, Paul Klee, Kiki Smith, Elsa Mora, Cathy Cullis, Katy Horan, Angela Carter, Marina Warner and Barbara Creed. I love anything that's colourful, patterned, whimsical, folky, fairytale-inspired and a little creepy and dark!

Tom Martin

Tom Martin

I work extensively with many printmaking processes including, lithography, relief, intaglio and screenprinting. I am also very interested in making artist's books and box works some of which incorporate paper engineering techniques.

Before joining the Cardiff School of Art I worked for many years at the renowned Curwen Studio near Cambridge working alongside such artists as Paula Rego, Patrick Heron, Ken Kiff and Peter Blake to produce their original prints. During this time, I also developed my own work as an artist and exhibited widely in the UK and abroad including shows in America, Korea, Ireland and recently India.

Adam Musitano

Adam Musitano

I completed my degree in Fine Art, specialising in printmaking. My work focuses on print as a sculptural construct, questioning the relationship between the two and the space it encompasses. I am now working towards running my own business as a freelance print tutor, looking to teach communities how to generate printed works without the use of a studio. I'm very interested in the D.I.Y nature of making and always look to make equipment for myself. I strive to work as non-toxic as possible and want to share my knowledge through my workshops.

Business website

Online Portfolio

Instagram

Vanessa Nicholas

Vanessa Nicholas

Artist, animator, illustrator and digital designer...

I strive to encompass as many realms of the art and design spectrum within my work and teaching. This enhances my ability to teach in a multi-disciplinary way that encapsulates a variety of contemporary themes and techniques across traditional and digital platforms. I am a self-confessed geek and I am passionate about vast areas of the art and design world including; animation, concept art , superheroes, graphic novels, digital painting, creature and character design, Harry Potter, Film & TV, model making, games, digital software, music, illustration, life drawing and graphic design.

Personally, I am a huge fan of short courses and am continually developing my knowledge of this ever changing and technologically advancing creative industry. Short courses can bring a sense of perspective and a breath of fresh air into your life, and being a part of this process is a wonderful experience. Current industry knowledge is a key element in creating new and innovative courses, attending courses in animation and model making at Aardman animation studios, alongside digital and traditional character and creature sculpting courses at Gorton studios & Millemium effects is ever increasing my knowledge. Everything that I am continuing to learn from industry feeds into my teaching to ensure the workshops are modern, contemporary and are hitting the industry trends and themes that are currently used in our expanding industry.

The creative industries are growing, and within the courses I create, I will be forming stepping stones and leaps for students to get experience and gain confidence to enter areas of the industry such as; animation, app design, games, concept art, graphic design, graphic novel design, model making or digital design etc.

The short courses and workshops will be developed to dive into these contemporary areas, and I am looking forward to creating new and innovative courses as a COAS tutor.

Karen O'Shea

Karen O'Shea

Award winning mixed media artist Karen O'Shea leads creative workshops in a variety of techniques, specialising in papermaking, stitch and textiles. A BA Hons in Art and Crafts, Karen is passionate about inspiring others into creativity and runs weekly workshops for adults, including for individuals living with advanced dementia and physical disabilities. She regularly supports community festivals in Newport and Cardiff, and has established an arts network to link the creative community living or operating in the area between the two cities. Karen's work is featured in the Benneton Imago Mundi collection. You can find more at karenosheaart on social media.

Margo Schmidt

Margo Schmidt

I graduated from the BA Ceramics degree course at Cardiff Metropolitan in 2013, having decided after 15 years of evening classes that this was so much fun that I would do this full time. Going to art school was even more exciting than I had imagined, and for three years I explored all the techniques and facilities on offer, and spent my holidays at ceramics exhibitions and working with potters and ceramic artists.

After graduation I spent 18 months at the Nantgarw China Works as artist in residence and co-curated four exhibitions of contemporary exhibitions.

In Cardiff I have been selected to exhibit at Cardiff Contemporary, Made by Hand and Craft in the Bay - maybe you have played with my pots?

AJ Stockwell

AJ Stockwell

AJ Stockwell studied Fine Art at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, specialising in sculpture and installation. In 2014 she gained an MA in Ceramics from Cardiff School of Art & Design where she currently works as an Associate Tutor.

Her work incorporates elements of performance, sculpture, collage, video and text to present complex explorations of our human preoccupation with accumulating objects. Borrowing languages and processes from fields such as ceramics, dentistry, anthropology, and mining, AJ often initiates conversations with specific communities, experts and family members to generate texts that enter the work as re-constructed scripts or narratives.

AJ has exhibited in various galleries across the UK and last year was selected for Standpoint Futures, Plymouth Arts Centre Batter St Residency, the Litmus 2 commission (Oriel Davies), NOVA Art Biennale and is currently contributing to the Rejoinders Wales-India research project funded by the British Council.

In her spare time, she practices clog dancing with the Cobblers Awl group and runs a signing group for female artists in Cardiff.

www.aj-stockwell.com

David Todd

David Todd

Design is my passion. Speculative Design to be precise. Actually, Creatively fuelled Speculative Design to be absolutely exact. I enjoy looking at the world side on, seeing things differently. Challenging the so-called normal perception of things. Why? Because it's fun! Why produce pieces of design that look like everything else and could have been designed by anyone else? No point really. I produce designs that intrigue, inspire and question. Invite discussions about the big issues, the difficult problems, the wider view of the world. Oh, and I do enjoy designing to simply make people smile with confusion. "What is that? I love it but I really don't know what it is!" Yeah, that's Creatively fuelled Speculative Design, in a nutshell.

Me? A Creative Multidisciplinarian: someone who looks deep into a problem and then produces a response, which is specifically designed for that situation. Not forcing a design solution onto it but creating something new. That's me. That's what I do. That's what I love to do.

www.toddology.com