Archive for the ‘News’ category

Etta Voorsanger-Brill talks build up to Foundation Show 2015

Etta Voorsanger-Brill

With the Foundation Show just two weeks away, we spoke to Foundation Graphic and Communication Design student Etta Voorsanger-Brill about how she has been working towards the show over the past ten weeks.

Tell us a bit about your work and the inspiration behind it.

Etta: As a graphic designer, communication is really key. You have to show your work all the time to an audience who don’t know you and don’t know the thoughts behind your work. I like to reflect on personal experience and use a lot of humour within my work. If someone sees something amusing or personal it instantly becomes more relatable. I think this form of communication is really something that I base my work on.

How have you been building up to the Foundation Show?

Etta: The initial stages really began with a lot of research. We started with an open brief so a lot of the process has been about trying to find my niche. For me this meant a huge focus on research. I wanted to really know my stuff before I got into it. After research it became more about thinking how I wanted to display my work and finding a way to link all the research I had done with a medium that could best display it.

How did you feel about the brief being open?

Etta: There were things that I really wanted to look at that I hadn’t had a chance to within the other briefs we had been given. I wanted to do something quite personal with a bit of humour. I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as a hoarder but I do like to collect things. I’ve got tickets, old diaries and receipts that I wanted to use to create a more personal project, which I wouldn’t have been able to do if the brief had been restricted.

How are you currently preparing for the show?

Etta: Now the initial wave of work is done it’s about finalizing my ideas and making one last piece to sum up what I have done over the course. I am also considering how I am going to communicate my project to an audience that I have never met before.

How are people feeling within your course now that the show is only two weeks away?

Etta: I think everyone feels prepared. We’ve had a strong backbone of help and support behind the build up to the show. At the same time there is also an air of feeling slightly sad about the show. It is the last thing we will be working on as a foundation course. There’s a bittersweet element to it in this respect.

How does this show differ from ones you’ve previously worked on?

Etta: It’s been a ten-week build up, so that in itself has made it a very different experience. The finality of the show is also quite different. It has helped me to decide what I feel really passionate about and create my own body of work based on that for the first time.

What are your post-show plans?

Etta: I am really excited because I am going on to study BA Graphic Design at CSM. It was something that I had kind of had my heart set on when I started the foundation but throughout the course it increasingly became what I really wanted to do and what I felt I was best at.

More information: 

Etta Voorsanger-Brill

UAL at the Venice Biennale 2015

The 120th Venice Biennale will open this weekend with Great Britain represented by UAL alumna Sarah Lucas, alongside works by UAL Chairs Isaac Julien, Sonia Boyce, and Lucy Orta, as well as UAL PhD student, Samson Kambalu, course leader Tania Kovats, and alumni Charles Lim and Tsang Kin-Wah.

L-R: Isaac Julien, Samson Kambalu, Lucy Orta and Sonia Boyce.

Left to right: UAL’s Isaac Julien, Samson Kambalu, Lucy Orta and Sonia Boyce.

“How can the current disquiet of our time be properly grasped, made comprehensible, examined, and articulated?” This is the question that Okwui Enwezor, curator of the 56th International Art Exhibition, poses in his introduction to this year’s Venice Biennale. Taking the title All the World’s Futures, the politically-charged exhibition proposes “a project devoted to a fresh appraisal of the relationship of art and artists to the current state of things.”

Invited by Okwui to participate in All the World’s Futures, UAL Chair Sonia Boyce will present Exquisite Cacophony, a filmed, live, improvised vocal-led performance featuring performers Astronautalis and Elaine Mitchener, at Padiglione Centrale, Giardini di Castello. Filming for the piece took place at the V&A, supported by UAL.

Lucy and Jorge Orta Glasstress Amazonia

Exhibiting in Glasstress 2015 Gotika, a collateral exhibition at the Palazzo Franchetti, Academia, UAL Chair Lucy Orta will present a new large format sculpture in bronze and glass. Combing historical works from the Hermitage collection with commissioned works with a Gothic theme from contemporary artists, the exhibition “explores how medieval ideas and communication methods have imperceptibly crept into our modern conscience despite our technological advances and how the Gothic concept influences contemporary art”. Lucy + Jorge Orta’s commissioned sculpture Arboreal, is an “imposing bronze cast from a fallen tree-trunk from which, four exquisite glass seed pods are blossoming. The contrast between the dark patina of the bronze and the ethereal quality of the delicate hand-blown Murano glass, speak of the resilience of nature to overcome the most barren environments”.

