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UCL events news and reviews


Buddhas of Suburbia: faith, migration and suburban change in London

By zclfg58, on 11 March 2014

If there’s one thing to take home from American film culture, from The Virgin Suicides to American Beauty, it’s that the suburbs are a place to be avoided at all costs. Replete with murderous instincts and repressed sexual desires, they are to be treated with scorn by urbanites and the few suburban refugees who manage to escape.

Hindu goddess in gold at the Shri Kanaga Thurkkai Amman Hindu Temple

Hindu goddess

Perhaps this unfair reputation stems from the suburban aesthetic: when the soul is furnished by identikit architecture that presumably houses conservative cultural habits, it is unsurprising that we see the suburban subject as living a boring life, unworthy of academic reflection or investigation.

In her Lunch Hour Lecture, Dr. Claire Dwyer (UCL Geography) rescued suburbia from this prejudicial inertia, demonstrating through an architectural, geographical and cultural comparative analysis of faith loci in Greater London that the suburbs can be a place of dynamic modernity where space is contested, deconstructed and re-mapped.

The first half of Dr. Dwyer’s lecture focused on newly developed or proposed institutions such as the Jain Temple in Potter’s Bar, Hertfordshire and the Salaam Centre in Harrow, which show how the suburbs are on the forefront of cultural innovation. (more…)

What on earth is time-based media?

By ucyow3c, on 17 January 2014

pencil-iconWritten by Jordan Rowe, Editorial Worker for UCL Media Relations

What is ‘time-based media’? A clock radio? A calendar? How about the tickers that 24-hour news channels plant at the bottom of the screen?

Tessa Power, Channel, 2010

Tessa Power, Channel, 2010

Funnily enough it’s none of those things, at least not in UCL Art Museum’s interpretation.  Its latest exhibition examines how video, sound and multimedia are used to create a dialogue between the viewer and the work of art.

The time-based media, in this case, explains exhibition curator Dr Martine Rouleau and UCL Art Museum curator Dr Andrea Fredericksen, are works of art that could change meaningfully with respect to time. That could be a video, experimental film or audio – anything that depends on technology.

This has caused the UCL Art Museum to head into the archives  – which hold almost 10,000 different objects given to UCL for various reasons over the centuries  – and display multimedia winners of the William Coldstream Prize.

This is an annual purchase prize that enables the museum to acquire work by Slade School of Fine Art students, recognising a student’s particular excellence in any medium.


Grayson Perry’s seven lessons in creativity

By Clare S Ryan, on 3 December 2013

Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry, the Turner-prize-winning-cross-dressing ceramic artist, is fast becoming a national treasure. So when you get the chance to go and see him speak in the flesh, at the inauguration of the Centre for Humanities Interdisciplinary Research Projects (CHIRP) and the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL), there’s nothing to do but go along and be dazzled.

And dazzle he did. Fresh from his wildly successful Reith lectures and dressed up to the nines in a glittering kimono, Grayson Perry lived up to his reputation as one of the most alluring personalities in British art today.

After being introduced by Professor Lisa Jardine, and with a cheeky glint in his eye, he took to the stage at RIBA with a certain confidence, which seemed to say: “Listen up academia, I’ve got a thing or two to tell you. Yes, even you, the Provost in the second row. And don’t think I haven’t noticed you, Sue Lawley, at the back…” (more…)

Eclectic designs on show at UCL Slade Print Fair

By news editor, on 29 November 2013

pencil-iconWritten by Jordan Rowe, Editorial Worker for UCL Media Relations

The warehouse-style double gated lift that greets you upon arrival at the Slade Research Centre on Woburn Square is the first indication that things are done a little differently here, after all this is the renowned UCL Slade School of Fine Art. As you draw back the gates when reaching the fifth floor, you’re met with an array of donated works for sale decorating the bright white walls. This is the Slade Print Fair.

Artwork on exhibition at the Slade Print Fair

It’s the school’s first ever event of this kind – and hopefully not last – with all proceeds helping raise funds for future graduate scholarships. On display is work from alumni, students, staff and invited artists along with a full programme of print-related events and live demonstrations taking place until Saturday 30th November.

Over 170 of the works being showcased are available to purchase there and then, in addition to 32 pieces from established artists being auctioned online here. Moving around the floor, there’s definitely an emphasis on contemporary art, but a few period pieces have been mixed in, revisiting the lengthy history of the UCL Slade.