Archive for the ‘News’ category

Paper polar bears, Antarctica passports and digital dresses – creatives respond to COP21

Antarctica World Passport Bureau Lucy and Jorge Orta
As the 21st annual Conference of Parties begins in Paris, creatives around the globe respond to the urgent need for action on climate change. With 25,000 official delegates from governments around the world due to attend COP21, the conference represents the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations that they are aiming to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below two degrees Celsius.

UAL artists and designers are at the forefront of the creative responses to COP21, here we share some of the activity taking place in London, Paris and beyond.

4–10 December, Art COP21 Grand Palais, Paris

ArtCop21 Antarctica Lucy and Jorge Orta
At the Solutions21 exhibition, during the COP21 Climate Summit, UAL Chair of Art in the Environment Lucy Orta will create an Antarctica World Passport Bureau. An estimated 50,000 visitors will be issued with an Antarctica World Passport and invited to sign a commitment charter for the protection of the environment and the future of our planet. Lucy comments: “Antarctica embodies a new vision of Utopia: a continent whose extreme climate imposes mutual aid and research, for the benefit of mankind. The Antarctic continent contains 75% of the planet’s fresh water, of which 90% is ice. Antarctica has begun its irreversible decline. The Antarctica World Passport public engagement project asks us to take action against global warming, to become a global citizen to mitigate the potential catastrophic human consequences.”
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Larsen’s Lost Water
Until 11 December, Wimbledon Space, London

Larsen Edwina Fitzpatrick, 2015
Larsen’s Lost Water focuses on the ways that the relatively uncharted parts of the globe – the Polar Regions and the seas – are (mis)represented, through exploring context and how introducing an alien or unexpected object into a space affects both components’ readings.

Larsen the polar bear, Edwina Fitzpatrick, 2015

Curator, Dr Edwina Fitzpatrick comments: “I was initially very hopeful about the 2009 climate change summit in Copenhagen, where sadly nothing was agreed to mitigate climate change, so have approached COP21 with cautious pessimism. However, so far the pre-COP meetings have been more inclusive than ever before and discussions seem to be positive, so perhaps we will get the legally binding and universal agreement to keeping global warming below 2 degrees centigrade. The cherry on the cake would be that this is in place before 2020.

I’m delighted that there had been an exceptionally large response to COP21 by artists. David Buckland from Cape Farewell says that climate change is a cultural issue, and has set up ArtCop21, which lists global art events addressing climate change. I’m delighted that Larsen’s Lost Water is included in this listing, and that participating artists Lucy + Jorge Orta, and Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey will also be creating events for this in Paris over the next few days.”
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One and All
Until 13 December, Somerset House, London

Installed at Somerset House, One and All is a voyage through sight, sound and sea by three leading artists, including Wimbledon College of Arts’ Tania Kovats. Working across art, language and 3D sound, they capture the powerful connection we all have to our coast.
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Dress for Our Time
St Pancras Station, London
DRESS FOR OUR TIME Helen Storey photo by David Betteridge
In the lead up to COP21, London College of Fashion’s Professor Helen Storey MBE RDI unveiled her new work Dress for Our Time at St Pancras International – the gateway to Paris. Helen designed a dynamic piece of digital couture displaying data which shows the impact of climate change on our physical world. The dress display shows our planet, both as we know it now, and as it will be if urgent changes aren’t made, to help change the way people think about and act upon the current threat to the environment.
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Until April 2016, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

Wimbledon College of Arts’ Tania Kovats explores the significance of our relationship with water and the world’s seas and oceans in a brand new installation ‘Evaporation’. Taking James Lovelock’s Gaia theory – of the earth as an interconnected super organism – as her starting point, this new sculptural piece explores global bodies of water. Lovelock’s work focuses much attention on the significance of the planets’ oceans as a barometer of its health, and how better to understand how the planet regulates itself. As global sea temperatures rise and the impact of pollution is becoming increasingly clear, this work is more relevant than ever. Kovats’ installation is comprised of three large-scale, shallow, metal bowls reflecting the shape of the world’s oceans lifted from the globe. Each bowl contains a solution of salt and blue ink that gradually evaporates in a hydro-cycle, leaving a jewel-like crust of salt crystals in concentric rings. These are objects with their own tides; different each time a viewer sees them.
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I Stood Up
8–11 December, Paris
Centre for Sustainable Fashion brings I Stood Up to the streets of Paris during the COP21 Climate Summit, facilitating dialogues through fashion artefacts, forming and voicing public concerns in relation to Climate Change.