In response to the 1974 la Biennale di Venezia, in which part of the programs were dedicated to Chile to in a gesture of solidarity, the All the World’s Futures will introduce the ARENA, “an active space dedicated to continuous live programming across disciplines”. The epicentre of the ARENA will be an epic live reading of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital. Okwui explains: “here, Das Kapital will serve as a kind of Oratorio that will be continuously read live, throughout the exhibition’s seven months’ duration. The ARENA will serve as a gathering-place of the spoken word, the art of the song, recitals, film projections, and a forum for public discussions. Taking the concept of the Sikh event, the Akhand Path (a recitation of the Sikh holy book read continuously over several days by a relay of readers), Das Kapital will be read as a dramatic text by trained actors”, directed by artist and filmmaker, and UAL Chair Isaac Julien.

Samson Kambalu, Runner, film still, 2014

Spotted by Okwui in Johannesberg, Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon PhD student Samson Kambalu will present three projects for the Biennale: a live performance that attempts to re-stage Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment, a film installation, and a second installation based on his research at Yale. He spoke to the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon blog ahead of the Biennale, revealing that appearing at the Biennale for the first time feels “otherworldly”.

Former Olympic sailor, artist and Central Saint Martins graduate Charles Lim Yi Yong is representing Singapore, with a body of work titled Sea State. The ongoing work explores “notions of borders, histories and everyday life, and how these may be generated through our perceptions of the sea.”

Charles Lim SEA STATE 2 as evil disappears 2014 Sajahat Buoy

The Infinite Nothing, a text and light installation from Tsang Kin-Wah, represents Hong Kong at the Biennale. A graduate of  Camberwell MA Book Arts, Tsang’s work for the Hong Kong pavilion is his largest and most complex to date.

Tsang Kin-Wah, The Infinite Nothing

Appearing at the Biennale for the second year, Azerbaijan presents Vita Vitale, an exhibition which looks to Azerbaijan’s future, and beyond its geographic borders, to spotlight the artists and scientists confronting the ecological challenges we face globally, including Wimbledon MA Drawing course leader Tania Kovats.

Tania Kovats, Arctic Circle Islands, 2014

“I am a feminist, and it is a feminine show” asserts Sarah Lucas in The Guardian this week, discussing I Scream Daddio, her solo exhibition representing Great Britain. The London College of Communication alumna presents a show of sculpture and paintings depicting her “muses” against the backdrop of the British Pavilion entirely repainted in buttercup yellow paint. “The sculptures are set in a sea of custard,” Lucas tells The Guardian “Crème Anglais in other words.”
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015, Photo by Cristiano Corte copyright British Council

The Venice Biennale runs 9 May to 22 November.

Read more about the Venice Biennale

Read the full interview with Samson Kambalu

Read more about the UAL Chairs

Search courses at UAL


Graduate Shortlisted for Creative Enterprise Award

Resignified by FruitionsElla Quiogue, a 2014 graduate from our MA Applied Imagination course, was recently shortlisted in the design category of the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprise.

This prestigious award has been helping creative entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality for over 20 years.

Ella was shortlisted for her social enterprise Fruitions Creative Collaborations, which is based in the Philippines. Fusions aims to form a creative collaboration between the Philippines’ indigenous artisan communities and established contemporary designers across disciplines including illustration, graphic design and jewellery design.

It is a design-led initiative that helps indigenous artisan traditions thrive, while also providing a new way for established designers to create.

ArtisanConventional handcrafted products from indigenous artisan communities are re-imagined by contemporary designers. These re-imagined designs are then made by the artisans, who use their traditional tools and crafts to create premium products.

The first project, called Resignified, is an eight-piece homeware collection. Consisting of weavings and woodwares, it features reworkings of the traditional patterns and iconography of the Ifugao tribe of Benguet, Philippines.

Ella has developed Fruitions with a team of creative industry professionals, strategic advisors, and a growing network of talented designers. Her enterprise developed from her research project as a student on MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries. She hopes the project will generate economic and social benefits for indigenous communities of the Philippines.

