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Rock Room Slade School Takeover – Part 3

By Nick J Booth, on 5 May 2015

One of the art works from the  Slade event in the Rock Room.

One of the works from a previous Rock Room Slade event.

This Friday (May 8th) between 1 – 5pm the Rock Room will host its annual Slade School takeover. This is the third instalment of the joint UCL Museums and Slade School of Fine Art project (see a blog on the last one here) which has seen staff and students from the Slade install art works that include sculpture, painting and various mixed media (including cheese, fish and other foodstuffs) into the Rock Room.

As with past years I have no idea what the artists will be bringing to display in the Museum. Last Friday (1st) two groups of studnets were given behind the scenes tours of various labs and stores here at UCL. These included the Earth Science Scanning Electron Microscope Lab and Geo-chronology Lab, as well as the Mechanical Engineering Department wave machine (the first time any of us on the tour had seen it). At each lab the students were able to talk to the member of staff responsible for managing the space and ask questions about the work being carried out (and there were a lot of questions).

As part of the project earlier this year the Slade students visited UCL’s Mullard Space Science Lab near Guildford in Surrey, where they were given rare and exciting access to the labs and staff, and were able to take part in an experimental sculpture park. The ideas and art works developed during this visit will also be on display during the Rock Room take over.

Image of LDUCZ-Z2751 bisected domestic dog head from Grant Museum of Zoology UCL

LDUCZ-Z2751 bisected dog head

As with the last two years the students have been given free rein in the space, as long as it’s restored to its usual state at the end of the day. I’ve already been asked about making live plaster casts and have helped organise the loan of an orang-utan’s arm, a chimp’s hand and a dog’s head in a jar from the Grant Museum.

I think it’s going to be an interesting day.

Nick Booth is Curator of the Science and Engineering Collections at UCL.

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