Student Voices for Change

As the last generation to be able to do something about climate change students at UAL are in a unique position to take positive action in the face of climate change. The Centre for Sustainable Fashion worked with LCF’s School of Media and Communication and alumna Alix Hayhurst to create a series of podcasts exploring the issues.
Listen to the first podcast on SoundCloud

The Insect Snack Vending  Machine
Carly Wan and Alistair Moncur's insect snacks

On Buzzfeed, check out the London College of Communication graduates trying to make eating insects go mainstream, as sustainable food source of the future. See the article on Buzzfeed

Read more about COP21

Read more about sustainability at UAL

Rewriting art history: Black Artists and Modernism research project launches

Sonia Boyce photo Paul Cochrane
Acclaimed artist and UAL joint Chair of Black Art and Design, Professor Sonia Boyce MBE, today launches a major national art research project which is set to rewrite modern art history and show Britain’s national art collections in a new light. Titled Black Artists and Modernism, the research project will be led by UAL in collaboration with Middlesex University, funded by a £722,000 award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The research has been profiled in The Art Newspaper, The Independent, Times Higher Education, and The I newspaper.

The Black Artists and Modernism research team will begin a three year art hunt that will take them the length and breadth of the country, investigating the hidden story of black British artists in modern art history. Partnering with cultural institutions across Britain, including Tate in London, the Herbert in Coventry and the Bluecoat in Liverpool, the Black Artists and Modernism research will bring new light to the UK’s national art collections.

“Without black artists there would be no modernism”
With this powerful statement, Sonia Boyce distills the fundamental importance of the project. Artists of African and Asian descent have been making art in the UK at least since the early twentieth century, however, a problem exists where art criticism continues to serve the artworks of these artists inadequately. The research team state: “a peculiar kind of eclipsing has taken place where instead of considering and talking directly about the work, the discussions have emphasized the ethnicity of the artist, and the general problematics of race and identity politics within the art establishment, deflecting attention away from how these art-works relate to or have influenced the story of twentieth century art”.

Illustrating the little known history of black artists’ fundamental role in the conception and development of modernism, the research project will use exhibitions, a dedicated website, symposia, a monograph, and potentially a television documentary, to share the story of modern art in a new light. The project’s findings will also be used to create the first database to reveal where works by black artists can be found in the nation’s public art collections, and will link to the BBC’s Your Paintings website.

Support for the project has come from high profile artists and academics around the world:

Kellie Jones, Associate Professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Colombia University
“Black Artists and Modernism is a magnificent project. It presents a timely exploration of amazing early work that was the base of explorations for so much that has come later and changed the face of how we view art in the world.”

Courtney J Martin, Assistant Professor, History of Art and Architecture, Brown University
“For several centuries Britain has introduced some of the most important art and artists to the world. Despite this rich history, the art history of the nation’s own black artists (a term that exceeds the limitations of race to encompass political and cultural solidarity) remains under-recognised nationally and internationally. … Black Artists and Modernism will re-write British art history and set the contemporary record straight for a generation to come.”

Kobena Mercer, Professor, African American Studies and History of Art, Yale University
“This far-reaching initiative promises to give us a deeper and richer understanding of Britain’s place in the global and local networks that made 20th century modernism a dynamically cross-cultural phenomenon.”

Kenneth Montague, Director, Wedge Curatorial Projects (Toronto) / Tate Trustee
“The Black Artists and Modernism project is a long-overdue, absolutely essential resource – for too long, the importance of this work to the British arts scene has been overlooked. This initiative is about legacy… setting the record straight. As a collector of contemporary art that explores black culture, I fully support this urgent and essential addition to the scholarship around identity and representation.”