More information:
- Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries

UAL amongst three British universities leading global rankings for Art & Design

Britain has three of the top spots in the QS World University Rankings for Art & Design.

UAL, Glasgow School of Art and postgraduate specialist RCA all made the top ten in the Art & Design subject table with the remaining seven universities coming from the USA.

Students at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

Students at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

UAL was ranked 8th in the world, and 2nd in the UK, in the rankings which highlight the world’s top universities in 36 individual subjects, based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact.

Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor of UAL, said: “I am proud that Britain’s world-leading reputation as a provider in art and design education has been recognised in the QR Rankings. UAL’s position amongst those leading British institutions is credit to the hard work and dedication of staff across the University.

“As Europe’s largest specialist art and design university with more than 19,000 students, UAL is a major global provider of art and design education so it’s gratifying to be recognised for the high quality education we equip our graduates with.”

In December 2014 UAL was placed in the overall top 30 UK research institutions for the quality of research submitted in the REF 2014. It was recognised as a top 5 research university in its broader peer group and first in the power ranking in the Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory category.

For full listings and more information, visit the QS World University Rankings by Subject website.

Rob Kesseler Speaks at Puerto de Ideas, Chile

RK Convergent Territories

Rob Kesseler, BA Ceramic Design Lecturer and UAL Chair of Art, Design and Science, was recently invited to participate in the second annual Puerto de Ideas in Antofagasta, Chile.

Rob delivered a keynote lecture titled Conversion Territories, and showcased an exhibition at Minera Escondita, which included photographs, drawings and specimens collected in Chile during the weeks prior to the festival.

Collecting and documenting are a core part of his work, and exhibiting this local collection enabled him to open up and help people understand his process. With the support of the British Council, he led a popular series of creative workshops for young people, drawing specimens selected for the group.

Sponsored by the mining company Minera Escondida, the festival of science and culture brings together scientists, artists and humanists from all over the world to speak, showcase work and lead workshops. Over 10,000 people attended the three-day festival. Speakers included Nobel Prize winner, Ada Yonath and Gilles Boeuf, President of the Natural History Museum, Paris.

After the festival Rob explored connections in the Chile, visiting the young design studio GT2P in Santiago, the stunning Centro de Arte Curaummilla – a ceramic workshop and artistic residency, and the Natural History Museum in Valparaiso, where his exhibition will be shown next.

Rob Kesseler will be speaking next Thursday, 7 May as part of the UAL Chairs Present Series.

More information:

Victorian Futures: Culture, Democracy and the State on the Road to Olympicopolis

On 14 and 15 May 2015, Chelsea College of Arts is hosting the conference Victorian Futures: Culture, Democracy and the State on the Road to Olympicopolis, in collaboration with Middlesex University and the Victoria and Albert Museum. We asked Professor Malcolm Quinn, UAL Associate Dean of Research and Director of the Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Graduate School, to tell us what the conference will involve and why it is relevant today.

Taking place a week after the UK General Election,Victorian Futures will focus on how the agenda for state-sponsored access to the arts in Britain has developed since the Reform Act of 1832 and the Victorian Era. We will use history to think about the future, and show how calls for greater public access to the arts in the 1830s led to the democratic visions of the Great Exhibition and Albertopolis in 1851, which were reprised in the Festival of Britain in 1951 and are now re-envisioned in plans for the ‘Olympicopolis’ site in London. I spoke to a selection of our high-profile speakers who will be appearing at the conference to discuss how the cultural movement of Victorian era continues to influence our society.

Victoria and Albert Museum Director Martin Roth said:

“The success of the ‘Albertopolis’ complex of Victorian cultural institutions in South Kensington, of which the V&A is one, continues to illustrate the strength of Victorian policies on cultural democracy and the importance of state support for the arts. But as we develop a new vision for ‘Olympicopolis’ in east London, we must not only look at Victorian achievements but also at the goals they did not reach. Henry Cole believed, for example, that international exhibitions should promote international peace and intercultural understanding, or in his words, ‘stop nations going to blows as hastily and foolishly as they are wont to do’. Are we any closer to achieving this difficult goal today? I hope that this conference will give us the opportunity to read Victorian history not as a comfort, but as a challenge.”


