Institute of Archaeology


An Element of Colour: Shaping self and society

17 May 2019–31 March 2020, 9:00 am–7:00 pm

An Element of Colour (MA Museum Studies student exhibition) logo

The UCL Institute of Archaeology's new student exhibition, 'An Element of Colour: Shaping self and society', will run from May 2019 to March 2020.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





Ian Carroll


A.G. Leventis Gallery
Institute of Archaeology
31-34 Gordon Square
United Kingdom

Colour communicates our sense of self, our values, and our place in society. The exhibition will explore how we have transformed natural materials and chemical compounds into the colours that we use to express ourselves.

  • What role does poo play in 16th century makeup?
  • What colours come from snail slime?
  • How is antiseptic being used in political protest?
  • What connects bugs, tartans, and Māori tattoos?

The answers to these questions can all be found in this exhibition. Across the four themes of ‘Politics and Protest’, ‘Community and Connection’, ‘Gender and Expression’ and ‘Class and Status’, visitors will be able to explore how colours are used to express identity. Look out for a pink pussyhat, a blue faience shabti, tyrian purple ink, and more! Or pick up an iPad in the gallery to play a game to find how colours are chemically produced and used around the world.

The temporary exhibition created by MA Museum Studies students will be displayed in the A.G. Leventis Gallery at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. The exhibition is free and open to the public on Monday - Friday, 9am - 7pm, and Saturday, 11am - 4pm (during term time).

Further information: