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  • Reflections on Time-Based Media Exhibition at UCL Art Museum

    By Helen R Cobby, on 27 February 2014

    1 – 5pm Monday to Friday, until Friday 28th March

    I am unique and so is everyone else (video still)This exhibition gathers together some of the most prolific time-based work from UCL Art Museum’s growing collection, which centre around the dependence upon and manipulation of technology with respect to time. The artists exhibiting are graduates from the Slade School and have each been awarded the annual William Coldstream Memorial Prize that selects outstanding achievements over the whole academic year. This accounts for the diverse collections of artwork on display, illustrating the eclectic variety of contemporary time-based media works.

    It is a refreshing and new type of exhibition for the UCL Art Museum, completely immersed in technology, conceptual installations and time-based media techniques. You will be greeted by many television screens that allow for a sense of unity to the works and for you to make comparisons between the way some of the themes are expressed. The screens are also placed with enough distance for each piece to be absorbed in contemplative isolation. Intriguing sounds also drift around the gallery, enticing you to follow your senses and discover and explore their source.  (more…)

    Sculpture Season opens today

    By Jack Ashby, on 5 June 2013

    Today at the Grant Museum, not only have we flung the doors open to the public (as we do six days a week), but we have opened the doors to the Museum – and the museum cabinets – to thirteen emerging artists, inviting them to rethink our collection. Today, Sculpture Season begins.

    We’re consistently thinking how to use our collections in different ways, and while the team here is a creative one (otherwise – boast boast – we wouldn’t keep winning awards) we can definitely benefit from completely different eyes and minds looking at our collection.

    Sculpture Season does just that – thirteen sculpture students from the Slade School of Fine Art at UCL were invited to create works in response to the Museum’s spaces, specimens, science and history. The results are fantastic. Alongside the Museum’s historic skeletons, skulls and specimens preserved in jars, the new works engage with animal/human encounters through re-animated flesh, tunnelling rats and mice, giant worms and body bags.

    The artists have created music technologies, phantom occupations of the Museum’s iPad apps, hand-knitted internal organs and explorations of the excessive masculinity of giant deer antlers. Specimens have been re-ordered, re-labelled and re-imagined. (more…)

    Artist at the Grant Museum

    By Sarah R Cameron, on 18 March 2013

    Viewpoint - Sarah Cameron (2013)

    Viewpoint - Sarah Cameron (2013)

    For the past month I have been working on a large mural for the foyer of the Grant Museum. The artwork, titled Viewpoint officially “opens” today.

    I arrive at the Museum at a strangely early hour of the morning, with my over-flowing bag of art materials and an array of tools. I ensconce myself in the foyer, surrounding myself with tubes of paint, mediums, cloths, sandpaper and sandwiches and then set to work in the quiet time before the museum opens.

    Much of my mural painting has been made in situ, which is a new and exciting way for me to work and through this I have found an energy in the way I handle paint that I have been striving for.

    It has been a fantastic privilege to be allowed access to the museum outside it’s normal opening hours and to have a ‘behind the scenes’ insight into a world of scientific investigation and recording that has often been elusive to me. (more…)

    Rare chance to see highlights from Slade Painting Collection today

    By Krisztina Lackoi, on 5 October 2012

    UCL Art Museum Presents The Haldane Room

    Highlights in British Art from the Slade Painting Collection 1900s – 1950s

    UCL Art Museum will be opening up spaces on the UCL campus that are rarely accessible to the public to present a selection of prize-winning paintings from the Slade Painting Collection. The Haldane Room in the Wilkins Building will be open to visitors on the first Friday of the month between 3-5pm, starting from this Friday, 5th October.

    The paintings in the Haldane Room represent a selection of prize-winning works of art by leading British artists whose work can be found in UK and international museum collections. Importantly, these paintings were made  when the artists were students at the UCL Slade School of Art and before the originality of their creative output was recognised by the establishment.

    The Haldane Room is open to the public as a temporary extension to UCL Art Museum on the first Friday of every month (till March 2012) between 3-5pm.The Haldane Room is located in the North Cloisters of the Wilkins Building, access via main UCL entrance on Gower Street.

    UCL Art Museum is located in the South Cloisters and is open to the public Mon – Fri 1-5pm.


    Drawing over the Colour Line

    By Krisztina Lackoi, on 13 April 2012

    guest blog by Gemma Romain

    Sketch of Seated Male Figure looking directly at viewer

    Seated Male Figure by Ann M. Tooth, UCL Art Museum

    Drawing over the Colour Line is a new project which started in January 2012 and is run by The Equiano Centre in UCL’s Department of Geography. We have been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to carry out a project over the next two years looking at the experiences and identities of Black people in London during the inter-war period by exploring their relationship with the art world. We are specifically focusing on the histories of people of African and Asian heritage who worked as artists and as artists’ models, and contextualising these histories within an examination of interwar political and social movements including pan-Africanism and anti-colonial activism and also histories of empire, migration, and diaspora. The end result of the project will be a public database documenting artworks in various locations, including public and private collections, which relate to Black artists and artists’ models.

    We are working with UCL Art Museum throughout the project, researching the collections and carrying out various or co-hosting public events. The project explores some of the artwork created by students based at the Slade School of Fine Art during the 1920s and 1930s, many of which are now located at UCL Art Museum. For example, we are researching the drawings of models of African heritage which won Slade student prizes. Additionally, we will be working with the museum to explore these collections in greater depth by running a summer school for young people, a pop-up exhibition and contributing towards a research guide on Black history and the collections of UCL Art Museum.

    Visit our blog and twitter for more details:  http://drawingoverthecolourline.wordpress.com/ and http://twitter.com/DColourLine .

    For more information on The Equiano Centre visit our website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/equianocentre/


    Art by Animals opens today

    By Jack Ashby, on 1 February 2012

    Art by Animals - Grant Museum - chimp - Saint Louis Zoo

    "Digit Master" 2011, Bakhari the chimp, Saint Louis Zoo

    Today the newest exhibition at the Grant Museum opens and it’s probably not something many people will have seen before. Art by Animals is an exhibition of paintings by orang-utans, a chimp, elephants and a gorilla, and to be honest, most of them are better than I could do.

    When our co-curators Michael Tuck, a graduate from the UCL Slade School of Fine Art, and artist Will Tuck, first approached me about a year ago I have to admit to being shocked at the elephant painting of a flower pot – it truly displays the incredible dexterity of the elephant’s trunk, but is it art?

    Here’s a video about it. (more…)

    Early computer art at UCL Art Museum

    By Krisztina Lackoi, on 27 January 2012

    Over the past two weeks we’ve been helping a group of UCL Museum Studies students who are currently working on a research project as part of their Collections Curatorship module looking into early computer art at the Slade School of Fine Art in the 1970s, and in particular the work of Chris Crabtree. Very little is known by UCL Art Museum about this period in the Slade’s history, although the 1970s seem to have been something of a golden age for the Slade, with lots of pioneering work in what we would today call new media. Even less is known about Chris Crabtree, who started out at the Slade as a student in the Etching Department in 1972 and then went on to become first a technician and then a research assistant in printmaking.

    What makes Chris Crabtree so fascinating (for me anyway) is that he combined a traditional training in printmaking techniques with an interest in computer programming at a time when computers were still massively clunky machines and difficult to access (mostly to be found in university scientific research labs). I like to speculate that Chris Crabtree may have been inspired by the highly influential exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity at the ICA in 1968 – this was one of the first exhibitions showcasing the work of digital artists such as Nam June Paik, Leslie Mezei, Georg Nees, A. Michael Noll, John Whitney and Charles Csuri. (more…)

    New Media Works at UCL Art Museum

    By Andrea Fredericksen, on 16 November 2011

    Tessa Power, Channel (2010)

    By Cathrine Alice Liberg

    Every year UCL Art Museum acquires student works from the Slade School of Fine Art through the William Coldstream Memorial Prize, an annual purchase prize which recognizes a student’s particular excellence in any medium. In 2010, the prize was awarded to Tessa Power for her video installation Channel, and as a museum intern, completing a History of Art Material Studies (HAMS) placement, I have had the pleasure of setting up her work as one of the first digital art objects to be showcased at UCL Art Museum. It will feature as part of our current exhibition Word & Image, which is on display throughout the autumn term. (more…)

    The Future Took Us: Art Meets Geology

    By John Shevlin, on 3 August 2011

    The Future Took Us by John Shevlin

    The Future Took Us

    As an artist the sourcing of materials to make work with is an endless task; a task which has me pounding the streets and surfing the web. After four years of studying fine art at the Slade School of Fine Art I have become particularly adept at sourcing the most obscure and particular items, however, finding thirty fossils for a new installation would lead me to the most interesting place so far!

    The newly relocated Grant Museum sits just across the road from the Slade, so when the banners had been strapped to the railings declaring their imminent opening back in March I was eager to get inside and see what they had done with their collection. I have always been a fan. In my first week of arriving at UCL I had visited the Grant Museum and was immediately fascinated and inspired by their collection of stuffed, jarred and pinned specimens. (more…)

    Moreover: the Slade revisits UCL Art Collections

    By Andrea Fredericksen, on 12 April 2011

    On Monday UCL Art Collections opened Moreover, an exhibition featuring the final results to our third annual invitation to the Slade to revisit the past masters and create new works in response.

    Moreover began with a challenge to all current students at the Slade to develop their own practice using contemporary media and new modes of thinking while taking the time to consider and appreciate what has gone before. Over the Winter term students were given special access to thousands of remarkable and historically important objects within UCL’s art collections. They explored cabinets and archival boxes to discover a number of hidden treasures: an 18th-century print of a Soho drag queen, an annotated drawing by the arts educator and painter William Coldstream, John Flaxman’s neo-classical plaster models, postcards to Stanley Spencer, paper records used by museum staff to chart the shifting locations of art work – plus more. It has been an exhausting process for the students and myself, but in the main it has been productive and highly rewarding. Out of the 35 proposals submitted, 21 finalists were chosen by a panel from UCL Museums & Collections and the Slade to exhibit their works in the Strang Print Room. (more…)