By Mark Carnall, on 25 May 2011
There’s definitely an ebb and flow to university life that impacts the work of UCL’s Museums and Collections. During the teaching terms it is not uncommon to see curators carrying and trollying material about campus. Over the summer break, freed from the constraints of having to lecture students our academic staff switch to research mode and the number of researchers visiting the collections shoots up from undergraduates undertaking dissertation research through to professors working on papers, books and hypotheses. However, this isn’t my favourite time of the year.
By far my favourite time of year is when college gets taken over by numerous works of sculpture and other installations by students from the Slade School of Fine Art. Some of them are understated and easy to miss squirreled around the campus. Others are gigantic two dimensional sperm whales swimming under UCL’s dome. Often the works around campus aren’t labeled or highlighted in any way and most people go about their daily business as if oblivious to life size paper cetaceans which can make negotiating the campus feel Lynchian at times.
UPDATE: Of course, now the whale has completely vanished but I swear it definitely existed.