Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader
Dedicated to teaching both theory and practice since 1999, Mel began teaching at Plymouth College of Art in 2004.
Mel’s skills and experience are consolidated in her role as Programme Leader on the BA (Hons) Illustration programme at Plymouth College of Art, having long since decided that working alongside the next generation of Illustrators & Image-makers was exactly where she wanted to be. As the Illustration provision at Plymouth College of Art has grown from strength to strength, Mel has built a team of dedicated staff to help shape the identity and curriculum of the programme and deliver a high quality HE experience to our undergraduates.
While studying in Bath for her BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and MA in Visual Culture, Mel became obsessed with discarded books, abandoned photographs and seemingly random pieces of ephemera, and a recurring theme in her own practice is the exploration of juxtaposition to transform the use, meaning and interpretation of the things she finds. One of the co-founders and members of Bread & Butter – a Bath & Bristol based collective of Artists, Illustrators, Printmakers & Ceramicists working together to promote and exhibit their work - the power and potential of the collective and creative collaboration has remained an interest ever since.
Mel Brown (and research partner Elaine Garcia)'s research around experiential and collaborative learning investigated the potential of blogs to extend opportunities for peer critique outside the classroom, and their papers were presented in the UK, Europe and the US.
Current research interests explore play and the role of curiosity in creative learning.
As an Illustrator, Phil initially focused on children’s book commissions, producing artwork for poetry anthologies and fictional texts to be used within the primary school curriculum and alongside his practice built up extensive teaching experience across a range of Art & Design courses.
Since joining Plymouth College of Art in 2008, Phil has committed to his role in helping to shape and develop the identity and curriculum of the Illustration degree programmes. Specialist interests in Independent Publishing have been explored under the banner of Pylon Press. A support structure for the transmission of creative energy, Pylon Press is designed to enrich the HE Illustration programmes at Plymouth College of Art, providing opportunities to produce artwork for publications and associated products in a supportive, nurturing and curriculum embedded context, encouraging collaboration with students, lecturers and industry links.
Current personal practice explores themes relating to nostalgia; an attempt to reconstruct something that he ‘probably never even experienced in the first place’.
Since graduating in 2009, Ben has been operating as a Freelance Illustrator, working for clients in New York and Canada, to more local work in Plymouth and Exeter. Ben’s practice consists of regular illustrative work for large-scale publications and advertising, as well as the creation of products, independent printed materials, and exhibitions. All of these recent and challenging experiences have all been directly tied to his career as a lecturer; enhancing his knowledge base as he supports students with similar ambitions to realise their creative potential and begin to operate as professionals themselves.
Ben advocates an intuitive led approach to Illustrative Practice; promoting the creation of work that is independent of a single client, operating in collectives and developing a creative community.
Ben’s personal work is mainly based in comics and toys, recognising a rich visual history in vintage ephemera, married with contemporary production techniques.
Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration
Senior Lecturer, Undergraduate Contextual Studies
Jason is an artist, writer and educator with a particular interest in the detritus, flotsam and jetsam of the everyday. Other areas of interest include landscape, walking, critical writing, comics, Actor Network Theory, poetry and performative practices. Since 2001 he has been walking, collecting and archiving the city of Plymouth; this work has been realised in a number of ways, including published texts, performances (locally, nationally and internationally), installations, and public talks.
Having studied Performance Writing at Dartington College of Arts followed by a Masters by Research in Landscape from Plymouth University, Jason is a key member of the BA (Hons) Illustration and BA (Hons) Costume programmes at Plymouth College of Art, fully committed to his role teaching contextual theory and practice across the two programmes.
As one-half of Driftingspace – his collaborative research practice with the artist Sally Hall – Jason explores possibilities and concepts around space and place in urban contexts. Driftingspace attempts to read the city through ideas of architecture and the built environment, displacement, entropy and the ephemera of the landscape. The experience of walking and driving through the city, its transitional spaces, and its undefined places are all elements within their ongoing inquiry.
Caroline is an illustrator, artist and educator. She has curated and exhibited in numerous shows around the UK, including being featured in The Illustrators Exhibition at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy in March 2018.
She has illustrated over 50 children's picture books and worked with a variety of International clients over the past 20 years. Being a predominantly coedition illustrator, her books are translated in 27 different languages, selling all over the world. Her clients include Little Tiger Press, Sterling USA, Hallmark, Sony, Tescos, Walmart, Scholastic, Parragon, Marks & Spencer, Readers Digest and Matalan.
She runs various Masterclasses in art and illustration around the county, and works as a part time lecturer on Plymouth College of Art's BA (Hons) Illustration, as well as leading the MA Illustration pathway here at the college.
She completed an MA in Authorial Practice/Illustration at Falmouth University in 2011 where her passion for sketchbooks was reignited and a healthy authorial practice was born.
In 2012 she founded her own small press called An-Ti-Dote Press, where she publishes her own artist/picture books.
The first outing with her own picture book story ideas grabbed the attention of four international judges at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy in March, including William Grill and Anastasia Arkhipova. She was one of only 80 illustrators in over 3,000 entrants to be chosen to take part in The Worldwide Trends in Children's Illustration Exhibition/annual and world tour.
Sam Rowe is a lecturer on BA (Hons) illustration, where he team-teaches modules on sequential illustration, professional practice, and independent and self promotional practices.
Outside of his time teaching at Plymouth College of Art, Sam is a freelance illustrator working mostly in editorial newspapers and magazines, with clients such as The New York Times, Financial Times, NPR and The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts.
He has also worked as a graphic designer with Dyson, Bristol University, St Monica Trust and other clients. Prior to joining the teaching staff at the college, Sam taught illustration at the universities of Gloucestershire and Plymouth.
Bridgette Ashton is a part-time lecturer teaching on Plymouth College of Art's BA (Hons) Illustration programme.
Bridgette’s practice includes sculpture, printmaking, drawing and publications. She has staged a number of participatory art events exploring neglected or unfamiliar aspects of particular locations. Looking at redundant places, objects and archives - sometimes real and at other times invented - she makes scale-models, depictions and proposals that engage with the histories and narratives of the sites.
She has exhibited widely with museums, commercial galleries and alternative spaces in the UK and in Europe.
The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any
changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).