BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting Graduates & Tutors

“Painting at [University Centre] St Helens is a hidden treasure that the wider institutions should understand as a great success in terms of student attainment.”

Dr Magnus Quaife, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Fine Art, Manchester Metropolitan University.


Peter Cadman

Ali Kavanagh

Lucy Kelly

Joshua Mallia

Sophie Preece

Jenny Eden
Programme Leader

Wayne Robinson
Module Leader

Steve Strode
Module Leader

Fiona Stirling
Module Leader

Ian Greenall
Head of School

BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting


Peter Cadman, BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting

Peter is a painter and an art history enthusiast based in Liverpool. His paintings are driven by the confrontation between psychological imagery and its audience, to address the complexity of mental illness and its associated conditions, as an increasing issue within contemporary society.

Peter’s work engages with the struggles of mental suffering captured through the experimental exploration and play of paint. In an attempt to raise awareness, his work depicts distressing, obscure and exaggerated forms that invite viewers to consider the severity of these conditions and psychological disruptions they incur.

His research and creation process involve the interplay of drawing and painting, where one influences the another in a direct application process. An exploration of colour remains present throughout his work and is used to further intensify the subject and story of the painting.

Ali Kavanagh, BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting

Ali Kavanagh is an Irish painter living in the UK. Her paintings present imagined and personal worlds through an intuitive and immediate application of media. Understood within the context of Magic Realism, her work explores how femininity can be presented in paintings in a way that appears spiritual and unearthly.

Her work is inspired by 20th Century women artists and the way spirituality and occultism is depicted in their paintings and in their interpretations of womanhood and Feminism. She explores the connections between her own and these artists’ work, investigating motifs, repeated content and symbolism. 

Storytelling forms a major part of Ali’s practice where narrative is conveyed through subject matter and the language of painting. Her paintings suggest abstracted, magical scenes blending interior and exterior landscapes to make dreamlike, evocative and surreal scenarios. .

Ali works in oil on canvas as well as in watercolour mixed with other materials like candle wax. 

Lucy Kelly, BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting

Lucy’s work is influenced by the notion of absence and how this can be conveyed in painting. She paints from carefully chosen subject matter which enables her to generate the appearance of neglected and evocative space, reminiscent of everyday and commonplace scenarios. Lucy works on wooden panels because they have a smooth, flat surface which creates a soft and delicate aesthetic overall.  

In Lucy’s paintings she depict discarded objects and used or empty containers which, for her, is symbolic of the socio-cultural climate – the neglected buildings and landscape – of my hometown St Helens. By painting these objects, she is giving them a new purpose and turning them into something interesting and engaging within the context of a painted space, making them more than a forgotten or used object.

Lucy’s paintings, therefore, are influenced by the situations of her local area – homelessness, unemployment and deprivation – and the importance of these issues being acknowledged, rather than allowed to deteriorate further. She deals with the ‘overlooked’ and ‘forgotten’ and try to create beauty from these subjects as a way of bringing them to people’s attention. By depicting a glow in the paintings she wants to symbolise hope and change for the future, if something is done to improve these issues.

Joshua Mallia, BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting

Josh is an artist based in North Wales. His work employs a balance of abstraction and figuration with a focus on oscillatory, oppositional aesthetic relationships. In his paintings, he channels an engagement with the ineffable qualities of visual communication, depicting ambiguous spaces occupied by enigmatic figures in a place of mystery and ethereality.

Josh’s work aims to appeal to the senses and human emotions through aesthetic considerations, and to the intellect through the use of imagery, narrative and concept.

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