Spotlight on Susie Chan

13 March 2013

Susie Chan

This week the spotlight is on Susie Chan, Exhibitions Co-ordinator, UCL Museums and Public Engagement.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am the Exhibitions Coordinator for UCL. I schedule and coordinate all the exhibitions around campus – including the new Octagon Gallery, Cloisters and front lodge. These are selected by an application process – which anyone in UCL, staff or students can apply for.

I also work with the museums to assist in their exhibition projects and collections care.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I have been at UCL for four years now – and previously worked at the Hayward Gallery, installing and uninstalling contemporary art exhibitions. I also looked after the Arts Council Collection of paintings.

Prior to that, I spent seven years at the British Museum looking after the Department of Asia galleries, exhibition loans, temporary exhibitions and its vast collections.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

Definitely the Octagon Gallery. It has made such a huge difference to the space. When I used to say ‘the octagon’, people would not realise where in UCL the space was. Now, it has become a destination to visit.

I worked within a fantastic project team and the work involved in changing the space was huge and involved much planning – everything from moving the stature of St. Michael off his old plinth and on to his new glass plinth, to the installation of the bespoke museum cases and development of the interactive label rails.

We had to work around exams, graduations, Listed Building consent and the Olympics to name a few obstacles!

UCL Museums and Collections can now showcase some of the excellent collections and research in this new interactive space.

What is your life like outside UCL?

Outside of UCL I am a mother to 11-year-old Lily.

I am also an endurance runner. I compete in many races of all distances – but focus on ‘ultra marathons’ (races of 30 miles or more)

This April, I will be embarking on the ‘Toughest Footrace in the World’, the Marathon des Sables – a 250km race through the Sahara Desert.

Apart from a ‘tent’ and (rationed) water, I will need to carry everything else I need to survive on my back! All my food, sleeping gear and survival kit for the week – this will weigh around 22lb.

To prepare for this race I have competed ultra marathons over 66 miles long, and run more than 1,500 miles in training in the past 12 months.

I am running the race for the fantastic Disability Challengers. If you wish to sponsor me, please visit my fundraising page.

To find out more about how to exhibit in UCL’s public spaces please email me: Sussanah.chan@ucl.ac.uk or visit the Exhibitions at UCL webpage.