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Panel Discussion:

Inspired by the exhibition, Plastic Matter, the panel will include those from the arts and from different disciplines at the University of Hertfordshire.

15:45  Arrive and take seats

16:00 Short talks and facilitated panel discussion

18:00 Close

There will be a short break with light refreshments.

We welcome your questions and ideas.

Information on Talks and Speakers:

Do Not Re-Cycle: Re-Purposing, Re-Using and Re-Thinking our Re-Cycling. A journey into waste.

John Beaufoy, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer of BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design at University of Hertfordshire

Currently approximately 66% of all consumer packaging ends up in land-fill. This project explores through research, design and making, if we can make better use of this material in its present state and questions current design and manufacturing paradigms along the way. The aims were to examine the lifecycle of single use plastic, and consider how we could as designers view this material as a resource rather than waste.

Small World Making

David Kefford is an artist, Senior Lecturer and co-Programme Leader of Fine Art at University of Hertfordshire

This talk will give an insight into the artists practice and methodology with a focus on the work presented in Plastic Matter. This collection of ‘pocket sculptures’ utilise small-scale junk items – plastic fragments, bottle tops, paper, wire – gathered on everyday walks around his local surroundings and contain the geological and psychological memories of our fragile environment and fragmented society. David will discuss the role of improvised play and the use of plastic as a material in the act of making sculpture within a social and relational context and how this has influenced his approach to teaching.

The search for Repetition

Dr. Jill Townsley is an artist and senior lecturer in Contemporary Art at the University of Huddersfield, she is also an artist expert to the European commission.

Jill will discuss how her search for repetition has resulted in an interest in materials that offer a multiplicity, materials such as low-value multiple objects, including mass produced throw away plastics. Multiple objects that act in a singular way when a repeat action or process is applied to them. She will discuss ideas presented through her work that consider how our individual actions, rituals or daily processes, can accumulate through repetition to become more than the sum of the parts. Challenging our relationship to the process of repetition, from the role it can take in our everyday lives and then accumulatively in our environment.


John Beaufoy is the Programme Leader and a Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design course. John has over 40 years’ experience of the design industry, starting as a design-engineering apprentice at Dunlop in Coventry. Within the areas of consumer product design, toys, childcare, automobile components and packaging, he has worked on many products from concept through to manufacture, that have gone to market. John is a member of the Design Research group and is interested in issues of plastic waste and the future of sustainable materials for manufacturing within consumer product design. He has a MA in Product Design from the University of Hertfordshire.

David Kefford is Senior Lecturer and co-Programme Leader of Fine Art at University of Hertfordshire. His work has been extensively exhibited and commissioned in the UK and internationally. He is founding member of artist run group, Aid & Abet in Cambridge.s David is one of the exhibiting artists in Plastic Matter

Dr Jill Townsley is currently an ‘Artist Expert’ for the EU Commission, and has been artist in residence at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Italy. The JRC is a community of researchers appointed to advise EU policy. She is also a senior lecturer in Contemporary art at the University of Huddersfield. Her work explores ideas around repetition, process and scientific collaboration, predominantly through large-scale sculpture and installation, often including time-based media, especially time-lapse animation that documents her process, or the temporality of her large sculptures. Jill is one of the exhibiting artists in Plastic Matter.

This event is part of our Plastic Matter exhibition

Exhibiting Artists:

Seyi Adelekun, Maria Arceo, Camilla Brendon, Hilary Jack, David Kefford, Steve McPherson, Jill Townsley and Daniel Webb

A group exhibition exploring different aspects of plastic