Melanie Keen, Director, Iniva: The Institute of International Visual Arts, London
“Reconsideration of artistic practice, artworks and exhibitions are as central to the BAM project as they have been to Iniva for the past 20 years. Debates around margin and centre or the insistence of the western canon are about to be thoroughly unpacked so that any lingering questions around the legitimacy of art made by Black British artists will have to be grappled with head on, no dismissing, no diminishing.”

Launching on 27 November at University of the Arts London, the project will conclude in May 2018.

Read more about the UAL Chairs

Speakers announced for AHRC 10th anniversary debate

UAL is delighted to announce the speakers for its debate Books and the Human, which is part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)’s 10th anniversary celebrations series, The Way We Live Now. UAL was selected from over 40 universities to take part in this prestigious series, and the debate will take place at Central Saint Martins on Wednesday 16 December, 6-8.30pm.

The book

The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects,  Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore, 1967

The panel of distinguished speakers, who will be introduced by UAL Vice-Chancellor Nigel Carrington, will approach the topic ‘the book’ through the various lenses of philosophy, history, politics, literature and creative practice (the making of books). Speakers announced today (with more to be confirmed) are:

•  Stuart Kelly (Chair), Writer, critic and Books Editor of Scotland on Sunday
•  Professor Johanna Drucker, Professor of Bibliographical Studies in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA
•  Dr Catherine Eagleton, Head of Asia and Africa Collections, The British Library
•  Tom Uglow, Creative Director, Google Creative Lab

The debate will discuss:

• The book in all its forms and how it connects us to the past, captures the present and looks to the future.
• The intimate relationship between books and knowledge and between books and human beings is fundamental and crosses times and cultures
• In an age when digital technologies and e-books in particular are challenging the traditional forms of the book, how do these changes impact on our relationship with it?
• What does the book as an idea, as a repository of information and as a physical object mean to us any longer?
• What does our changing relationship with the book say about ‘The Way We Live Now’?

Alongside the debate, additional events taking place on 16 and 17 December 2015 will explore how books are conceived, crafted, experienced and shared. These events will include bespoke tours of the British Library Ritblat Treasures collection, object-handling sessions looking at specially selected items from Central Saint Martins’ extensive letterpress archive, bookbinding workshops and a Penguin Books round-table discussion.

The debate, together with these events, will question the intellectual, experiential, practical and public aspects of books and how they shape who we are, offering us an opportunity to reassess what the book means to us, as well as to explore its future as an ongoing part of human culture and life.

Programme Director and Course Leader of MA Communication Design at Central Saint Martins Rebecca Wright, who was part of the team to put forward UAL’s successful application, said of the debate:

“We’re delighted that UAL has been chosen to take part in this debate series to celebrate ten years of AHRC. The Graphic Communication Design programme at Central Saint Martins has a long and rich history of association with typography and book design, dating back to 1896 as the Central School of Arts and Crafts. Hosting this AHRC national debate provides an exciting opportunity to explore the form, function and future of the book from the perspectives of making and thinking, integrating design with the wider humanities. Our interest is in how the book is intimately linked to the way we live now.”

Full programme, booking links and further announcements can be found here.

This debate is a collaboration between UAL and the AHRC.

#thebooksandthehuman #AHRC10

UAL and fossil fuel divestment

University of the Arts London (UAL) plays a leading role in research, teaching and industry collaborations on environmentally sustainable fashion, arts and design.

UAL was the most improved major institution in the Green League 2015. We achieved a Gold Award for sustainable catering and were nominated for a 2015 Observer Ethical Award for applying the Chartered Institute of Procurement Specialist Sustainable Index to our supply chain.

As part of our sustainability strategy, UAL has scrutinised the management of our endowment assets with regard to investment in fossil fuels. The endowment assets are donations to UAL and our colleges for teaching and research, and constitute a small fund of £3.9m.

