About Alan Dedman

Alan Dedman was born in East Anglia; after a brief time at Waterperry near Oxford, while his father studied horticulture, he grew up in the Fens. The Dedmans had a small-holding; Alan worked on the land – physically demanding, with very early starts.

Alan Dedman at the Royal Academy Schools

He was advised to pursue a career in Art & Design, first going to study at the Norfolk College of Arts and Technology (NORCAT) in King’s Lynn, alongside the likes of Stephen Fry and Delissa Needham. Afterwards he went to Great Yarmouth College of Art and Design (GYCAD) to do Foundation studies before attending St. Martins School of Art in central London.

photo of St Martins
St. Martin’s School of Art, 107 Charing Cross Road, London WC1

Yarmouth was a wheeze, albeit a short one. At St. Martins he focused on illustration but didn’t enjoy design or designers. He was more at ease amongst ‘the Fine Art’, as it was known. To pay the rent, he took a job as a doorman at the Doll’s House Strip-tease Revue in London’s famous Soho district. Working for the Sicilians, he saw more of life than many of his peers. 

The Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London W1

It was a great achievement for him to gain entry to the Royal Academy Schools (RAS) for post-graduate studies in Fine Art (painting). He was the only student among his cohort at St. Martins to do so. The RAS was a completely different kettle of fish, where people kept to themselves and were left to get on with it. This was during the Greenham era, when working from life for the first year was mandatory.

Colour photo of Alan & Max Dedman on Hive Beach
Alan & Anna Dedman

He travelled in Asia and returned to live in the West Country where he took up Forestry, working as a cutter on clear fells (lumberjack). He studied at Cannington College in Somerset and Newton Rigg in Cumbria before resuming his Art practice.


Living in London, he kept studios in and around the city centre. His work is based on learning he encountered whilst a student at the Royal Academy Schools, where drawing the nude was a foremost part of the curriculum. His tutors included Norman Blamey RA, Peter Greenham RA and Olwyn Bowey RA plus others. Alan maintains links with Nick Ward who taught him drawing at Great Yarmouth.

Creative practices are an antidote to nihilism and are more important than ever as we face the onset of automation. Alan keeps a studio where he combines the formal and experimental. He has developed and constructed contraptions for spin-painting and utilizes this with Classical procedures. Alan has introduced working from life, into spin painting.

He is a member of the Royal Academy Schools East Anglian Group (RASEAG)

See this blog’s landing page for latest events and artworks by Alan Dedman.

Educational work

Alan Dedman first taught in Kent during the 1980s under the auspices of Kent Language and Activities Courses (KLAC). Later he worked at the College of North East London (CONEL).

Alan Dedman at Bath Spa University

Alan took a PGCE from Bath Spa University;he taught extensively on adult education curriculums throughout the region. He also worked with life-sentenced offenders in the prison service and has given lectures at the National Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Microsoft Foundation and Barclays Bank. He helped present ‘African Art in Glasgow‘ on behalf of Chief Josephine Oboh MacLeod.

Alan runs his own educational enterprises producing residential sketching trips plus drawing and creativity courses. He provides one to one tuition remotely, (teaching via Zoom) has worked for the London Art College (LAC) and presents life-drawing workshops in London and Suffolk.

Alan Dedman in the life-room at the Royal Academy Schools

Hobbies, interests and personal life

Alan realised ‘he had a talent’, when successfully preventing older lads at school from bullying him. He developed his skills through martial arts, joining various clubs in East Anglia and the capital. In London he was privileged to train under South Korean Master JH Yoon.

Sirsasana at Waterperry

Alan currently runs men’s yoga classes in the West Country, which is a more peaceful application of Oriental health systems derived from martial arts. He is married to Anna, they have a son Max, who is an aviator.

See this blog’s landing page for latest events and artworks by Alan Dedman.

Photo’s by Casey Moore, Christopher Dee and Julian Wakeling


  1. Saima Jalil

    Dear Sir,
    Hope you are fine. I would like to request for your email address in order to communicate about my upcoming events of arts and delay in next submission.
    Please reply.
    God bless.