Interior painting of The Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace, London

Lucy Kimbell, AHRC Design Research Fellow, Policy Lab and principal research fellow at the University of Brighton, says that Victorian Futures will show us how: “The history that is shaping our collective future in the UK includes both the visible, aesthetic and material but also the processual and infrastructural.” Kimbell also argues that the conference will help us to address an important question: “What comes with our Victorian educational, political and cultural institutions and how do they enable particular kinds of learning and participation and exclude others? The analytical task is to work out what we need to keep and what to change or adapt.”

Kieran Long, Senior Curator of Contemporary Architecture, Design and Digital V&A, one of two keynote speakers on the first day of the conference, said:

Victorian Futures is vital for us right now, at a time when the whole notion of the public realm is at stake and under pressure, to think again about the lessons our Victorian forebears can teach us about education and civic pride in the context of the complexity of the digitally enabled 21st century.”

Our other keynote speaker on day one of Victorian Futures is Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, who sees the conference as a chance to engage with some vital issues for public culture and the arts that have remained unresolved over the past hundred and eighty years. Saumarez Smith said:

“It’s interesting to look back on the decade of the 1830s, immediately following the Great Reform Bill, and to see how many of the questions asked then in parliament were the same questions which need to be asked today: how can public money be used to enhance the arts? what is the role of government? and what is the role of museums?”

However Graeme Evans, Professor of Urban Cultures and Design at Middlesex University, who is a member of the closing panel of Victorian Futures which examines the route from Albertopolis to Olympicopolis and beyond, says that history offers a cautionary lesson: “If history teaches us anything, cultural democracy should be a right; futuristic masterplans and grand place-making on the other hand (as recent history shows) is anything but democratic – or cultural.”

The event promises to answer and discuss many of the questions raised above, with lively debates and the chance to meet and network with organisations such as the Royal Academy, V&A and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), who are responsible for delivering the ‘Olympicopolis’ project. A two-day student pass is available for £36 and can be booked through the UAL website. We’ll also be tweeting at @VFutures. We hope you’ll be able to join us.

UAL Shanghai Alumni Reception 2015

One year on from the official launch of the UAL Shanghai Alumni Association, we were delighted, to have the opportunity to return to China and celebrate with our vibrant Shanghai community. The evening was supported by China Xintiandi, a major sponsor of Shanghai Fashion Week, who added further reason to celebrate by announcing that they plan to support current UAL students through a three-year scholarship program.


130 former students joined UAL staff at China Xintiandi’s beautiful clubhouse in the heart of the city. Guests spent an enjoyable evening strengthening their creative and professional networks and reuniting with friends. London College of Fashion’s (LCF) Dean of School of Media and Communication, Calum Mackenzie, gave an update on some of UAL’s latest achievements and exciting plans for the future, while UAL Shanghai Alumni Association Vice President, Jing Wu, gave an update on the Associations activities and ways to get involved. The audience was also pleased to hear from LCF alumna Yilei Wu, Managing Director at, who told the group about how she got to where she is today.

Lead by London College of Communication alumni Oliver Pearce and Jing Wu, the UAL Shanghai Alumni Association has been established to maintain links with our graduates in and around the city and produce events and communications throughout the year to keep local alumni connected to UAL and each other. UAL is extremely grateful to Oliver, Jing and their fellow committee members, for the hard work and dedication they have shown in growing the association and establishing a community in Shanghai eager to share, collaborate and support.

Oliver Pearce, President of the UAL Shanghai Alumni Association with Caroline Archer, Interim Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations, and members of the UAL Shanghai Alumni Committee.

During the evening, Carrie Liu, General Manager of Commerce at China Xintiandi, made the announcement that China Xintiandi will generously be supporting UAL via a three-year scholarship program for students from Greater China who would like to study BA Fashion at Central Saint Martins. More information about the China Xintiandi Scholarship can be found here.

“It is a great honour for China Xintiandi to collaborate with UAL in a scholarship program. As an innovation hub for Chinese designers, we are dedicated to discovering, cultivating and supporting emerging designers to drive the development of innovative fashion design in China.” Carrie Liu, General Manager of Commerce at China Xintiandi


Joining Calum Mackenzie to greet guests  were Caroline Archer (Interim Director of Development and Alumni Relations), Paul Yuille (Director of International at LCF), Ian King (Professor of Aesthetics and Management at LCF) and Rupert Waldron (International Academic Coordinator: The School of Media and Communication at LCF).