UAL plays a leading role in environmentally sustainable fashion, arts and design and is now divesting from fossil fuels. (Tara Baoth Mooney, MA Fashion and the Environment 2011 photography Sean Michael. Image courtesy of Centre for Sustainable Fashion)

UAL plays a leading role in environmentally sustainable fashion, arts and design and is now divesting from fossil fuels. (Image: Tara Baoth Mooney, MA Fashion and the Environment 2011. Photography: Sean Michael. Image courtesy of Centre for Sustainable Fashion)

None of UAL’s endowment is invested directly in fossil fuels. Mindful of the impact of climate change, UAL will strengthen our investment policy to ensure that we do not indirectly invest in fossil fuels via managed funds.

As a framework for our investment policy, UAL will sign up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. We will disinvest from any fund which does not comply with the UN Principles.

The UN Principles are internationally recognised standards that ensure environmental, social and governance issues are an integral part of investment policy. They have been adopted by other universities as well as major investors and pension funds.

Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor of UAL, commented: “UAL’s commitment not to invest in fossil fuel helps our strategy to put sustainability at the heart of everything we do. We hope it will be welcomed by our staff and students.”

Signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment include Harvard University, Edinburgh University and CCLA, fund manager for universities including Birmingham City University, Cranfield University, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Hertfordshire, the University of Portsmouth and the University of Westminster.

Creative Enterprise Week 2015 at UAL – book now!


Book now for Creative Enterprise Week – offering talks, workshops and events, to help you get your creative business off the ground.

Get advice from inspiring business owners and enterprise experts. Find out how to create and grow your ideas, get funding and build your network.

Creative Enterprise Week takes place across the Colleges of UAL from 16 to 20 November, with all events free and available to all UAL student, graduates and staff. Booking is essential, so reserve your seats today!

Find out more and book your places at –

Chair of BAFTA and former Universities UK President announced as UAL Governors

Chair of BAFTA Anne Morrison and former Universities UK President Sir Eric Thomas have been appointed to the Court of Governors at University of the Arts London (UAL).

Anne and Sir Eric will join the UAL Court of Governors, who are also the University’s trustees, and will help determine and promote the educational character and mission of the University among other duties.

 Sir Eric Thomas and Anne Morrison have joined UAL as Governors (Image credit: courtesy of Sir Eric Thomas & BAFTA/Rich Hardcastle)

Sir Eric Thomas and Anne Morrison have joined UAL as Governors (Image credit: courtesy of Sir Eric Thomas & BAFTA/Rich Hardcastle)

Anne commented: “Throughout my career I have been committed to nurturing the next generation of creative talent from all backgrounds and ensuring that higher education and employers work together effectively. UAL is one of the most important artistic and educational institutions in the country and a vital component in the UK’s high reputation worldwide in the creative industries, so I am delighted to be able to contribute to its future development.”

Sir Eric commented: “I am delighted to be joining University of the Arts London. It is a unique institution which leads in academic and cultural aspects of the arts nationally and internationally. I hope my input following my experience in universities will help, in some small way, to continue on its pursuit of excellence.”

About Anne

Anne is the Chair of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the leading charity in the UK supporting, developing and promoting the art forms of the moving image.

Until 2014 she was Director of the BBC Academy, the BBC’s centre for training, which she launched in 2009. Anne’s background is principally in television production, working as a producer/director and rising to become Controller, Documentaries and Contemporary Factual at the BBC.

She is a frequent speaker on issues in the arts and education such as diversity, employability, talent development and creativity. She is a trustee of the Charleston Trust, a Board member of London & Partners and a trained executive coach and consultant.

About Sir Eric

Sir Eric was knighted for services to Higher Education in 2013 and was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol from 2001 to 2015. He was President of Universities UK from 2001 to 2013 and Chair of the Worldwide University Network from 2003 to 2007. He also chaired the Government Taskforce into Increasing Voluntary Donations to Higher Education which reported in 2004, the so called Thomas Report.

He graduated in Medicine from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1976 becoming a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in 1987 until 2001. He was Head of the School of Medicine and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton from 1995 to 2000. He is married with two grown up children.



