Creative Arts and Digital Media Staff Profiles
People are at the heart of everything we do at UCEN Manchester. We believe that your success is intrinsically linked to the support you receive both academically and personally.
Our staff are experts in their field and hold a varied range of professional and industry experience. Their support and dedication ensure you are guided, supported and encouraged to learn and achieve within your chosen subject.
Explore staff profiles for our Creative Arts and Digital Media team below.
Andrew teaches our BA (Hons) Photography and Social Practice with Open Eye Gallery.
Andrew is a visual artist and educator working in Manchester. His varied practice reuses and re-appropriates materials to form new collections and archives of photographs and pieces of dialogue to build stories and experience with others. The stories tell of people and their lives, tales and histories. The pieces recall time, environments and feelings.
After working as a Photojournalist in the early part of his career, Andrew has since worked as an artist designing and delivering education programmes at Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery, FACT Liverpool and the Liverpool Biennial.
He has curated both group and solo shows internationally and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Huddersfield. In 2020 Andrew was selected by University of Manchester as a PhD candidate.
Andrew takes great pride from “having the opportunity to write a BA programme to inspire the next generation of photographers in partnership with the Open Eye Gallery, an institution I have long respected.”
Manchester born AJ has taught in many areas of photography and specialises in photographic practice and book production.
He teaches Digital Publishing, Landscape and Environment and the Professional Practice module in collaboration with Open Eye Gallery on the BA (Hons) programme.
The photographer and activist exhibits widely, having had shows at Open Eye Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery, Watershed in Bristol, Lighthouse in Wolverhampton, as well as the international Dagmar de pooter Gallery, Antwerp and the 34thsalon Chateau de Saint-Ouen, Paris.
His practice follows a reflexive route which is shown in his up and coming show at Exposed, Belfast.
Past published works include Driving Blind (Dewi Lewis 2005) and English Candies (Viewpoint Gallery 1995) .
A.J. has worked in more traditional educational settings for over 20 years and has previously run photography workshops through The Impressions Gallery and Redeye, The Photography Network. Wilkinson continues to create work and lives in West Yorkshire.
He said: “Our students have the opportunity to be part of a creative innovative team whose goal is to provide a great environment in which to learn. Through working together and focusing on pushing forward, our amazing students may enter the photographic industry".
Lee has had a life-long interest in video games and has been creating games for over 25 years. As well as gaining a BA (Hons) in Virtual Reality and Animation, he has worked in various technical roles and managed his own 3D studio.
Lee is Director / Lead Artist at Atom 3D and has worked as a technical 3D artist for a number of different studios and as a freelance. In addition, Lee has been guest lecturer at various universities, and has also led the 3D Games course at UCEN Manchester for the past 10 years.
He said: “I love all aspects of game development and VFX, with a special interest in virtual reality content and VFX for film. Technical problem solving is my main passion and teaching others to work on their own challenges is ultimately rewarding.
“In my spare time, I love to develop my own games either as part of a team or solo projects.”
Mariama is Open Eye Gallery’s new curator and was previously Assistant Editor of Foam Magazine. Before this, she was Curator at Photoworks, where she was responsible for developing and curating exhibition programs and events, including Brighton Photo Biennial, as well as commissioning and editing Photoworks Annual.
Mariama is a photography curator, editor and writer with a particular interest in the power of
photography to represent visual culture.
She joins Open Eye Gallery following a period focusing socially engaged photography. Bringing different voices, photographers and communities together, the gallery establishes projects in which the collaborative process is just as important as the final product.
She will be teaching and co-writing the two year qualification at UCEN Manchester while leading the Liverpool gallery’s programme as it moves more towards embracing co-authorship and socially engaged practice.
Seba Kurtis is our Artist in Residence and specialises in contemporary art photography. He teaches on several modules on the BA programme including Mixed and Multi-media techniques and the students Final Major Project.
Born in Argentina in 1974, he studied journalism in Buenos Aires before leaving the country for Europe in the wake of the political and economic crisis of 2001. His several years as an illegal immigrant has informed much of his work, which explores the
personal, social and cultural impact of irregular migration.
Seba's work has been exhibited internationally, with shows in Europe at Paris Photo, Centre Photographique, Normandie, Instutut Francais De Barcelone, Barcelona, Somerset House, London and the USA.
Recently his solo show Paraiso at the Lianzhou Museum of Photography in Quanzhou China received much critical acclaim.
His first book, Drowned (Here Press, 2011), was selected for the International Photobook Award at the International Photobook Festival, Le Bal, Paris, 2012. Kif (Here Press, 2013) is his second publication and was exhibited with a solo show at Withward Gallery.
Today Seba lives and works in Manchester and is represented by Christophe Guye Gallery in Zurich.
Seba said: “The students on this course are at a really high level. I would like to bring some documentary background and conceptual background to the curriculum.”
Paolo has been a practicing freelance graphic designer for over 20 years, working at a variety of small to larger design agencies with clients such as M&S, CocaCola, Tesco, Powergen, FHP City Living, Metropolitan Housing Trust, Budweiser, Commerzbank and Sanctuary records.
Paolo has recently completed a Masters in Creativity Thinking at UCLAN and currently runs specialist services in Design, Live illustration Recording and Spatial Graphics.
Alexandra is a multi-skilled creative with a passion for design and moving image coupled with an eye for detail.
During 10 years as a tutor in the Creative Media department at The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester, Alexandra has worked across a variety of courses such as Graphic Design, Animation, Film and TV and New Media, teaching fundamental design skills, contextual studies and importantly assisting learners to bridge the gap between academic and vocational practice.
She said: “Ideas generation, visual communication, mark-making, character design and storytelling are pivotal to my teaching practice ensuring I develop material that keeps my learners engaged, challenged and on point as they begin to make creative waves in the world of design and motion graphics.
“I am never happier then when unlocking the creative potential of the students in front of me.”
Alex has worked within the design industry for 25 years, working with small and medium enterprises, blue chip and public sector clients such as National Express, Manchester City Council and The Home Office. He has gained his industry experience from a wide range of positions including art-working, creative directing and client facing roles.
His teaching passions include developing a student’s visual proficiency, applying current thinking on how to create and communicate commercial design and advertising solutions, and also running application workshops.