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.

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.


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.

Erin Donnelly

Erin Donnelly

Erin Donnelly is an artist from Ireland but based in Cardiff. She completed her degree in Fine Art at Cardiff School of Art and Design (CSAD) in 2022. She works in print, photography, artist books and sculpture, predominantly in wood and metal. Her practice often explores materials, their properties and their interaction within a space whilst also being informed by personal associations and memory.

Erin has just finished a year-long fellowship thanks to The Artist Benevolent Fund at CSAD where she gained teaching experience running artist books’ workshops, giving tutorials and lectures where she shared her practice with Fine Art students.

Erin currently works as a Studio Assistant to artist and lecturer Sean Edwards. She is a studio member at BayArt Gallery, where she is part of the artist run collective Wholefoods. She co-founded Wholefoods in 2022 with five other graduates from CSAD. They work collaboratively to organise events and engage with the Cardiff art scene whilst supporting each other as they develop their own artistic practices.

She has experience working as a Gallery Coordinator for ArcadeCampfa in Cardiff and as a Visitor Assistant for Spike Island Gallery in Bristol. Her recent exhibitions include a joint show at BayArt Gallery (2023) with artist Cassandra Davies, Dialogue, a collaboration with artist Rebecca Jones at SHIFT gallery (2023), and a solo exhibition Between Spaces at The Wholefoods Studio (2022).

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.


Jaime Fitzgerald

Jaime is a graphic designer with over 12 years of industry experience and has a (BA) in Graphic Communication. He has worked in multiple fast-pace design settings including; freelance, in-house and agency. Jaime specialises in branding and marketing and has worked on a multitude of projects on a National and International scale. 

 He loves the outdoors and is a keen photographer. Jaime also enjoys playing football, drawing/painting and spending time with friends and family in his free time.

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. 


Russell John

I am an artist, printmaker and sound designer interested in breaking down and reconstructing the familiar. I work with traditional and contemporary techniques to process imagery from found printed material. I have exhibited prints and paintings both in the UK and in Denmark, and have been involved with design, sound and music projects which have been shown at the British Film Institute, Tate Modern Cinema and the Design Museum London. At Borch Editions and Edition Copenhagen I worked closely with artists from Victoria Miro, White Cube, David Zwirner, Perrotin and David Nolan galleries to make editions of stone lithographs, screen prints and etchings. At Pentagram London I spent time working with Artist and sound designer Yuri Suzuki to help realise new musical instruments.​

Nikolett Kovacs

,​ Nikolett Kovacs

Nikolett Kovacs is an artist living and working in Cardiff. She has a degree in Fine Art and got her MFA from Cardiff Metropolitan University. Right now, she's diving into her PhD in Art and Design at the same university. She specializes in creating textured abstract landscape paintings, exploring themes related to senses, perception, and the embodied mind.

Her work explores the fascinating realms of our senses, how we perceive the world, and the intricate connection between mind and body.. The result is a captivating collection that communicates deep concepts in an accessible and engaging manner.


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

Karen O’Shea is an Associate Tutor with Cardiff School of Art and Design and a textile artist. She is a qualified teacher who is passionate about inspiring people to be creative, in particular to sew and to use stitch to express themselves artistically. She teaches art textiles and mixed media in various locations around Cardiff and Newport and also works for an immersive graphics rendering start-up. She’s an avid re-user of old textiles and haberdashery, taking inspiration from nature, the landscape and her travels. Karen’s proud to be helping develop the Llandaff Botanical Dye and Fibre Gardens at the heart of the Llandaff campus. www.karenoshea.co.uk

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?


SharhaGraphic Designer, Visualizer and Artist whose work reflects ideas in the importance of Feminist Principles in Graphic Design.​

I studied MRes in Art & Design at Cardiff School of Art and Design. Previously, I did an MA in Fine Arts with specialization of Graphic Communication from India. I have worked as a Graphic Designer at an Ad Agency and as a lecturer in India. I continue to work as a freelance designer as well. My teaching approach towards students is to make them reflect their creativity on paper with amusement. Because I believe if we craft something new, we should know about our inner voice. During past years, my experience taught me how a design comes to gender, how specific colours, fonts and images are associated with male and female and how we can change society through Graphic Design. Therefore, my primary focus is to relate feminism into graphics, and my inspiration comes from an ancient text ‘The Kamasutra’ which gives empowerment to females in their own lives. My research area narrates women empowerment through ‘the Kamasutra’. I believe ‘the Kamasutra’ is a voice for women to feel safe in this world due to its feminist approach. As a designer, I would like to empower women through Infographics and I am going to craft a new appearance of ‘The Kamasutra’. Likewise, the graphics I aim to create would work as weapons for the safety of females and change the misperception of men towards women in society. 

I am overwhelmed to be a part of Cardiff Open Art School, and very excited to share my design skills and techniques.

Stefanie Smith

Stefanie Smith

Stefanie is a recent graduate of the Masters in Ceramics program at CSAD and has been playing in clay for over 12 years. Having always been a lover of handbuilding processes, she started her ceramics career making slab-built functional ware in St. John’s NL, before making the shift to sculpture with her recent studies. She has exhibited both her pottery and sculpture across Canada and the UK, and has participated in a number of artist residencies around the world. Her current work explores ideas of play, whimsy, and storytelling.​​

​Kath Wibmer​

Kath Wibmer

Katherine is a Surface pattern designer with a specialism in fabric print and dye. She has worked in Fashion and textile industry in various roles since graduating from UWTSD in 2016. These roles have included designing prints for fashion collections, working in children’s fashion, designing garments for dance companies and exhibiting work across Europe. Katherine currently works at Cardiff Metropolitan University as the Fabric print technician demonstrator teaching students skills such as traditional Screen print, fabric Dying, machine knitting, and digital printing. When she’s not in the print room, you can usually find her hiking and wild swimming in the Welsh mountains.


The British Jungle series

Mission Gallery, Swansea, 2023

What is there

Cardiff, 2023

Hecho en Transito, Gala Rojo

Seville, Spain, December 2018

Three Choirs Festival, Hereford Cathedral

Hereford, July 2018

Creative in Residence, Hereford College of Arts

Hereford, May 2018

Maker in Focus, Mission Gallery

Swansea, August 2016

New Designers, Business Design Centre

London, June 2016

Freshwest- Held, National Botanic garden of Wales

Wales, 2015

Premeier Vision, Paris-Nord Villepinte

Paris, 2015, 2016

Creative Bubble

Swansea, 2015

National Wool Museum

South Wales , 2014​​