Apple Recruitment day at UAL – Tuesday 27 October

CE Name_black_outlines-myarts image

Looking for a part-time job?

Apple Retail UK, are coming to UAL for one day, in two locations with lots of jobs to offer.

On the 27th October Apple will be in High Holborn and London College of Communication from 11am-5pm waiting for you to drop in (with your CV) ready to speak to discuss their retail jobs in their London stores.

If you love Apple products and Macs are second nature to you, come and speak to Apple about the different retail positions they have available in their stores.

What are Apple looking for from UAL students and graduates?

Clink on the link to see the different types of roles available, from sales opportunities to Genius roles:

Work where extraordinary happens.

Apple Store employees are unique individuals whose varied talents and experiences bring value to the way they connect people with Apple. So whether you’re analytical or creative, tech savvy or a people person, the Apple Store provides an ideal opportunity to challenge yourself.

Apple are currently hiring for our London retail stores. Please come along to Holborn or LCC on Tuesday 27th October to meet Apple representatives and find out more!

Frieze Week: insider’s guide by Max Mara Art Prize nominee Emma Hart

Max Mara Art Prize for Women  Tania Kovats, Ana Génoves, Ruth Ewan, Phoebe Unwin, Emma Hart. Photo - Gabriele Micalizzi Cesura. Courtesy Collezione Maramotti

At the historic headquarters of Max Mara in northern Italy, the six names of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women shortlist were revealed earlier this month. The finalists include Wimbledon College of Arts course director Tania Kovats, Central Saint Martins lecturer Emma Hart, and Chelsea College of Arts alumna Ana Genovés.

Ahead of the Prize announcement, nominee Emma Hart shares her insider’s guide to where to go in London during Frieze Week.

Kate MacGarry
On Wednesday 14th October I’ll be setting out to hear what Marcus Coates has to say as he gives an artist talk at Kate MacGarry, where he has collaborated with dance artist Henry Montes on the current exhibition which tests whether contemporary dance can be of any use in society today.
A Question Of Movement: MARCUS COATES & HENRY MONTESThe exhibition a Question Of Movement: MARCUS COATES & HENRY MONTES continues at Kate MacGarry until 24 October.

My own twinkle toes will also hot step it to Space on Mare Street where I can’t wait to see Florence Peake’s exhibition, more dance served up with a bonkers vision and sculptural excess.
Florence Peake Orbit my O O my Originally a section from Performance Shift Construct developed with musician Desmond Byrne for Gallery Lejeune 2015 Dancers Katye Coe and Rosalie Walhfrid

David Roberts Art Foundation
On Thursday 15th October I’m hoping I get into see Caroline Achaintre, John Bock, Sue Tompkins and others present new performances at the David Roberts Art Foundation. Entry is on a first come, first served basis and it will be very busy as witnessing a “legendary’ John Bock performance is something you must do at least once in your life and Caroline Achaintre’s never presented a performance before, it’s her “live” debut. I hope I get in!

Portrait of Shannon F Photo Eliot HazelThe exhibition Albert the Kid is Ghosting continues at David Roberts Art Foundation until 12 December with special opening times during Frieze Week.


Frieze London and Frieze Masters run 14-17 October, find out more about Frieze Week on the Frieze website

The Max Mara Art Prize for Women winner will be announced in early 2016, find out more on the Whitechapel Gallery website

Search art and curating courses at UAL

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2015 London Film Festival

London Film Festival is back, with hundreds of screenings, premieres and talks across 12 days drawing over 100,000 film fans to the Capital. The 2015 London Film Festival opens with Suffragette, which sees Drama Centre alumna Anne Marie Duff playing women’s rights campaigner Violet Miller.

Starring alongside Carey Mulligan in the film, Anne Marie told the Telegraph: “Violet is extraordinary, she’s a firebrand… I found her thrilling”.

