Student Wellbeing Collage Club launches in the UCL Art Museum

24th November 2023
student wellbeing , art , UCL Culture , museums
UCL Art Museum
Weekly Wednesday afternoon collage workshops focused on student wellbeing have launched this term in the UCL Art Museum.

As the excitement of the new term fades, workloads increase, temperatures drop and the nights draw in, it can be difficult to fight off the mid-term blues. A new series of workshops run by Collage Club Ldn in the UCL Art Museum seeks to help students take a break from their studies and activate their creativity. 

Artist Steph Hartman, founder of Collage Club, leads the sessions, which are themed around wellbeing. The Collage Club mantra is to ‘celebrate the art of cutting and sticking’, moving away from notions and pressures of producing perfectly proportioned drawings. Hartman embraces hands-on techniques, where scissors become the drawing tool, encouraging participants to create imaginative collages through ripping, snipping, gluing and sticking.

The workshop series began on Wednesday 25 October, taking ‘Collage and Chance’ as its theme. Steering students to embrace chance and use their intuition to guide their creation, the first session took Jean Arp’s ‘chance collages’ as inspiration. Arp’s technique integrated chance within artistic production, comparing an artist’s role to a plant bearing fruit. Students were invited to follow Arp’s process of making chance compositions by taking shapes and letting them fall onto a page with little intervention. Students were also introduced to automatic drawing, which was used to generate these random shapes. 

Jean Arp, ‘Squares or Rectangles Arranged According to the Laws of Chance’, 1916-17, New York: The Museum of Modern Art.

Designed to inspire students’ creativity and to provide respite from academic work, Collage Club Ldn will be hosting these weekly workshops until the end of Term 1, with themes including Pattern Making, Paper Weaving and Collaging with Nature. Students have been very enthusiastic about the sessions, embracing the opportunity to engage creatively with a new activity: 

  • “Preparation for work to do with my dissertation this week has been really hard, so it’s been great to come and shut off.” 
  • “I’ve been needing to find something to clear my head from uni work and I used to collage when I was younger, this has been a real help.” 
  • “Student Wellbeing was in the title… so I said YES, this is what I need right now!”

The last workshop in the series will be ‘A Festive Finale!’, a session centred on making and gifting where participants can craft a collage for themselves or to give to someone else. The workshop will run on Wednesday 6 December as part of the Students’ Union UCL Winter Arts Festival, a week of events coordinated by artsUCL supporting creative freedom and expression for UCL students. 


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