Chair of Arts Council formally opens University's Daphne Oram creative arts building

01 November 2019

Canterbury Christ Church University’s Daphne Oram creative arts building was officially opened this week, by Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of the Arts Council England and former Director of the Tate Gallery. 

The building is named afterDaphne Oram, one of the world’s most celebrated British composers and pioneers in the development of experimental electronic music, creator of Oramics and a former Christ Church academic.

The building’s bold facilities for music, performance, games design, media, photography and graphic design will inspire and support future generations of creative professionals and entrepreneurs. Its design reflects contemporary working practices in the digital age and will showcase the work and talent of students and staff.

Over 100 guests attended the formal opening, including members and close friends of Daphne Oram’s family, Tthe Daphne Oram Trust, the British Council, the Lord Mayor, Councillor Terry Westgate and the Lady Mayoress, the High Sheriff of Kent Paul Barrett, The Marlowe Trust, Turner Contemporary, Canterbury Festival, Visit Kent, Canterbury Archaeological Trust and English Heritage among many others.

Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “It’s a pleasure to be here today celebrating a further step for the University in its relationship with creativity, with the arts and of course with the city.

“The University has been doing a great deal to encourage students to become involved in creative arts on their own part as well as part of their courses so to have a facility of this kind as a base to do that work – and to give students an opportunity to meet each other, to discuss, to develop projects together, is a very exciting prospect.”  - Sir Nicholas Serota.

“To have a building now at this University which is dedicated to the creative arts is an enormous step forward. It’s a step forward for the arts and the idea of cross-disciplinary nature and it will also play a part in the community.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the University to work much more closely with the creative arts sector, both locally, regionally, and nationally.

“The University partners with creative organisations in the South East to foster growth and equip students with the skills needed to succeed. Our graduates possess diverse creative talents, proven industry experience gained during work placements and exchanges, and make innovative contributions to a range of regional creative enterprises.

Martin and Vivian Cook, close friends of Daphne Oram, attended the event and commented on their lifelong friendship with Daphne.  

“I knew Daphne since I was 12-years-old until her passing. She was a fantastic lady, friend and mentor to both myself and Vivian,” Martin, said.

“She had an incredibly investigative mind and was interested in everything. She would be so amazed and proud that her life and work is being recognised in this wonderful way.

“We’re very grateful to Goldsmiths for reclaiming the Oramics machine and for forming, with the family, the Daphne Oram Trust to promote her works and ideas.”


Notes to Editors

Canterbury Christ Church University has well established and deep connections with creative industries and cultural partners. It is a long-standing collaborator with Turner Contemporary in Margate; one of the UK’s most successful galleries

It is the Partner and Principal Sponsor of the Canterbury Festival for the ninth year, making arts and culture part of the fabric of city life and bringing artists and arts organisations in Kent together to collaborate with professionals from the public, private, community and voluntary sectors. The BBC also runs a studio from its main city campus and University annually hosts the award-winning Canterbury Animation Festival, Anifest. 

A partnership with visionary arts charity, the Creative Folkestone, aims to help transform Folkestone through collective creative activity. The organisations deliver Folkestone Book Festival, engaging the public with literary workshops and readings. The University helps develop the creative content of the festival, shape its educational strands, and builds relationships with schools, the community, artists and local businesses.


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Last edited: 13/11/2019 16:38:00