Recent UAL Honorary Doctor Tacita Dean will headline the Festival’s LFF Connects series, speaking with Christopher Nolan in an event which will “reframe the future of film”. Tacita comments: “As an artist who makes and exhibits film for reasons indexical to the medium, I have had no choice but to fight to get film re-appreciated for what it is: a beautiful, robust and entirely different way of making and showing images in the gallery and in the cinema. Film has characteristics integral to its chemistry and internal discipline that form my work and I cannot be asked to separate the work from the medium that I used to make it. We need to keep the medium distinct from the technology; we need to keep the choice of film available for artists, filmmakers and audiences.”

UAL alumni appearing throughout the Festival include Chelsea alumnus Ralph Fiennes in A Bigger Splash, Drama Centre graduates Michael Fassbender, Russell Brand, and Frances de la Tour all in new releases, and LCC alumna Bonnie Wright in new children’s film Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg?.


New short film NASTY features a soundtrack by LCC Sound Arts students, created as a live project by lecturer Tim Harrison. All 17 students are credited on the short, the post production of which was facilitated by LCC.

London Film Festival runs 7-18 October at venues across London.

Read the full 2015 London Film Festival programme

Search film courses at UAL

Watch Tacita Dean give her speech to the UAL Class of 2015 on YouTube

Free event celebrates drawing and creative education in King’s Cross

Drawing the World, a free event and highlight of The Big Draw Festival, will take over Granary Square at King’s Cross on Sunday 11 October, where visitors of all ages are invited to join in with a day of creative activities from 11am-4pm.

DrawingInSpace - Alaistair Steele

Drawing in Space by UAL Associate Lecturer in Architecture and Spatial Design Alaistair Steele 

Drawing the World is a partnership event between The Big Draw, UAL and House of Illustration, joining together to promote the vital role of creativity in education, society and everyday life.

Visitors can choose from a programme of workshops created by Central Saint Martins, House of Illustration and The Big Draw to become an artist, architect, fashion illustrator, print-maker, or urban sketcher for the day.

Activities on offer include:

• Watch Rootstein Hopkins UAL Chair of Drawing Professor Stephen Farthing RA and 30 UAL postgraduate students produce an epic drawing of the world in a performance directed by a drone and mobile phones
• Trace the universe’s first 14 billion years on a Mythical Drawing Trail with Global Generation, and discover their unique Skip Garden
• Discover 3-D drawing; try experimental map-making with David Lemm, illustrator-in- residence, and see who can make and draw the biggest GRRRRR! in illustrator Rob Biddulph’s workshop, all at the House of Illustration
• Ready Steady Colour a take-away pizza with ketchup ‘paint’ and salt ‘n’ pepper glitter
• Sketch the changing urban scene from viewing platforms, map its history on a giant timeline and design emoji for King’s Cross
• Complete a walk-and-draw map while discovering even more of King’s Cross

The Big Draw President Sue Grayson Ford said of the event:

“Drawing the World will be an epic celebration of creativity, and it promises to be a highlight of the October 2015 Big Draw Festival, which will see thousands of people take part in hundreds of drawing events across the globe.”

Dean of Academic Programmes at Central Saint Martins, UAL Mark Dunhill said:

“Drawing is a language that encompasses a very wide range of media and approaches, and can be used for a multitude of different expressive, descriptive and practical visual thinking purposes. We are delighted to be involved in activating the public spaces around the Granary Building as part of this event. Drawing the World will turn the college inside out and stimulate all kinds of intriguing, fun and thought provoking ways of making images collectively.”

Director of House of Illustration Colin McKenzie said:

“As the only public gallery in the world devoted to the art of illustration in all its forms we are delighted to be working with The Big Draw and UAL on this exciting day devoted to getting as many people as possible involved in the activity of drawing.”

Drawing Seance -Marc Hulson & Kjetil Berge (2)

Drawing Seance by Central Saint Martins MA Fine Art students Marc Hulson and Kjetil Berge

Drawing the World is one of hundreds of activities taking place as part of The Big Draw Festival, an annual festival encouraging people of all ages to connect with museums, galleries, parks, artists, designers and illustrators across the world through drawing. You can also watch a short film about the event on the UAL Postgraduate Community’s YouTube channel .

For a full list of all the activities on offer on the day and details on how to book for certain workshops, please visit The Big Draw’s website.