  2. Hello Saima,
    please go through messages in LAC admin for this. Best wishes

  3. Robin Smith

    Hi Alan
    I’m delighted to discover that anyone who attended GYCAD still has any involvement in Art and or Design. Delighted to see a photo of a young Colin Giles, and have recently been looking for any surviving evidence of George Bass’ life and work. My email is below if you fancy a word

  4. Simon Bond

    Hi Alan, enjoyed your website, found it after doing an image search for Nick Ward after going to see his exhibition in Holt a couple of weeks ago. Brought tears to my eyes, his work is exquisite. Enjoyed your memories of GYCA&D. I was there as a student 1980-82, and basically hung around the place for the social life for the next 2 years after.

    I have a photo taken from the steps of the college of me and friends, also a few tutors including Nick.

    If you would like to see it, please contact me via email and I can send it on.

    Best wishes,

    Simon Bond

  5. Rollin Rollin Rollin Keep those Dawgies Rollin….. Rawhide !

  6. More bread. More bread Mrs. Minton!


    So where’s Phil Kett these days? Where is anyone in fact?

  8. He’s in Brighton, last I heard of him. A bit more metropolitan than Yarmouth!

  9. I loved reading about your time in Yarmouth. I was there from 1987-1989 and it was the best student experience of all my years as a student. I went on to Brighton to study graphic design and communication and then the royal college of art in London. I have such great memories of my two years at art school in Norfolk; standing or sitting on those steps outside the main building chatting, on the beach, sketching in town and all the amazing art classes we had. We learnt so much on the foundation course and looking back i realise what a privilege it was: etching, calligraphy, book making, sculpture, fashion, photography, textiles, drawing… we did it all and had a great rapport with the tutors. Was Rodney there when you were? I am still hanging in there as a children’s illustrator and enjoy teaching art too. Wishing you all the best. Tiphanie Beeke

  10. Dear Tiphanie,
    thanks for your comment. Rodney? not sure if he was there when we were – late 70s. I just met someone from back then (after 41 yrs). We were in digs together. I can’t put everything that went on – on my blog. Some of it involves people’s personal experiences (still very amusing) and then there was the gangland shooting!! etc etc. I keep up a conversation with around five people from GYCAD including Nick Ward. It sounds as if the two years foundation was better than our one year. We had to decide and apply by January the following year – not enough time to really get the feel of each ‘discipline’. However, we managed to learn the art of drinking, quite well. I do add to the GYCAD page now and then, so if you enjoy the absurdity of it all check it occasionally for updates.
    Best wishes from Alan Dedman

  11. Hi Alan
    I was reminded of my days at Yarmouth art college at the very same time as my old friend Simon Bond. ( High Simon) by another friend who came across a group photo. They were some of the best years of my life.

  12. Dear Mark,
    thanks for your comment. People have similar sentiments across the age spectrum. It makes me wonder why it was ever got rid of (GYCAD).
    Alan D

  13. Mark Fisher

    Dear Alan
    Cutbacks as usual.
    stay safe.

  14. Kim Ives

    Hi there
    My goodness, what a rainy afternoon indoors does for the old grey matter. I stumbled across this website after googling GYCAD. I attended 1982-4 Graphic Design, and am still in touch with a few partners in crime from that era ( Nick Bell, Cathy Matthews ( Now Kate Peters), Mark Reeve ( Hip), Joanne Goodberry, and also Jo Rice, who was there at the same time, but on another course). Gary Bishop was not in my year, but I talk to him every now and then, as with Mark Amos. Maybe some of those names are familiar ?
    My name back then was Kim Craske.
    I never did anything professionally with the art, although I have always dabbled in my spare time.
    I notice one of your pictures I found online, taken on the grass in front of the building, has my room mate on . Sarah (Garnham) was studying GD I believe, but she was in the year above me. I know she worked at Tibbenhams in Norwich for a while, and married, but I don’t know her married name…I would love to get in contact with her again.