More photos from the evening can be found on our Facebook page

Learn more about the UAL Alumni Association

Student Selected for Hong Kong Residency

Exhibition view of Excessive Enthusiasm: Ha Bik Chuen and the Archive as Practice, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, 2015. Courtesy of Asia Art Archive.

Exhibition view of Excessive Enthusiasm: Ha Bik Chuen and the Archive as Practice, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, 2015. Courtesy of Asia Art Archive.

Central Saint Martins has teamed up with Asia Art Archive, creating a new exhibition studies research residency in Hong Kong.

Asia Art Archive is a non-profit organisation that documents and makes accessible art from the region.

Alec Steadman, a student on our MRes Art: Exhibition Studies course, has been chosen through open competition as the first research fellow. He will travel to Hong Kong in July 2015.

Diverse artistic practices
Alec’s work looks at the diverse models of self-organisation currently being practiced and developed by artists in Asia, with a particular focus on the south-east Asian archipelago. As part of his residency, he will give a talk about this project.

Alec will be provided with flights, accommodation, a per diem and a modest honorarium.

More information:
MRes Art: Exhibition Studies

Unannounced Acts of Publicness to Appear in Granary Square

UnAnnounced Acts

On ten unspecified days in May, ten separate artworks will appear unannounced in Granary Square.

If you’re on your way to work, eating lunch, playing in the fountains or simply having a break from the office you might encounter them. At the end of each day, the artwork will disappear without trace. Unannounced Acts of Publicness is intended to question the meaning of ‘public’ in privately owned public spaces.

The commissioned artists are from Central Saint Martins and beyond, including recent graduates and internationally renowned practitioners. For each work one person who lives or works in the area, will be invited to witness an act and make a written response.

Unannounced Acts of Publicness has been negotiated on an agreement of trust between Central Saint Martins and the landlord Argent. Only the project curators know when and what the acts will be. The programme will be announced retrospectively on 1 June. It will then be discussed publicly at the Restless Futures conference at Central Saint Martins on 11 June.

If you think you’ve witnessed any ‘Unannounced Acts of Publicness’, do let us know what you think on Twitter using #unannouncedacts. We look forward to hearing from you.

Image credit: ‘Girl’ Clara Metter 2014

More information:

UAL graduates selected to exhibit at top London art shows

There has been a host of exciting exhibitions and events to showcase the talents of UAL graduates recently. Among them includes the prestigious annual graphic arts festival and exhibition Pick Me Up. Held in the stunning Embankment galleries at Somerset House the festival, due to run from 23 April- 4 May, promises an explosive selection of pioneering industry collectives, galleries, print studios, interactive workshops and talks.

Gaurab Thakali

Gaurab Thakali

Among this year’s Pick Me Up Selects and industry hand-picked stars of the future are Camberwell College of Art graduates Gaurab Thakali, who recently exhibited at the UAL’s Showroom Creative Outlet exhibit, and Zöe Taylor. As Pick Me Up Selects the graduates were both especially asked to produce new work to go on sale at the event.

Central Saint Martins’ Caroline Till, Course Director of MA Material Futures and trend forecasting specialist, will also be speaking at the event. The festival will act as the backdrop to the premiere of the new ‘Made You Look Documentary – A Film About Creativity in the Digital Age’; a short film that takes a rare look into commercial art scene of the digitalised 21st Century.

In keeping with this exciting wave of graphic art and illustration talent currently on display in London, Camberwell College of Art graduate Madalina Andronic will also be exhibiting at the British Academy for the humanities and social sciences in a partnership exhibition with The Folio Society. ‘Telling tales: the art of the illustrator’ will take place from Monday 11-Sunday 17 May and aims to explore the international nature of fairy tales and folk tales in their exhibition.

Finally, just around the corner from UAL’s Showroom on High Holborn, The Other Art Fair has also got underway. On until April 26 the national art fair boasts more than 150 artist exhibitors and some of the art scene’s best emerging talent. UAL graduates Emma Davis, Alison McKenna, Kirsten Baskett Piers Secunda and Richard Walker are but a few mentioned as the top 20 artists of today to exhibit at the fair.