Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication

  • Academic
  • Research
John Dargan

John Dargan is an Artist and Lecturer on the Visual Communication BA at the University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury.

John Dargan


John Dargan graduated from an MA in Painting from Chelsea in 1988, with large scale images about his family’s shared fascination with Football and, in particular, Millwall Football Club. In 1989 he was offered a residency at Ipswich Town Football Club, part of a larger project documenting various communities in Ipswich.

From this point John realised that much of what drove and motivated his image-making stemmed from his experience as working-class. He became concerned with documentary approaches to depicting aspects of Class and was initially drawn to making images of the environments he had grown up in.

By the mid 2000’s, John had started teaching sessionally at UCA in Canterbury, as well as making and exhibiting work. His practice had broadened into Moving Image, Animation, Illustration and book arts. In 2012 he was selected as Artist in Residence for Room, an Arts Council initiative aimed at raising the profile of the Arts in North Kent, resulting in a project about the Iron Wharf Boatyard in Faversham.

Prior to this he organised a multi-disciplinary Arts Festival in Faversham called Fludde. Two years later this was followed by Sham Fever, an interactive moving image installation in the Guildhall in Faversham. This led to commissions by Dover Arts Development to create a response to the Drop Redoubt on Dover Western Heights. John made a short films and an animation investigating the patrician and deadly treatment of working-class soldiers at the hands of complacent leaders.

In 2018 John was commissioned to respond to the Fleur-De-Lis Museum collection in Faversham as part of a project commemorating World War 1. This resulted in an animated installation placed in the window of the museum, with sound projected out onto the street. The animation detailed some of the activity in the War at the huge Gunpowder Works, the Cotton Powder Company, outside Faversham on the North Kent marshes. The animation focused on the treatment of the workers at this site.

In recent years John has been focussing on Council Housing on a series of works provisionally titled ‘Contradictions in the Built Environment’. This has had a variety of iterations, including a collaborative installation at the Brewery Tap Gallery in Folkestone, as well as showing the book arts at Book Fairs in Eastbourne and Bristol, made as the initial part of the project. This has culminated in an animation, currently in progress, that focuses on patrician attitudes to housing, detailing the underlying factors producing responses to the built environment that attempted to create affordable housing for working class people. 


Research statement

John Dargan’s work focuses on class consciousness and how attitudes to class manifest in in the physical and societal structures that surround us.

  • Research Funding UCA 2024
  • Arts Council Funding 2017, Fleur De Lis Museum, Faversham
  • Dover Arts Development, 2015
  • Sham Fever, Arts Council Funding, 2013
  • Room Residency, 2012
  • Fludde Festival, Arts Council Funding 2011