  15. Dear Kim, thanks for your comment. I attend this blog sporadically. I will do what I can to find the name of your friend (married name)

  16. Hi Alan just came across your website while looking up the old art college building, I studied there from about 1965 – 1969, I eventually managed to get myself expelled, I remember a Mr Corrie was the principle at the time, they were the best days of my life I absolutely loved in those days, I can’t say I learnt a great deal I was too busy enjoying myself but having said that I’ve spent my hole life working as a graphic design and only called it a day this year, I would love to visit the college again if I can get access, I live in Devon now but a trip down memory lane would be great, if you have any info perhaps you could get in touch – Barrie Cutler

  17. Dear Barrie, thanks for your comment. Will get back more fully when I am able to.

  18. Martin Clarl

    Hi Alan I think you was a few years before but I saw a comment from Kim Craske who must have married Darren Ives! I shared my first digs with Nick Bell at Mrs B’s B&B. My first night at GYCAD was down to The Holkham for beers Nick Bell, Jonathon and myself. Jonathon was 21 and his first time away from home and first experience of a pub. I was 16 and nick was 17 we both had a pint of Abbot and Jonathon had a coke because he was refused for no ID!. I certainly embraced the drinking culture upto the last day when as social secretary I got into trouble organizing a beach party with profit from the 50p entry tickets to the Brunswick and Rosy o’ Grady’s clubs through the year, party went totally out of control. Would love to upload a photo I have of the year on the steps, with a lot of familiar faces taken probably around 1982.

  19. Dear Martin, thanks for your contact form. I think someone has sent me a digital copy of the photo via the London Art College (online distance learning outfit), but if you want to send me it plus any memoirs, I could make a blog and add it to the GYCAD page. I can’t easily recognise folk in the pic – either before or after my time there? (78 to 79), when were you at GYCAD?
    best wishes from Alan D

  20. Dear Martin,
    my laptop died and we have had no internet for a couple of days. Please could you send me a digital copy of the pic you originally mentioned, with staff and students on the steps of GYCAD? Alan Dedman

  21. fionn rawnsley

    Bloody hell, , it’s a great website Alan , and I was heartened to hear all those old stories again. I’m really not sure about the one of me writing fuck off on the roof light , I think it was someone else but Derek pinned it on me because he liked the story about me being dyslexic , anyhow it’s a wheeze. I actually ended up teaching there myself for a number of years , but the fun had evaporated and it was hard graft. I went on to teach at Norwich school of art Foundation for ten years but eventually was made redundant . Now I just live a life of agricultural poverty. I was there when Wagg salvaged the Mathurian turd. Why I just could not understand at the time.

  22. Marion MacDonald

    Hi Alan,
    I was at the art school (as it was modestly called then) from 1956 to 1958 . Knew Barry Drake well and his lovely wife Christine and remember their baby Sophie being born. Colin Giles, Kenny Kelf, Tony? Wendy Edwards and Allan (“Sam”) Chilvers were the seniors.

    We were taught by the fabulous Ru van Rossem of cherished memory. At that time the school had all local students and principal William Corrie was pretty strong on discipline – “Wear what you like, but it must be CLEAN!” were his only remembered words on the first day I attended.

    I have many memories of those happy days as you can imagine.

    Marion MacDonald ( formerly Chilvers , nee Heard)
    Arbroath, Scotland

  23. Dear Marion, thanks for your comment. I suppose you experienced GYCAD as it began it’s Halcyon days. At a time when this country was ‘on the up’!
    Your surname: MacDonald is the same as that of my step-grandfather. He came from Stornoway. My actual grandfather is from Glasgow. GYCAD was a brief filip in my otherwise uncertain youth.
    Best wishes from Alan Dedman

  24. Kim Ives

    @ Martin Clark (comment above, dated 24 March 2022)….. at least I can spell your name better than you can lol
    You are correct, I did marry Darren Ives. Divorced many years ago though. I would love to hear from you. I am on facebook.

  25. You can now leave comments below the Gt. Yarmouth page of this blog as well as here.

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