rhino for coffee

Ipswich Coffee Festival

The Ipswich Coffee Festival is a fringe event to the Maritime and Beer Festivals. It features locally ground coffees with beans from all over the world served in salons with media, lectures and live music to re-create the excitement of Enlightenment-era British coffeehouses.

Rational Coffee

Rational Coffee is the new student coffeehouse and junior common room in the old County Council building. In addition to coffee, it features Suffolk rusks and berry cakes, a Bookcrossing exchange, free WiFi, computer games demos and live techno concerts throughout the festival.

Sign of the Rhino

Sign of the Rhino is located next to the Ipswich Museum. The specialty of this Victorian-themed salon is tea and hot buttered toast by the fire. It is decorated with framed illustrations by generations of Ipswich Art School students. There is an acoustic piano and music hall singalongs are held on Friday nights.



double opening

Gamers from all over the world are about to descend on UCS for the International Board Game Studies Association XVII Annual Colloquium tomorrow night (Tuesday May 20). We are told the five-day conference will feature special exhibitions including a giant chessboard which would be perfect for that space next to the Question Mark.

Dave Parlett who gave a lecture last year on games of chance and skill is going to be there along with the British Museum’s Irving Finkel (the man to ask when you notice a tic-tac-toe scratching on an ancient monument) and dozens of other gurus.


UCS staff and students should check the events page for discounted attendance rate to hear about everything from iron age dice to Othello to spatial analyses of gameplay. There will also be evening film screenings of Going Cardboard: A Boardgame Documentary and the narratively challenging Last Year At Marienbad.

Hear some audio from organiser Eddie Duggan, who teaches Computer Games Design, here and here – talking to lecturer Diana ben-Aaron, Mira Shareif and Natasha Cornwell from the MA Journalism.

At almost the same time as the gamers are gathering in Waterfront on Tuesday night, the graphic design students will be opening Our England, a “graphic response to English culture.” The logo is tantalizing, with a teapot, bowler hat, umbrella and – what new symbol goes here? With the words in Gill Sans or a lookalike, of course. You can see the logo designs for both conferences, with a bit more information, on Graphics Design course leader Nigel Ball’s blog Dubdog.

hat trick


Tom Owens, Emma Voller, Alastair Bartlett, Melissa Belton, and Lauren Carter at the opening.

UCS visual arts students opened their third exhibition in a month at the Ipswich Art School. Seven students in the second year of the BA (Hons) Photography present a varied collection of work as part of the gallery’s summer showcase of area photographers.

The show includes dramatic portraits on sport fields by Alastair Bartlett and a double portrait and text excerpts from Lauren Carter’s documentary study of her grandparents. Emma Voller shows coppery soil studies and a water bottle label so weathered it’s become distorted. Melissa Belton finds interest in forgotten spaces like the backstage areas at the New Wolsey Theatre. Viki Simpson contributed retro-styled black-and-white images from her series “Platform 7.” Ren Parker‘s intimate photos focus on “the self-inflicted torture women put themselves through for ‘perfection.’ ” The collection is rounded out with literal and conceptual explorations of colour, grids, and numbers from Tom Owens, who also curated the exhibition (see his blog).

The exhibition runs until September in Gallery 10 of the Art School, a few doors up from the Ipswich Museum on High Street. The group will also show its work in Slack Space, Victoria Place, Colchester from June 12 to June 22. The DIG! Radius show of fine art and photography from UCS also continues at the frame gallery at 22 St. Nicholas St. through June 1.

wonderful world

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Professor David Gill‘s UCS Academy Lecture on the contributions of Dr. John Disney to classical antiquities studies filled the house on May 14, with guests coming from Swansea and Cambridge as well as Suffolk. The talk focused on Disney’s work in building his collection, establishing the Fitzwilliam Museum, endowing the first archaeological professorship and giving the field a profile – and  there was also discussion of trains and other Disneys. Beryl Beech of the Suffolk Poetry Society curated a small exhibition of historical documents at the pre-talk reception.

new talent


First-year Fine Art students explored themes of identity and locality at their year-end exhibition, Twenty Thirteen, taking visitors on trips around Suffolk and the world. The familiar blocks of a container ship featured in a painting by Peta Hillier. Jamie Limond explored the semiotics of flags, including sculptures combining metal and the Union Jack (above). He also showed landscape photographs and prints of local subjects such as the soon-to-be-closed Orford Ness lighthouse. Rabab el Shrife brought a vivid series of paintings based on the word “Egypt” (below). Alex Woodcock showed works inspired by a trip to China, including sculpture of a laborer, paintings on the theme of food, and a miniature folding-screen landscape panorama.

Children might be intrigued by the works made with everyday materials, such as the brown-paper-bag mummy in Katherine Raffell‘s “Wrapped.” Jenny Butcher used chicken wire, coathanger wire, egg cartons, and men’s ties to make individual sculptures fusing geometric discipline with randomness. Her signature work may be “Epidemic,” a triplet of lumpy yet regular reefs made from wire and plastic bags with the Sainsbury’s logo still visible.

The show runs through June 1 in the three floors of the Atrium Studios (West Building, UCS Campus). Additional works can be seen in the galleries by appointment.



IMG_8488Fine Art students celebrated another opening on May 1 in the Frame Workshop gallery at  22 St. Nicholas Street. The show runs through June 1 and includes Ian Moss‘s mixed-media sculptures using copper wire (pictured), raku birds by Rob Butterford, “water series” paintings by Cat Fuller, boxes by Anne Walsh, a stuffed tea-set by Sarah James, plus works by Jason Nunn, Anna Stollery and others.



Rain in Dorset (detail) by Val Jones

Fine Art and Photography students have their work hanging in top solicitors offices as their spring show Primavera is hosted by Prettys Solicitors, the fourth student exhibition at their Elm Street premises. The show began with a viewing on April 25, the only time when the public can freely view the work. Several pieces were sold even before the doors opened.

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Fine Art course leader David Baldry, Prettys CEO Paul Dickie, and Sarah James

Sarah James won first prize in the show for her black-and-white photograph “Saving it for a Rainy Day,” taken from her student flat.

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Ian Moss with sarah james and alex osborne in background

Ian Moss, who showed a series of paintings and multimedia works inspired by the granularity of video displays, won second prize.