Slade 150: Past, Present, Future
What is it like to be a student at the Slade School of Fine Art?
Run by artists for artists since 1871, the School celebrates its 150th anniversary by capturing the real experiences of its students in a unique year.
This snapshot exhibition is artist-led, with Slade students reflecting on how their art school’s past and its present could inform its future. Students on programmes from BA to PhD level, across all artistic disciplines, explore ideas of tradition and heritage, and ask how new generations can challenge and disrupt these.
Many of the featured artists have taken inspiration from the Slade’s relationship with UCL, London and beyond. The exhibition showcases the Slade’s distinctive methods of teaching and researching, with students developing their own practice in dialogue with histories and theories of art, UCL’s teaching collections, its architecture, and each other’s practice.
The exhibition features work by Slade students:
- Egidija Čiricaitė
Egidija Čiricaitė is a PhD candidate, working on interdisciplinary research with UCL Linguistics. The artist book sits at the centre of her research and practice in which she explores the intersection of language, images and thought. She is particularly interested in the role of metaphor and emotion that arises through the unique forms and structures offered by the artist book. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, amongst these the V&A in London, the Bibliotheque Kandinsky-Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Museum Meermanno in Amsterdam.
- Yīfán Hé and Murtaza Zaidi
Yīfán Hé, in their final year of the MA in Fine Art in the area of media at the Slade is exhibiting work created with Murtaza Zaidi, who is a final year BFA Printmaking student at National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore, Pakistan. Their collaboration draws on Slade/NCA Print Pal programme which facilitated their joint interest in translation and cliches about love. The collaboration attempts to disrupt the conception of borders and edges between bodies and languages. Their Slade 150 contribution across different media including film, animation and printmaking, is an attempt at creating joint experiences that bleed into one another and blur the lines between individuals. Hé is one of two 2021 UCL East student artists in residence.
Yīfán Hé: Instagram @mzhyff
Murtaza Zaidi: Instagram @benamitasweer
- Sophie Lourdes Knight
Sophie Lourdes Knight is in the final year of her MFA in Fine Art in the area of painting. She is a multidisciplinary artist from California. She studied at the Wimbledon College of Art and California College of the Arts, graduating with a BFA in 2014. Participation in Slade 150 offered the opportunity to engage with the Slade painting collection featuring prize-winning works by former students held with UCL Art Museum. Within the studio, her core interests revolve around notions of failure and ideas of what success could be, attempting to overcome ‘failure’ by making and remaking; failure as success, as subject, as object.
- Emily Mannion
Emily Mannion is in the final year of her MFA in Fine Art in the area of painting. Mannion situates her practice in the realm of the domestic, creating narrative vignettes that are culled from art history, personal experience, film and literature. She investigates moments in-between events where agency is suspended, giving way to both the mundane and the absurd. Originally from Donegal in Ireland, Mannion gained her BFA from University of Huddersfield and attend the Turps Banana Correspondence course (2018-19). She is recipient of the 2021 Felix Slade Scholarship.
- Moza Al Mazrouei and Hampus Hoh
No bio by preference of the students
- Robert Mead
Robert Mead is in the third year of his PhD at the Slade. Moving through the strata of his works he digs up histories and ghosts of our past which linger in the changing landscapes of today. Using the materiality of painting and the process of harvesting and making pigments, his paintings reveal different types of residue of human impacts on our planet. Mead is a 2021 recipient of the Max Werner Drawing Prize.
- Katie Mess and Niki Kohandel
Niki Kohandel and Katie Mess are artists studying together in their third year of the BA Fine Art at the Slade in the area of media and often collaborate. They are interested in exploring our relationship to time, as well as organisms and landscapes that live alongside us. Birds hold particular interest – how being with them can encourage different ways of thinking. Through the use of both analogue and digital photography, filmmaking, translated words and sculpture, they create narratives, conjure known and unknown ghosts, and speculate on the future ahead. Kohandel and Mess re-established the student Slade Society in 2020.
Katie Mess: Instagram @nocturnal_dust @______sirius______
Niki Kohandel: https://nikikohandel.com/
- Abi Ola
Abi Ola is an MFA Fine Art 2021 graduate in the area of painting. She works with painting, collage, screen printing, photography and performance. Combining autobiographical and collective histories she takes inspiration from old family clothes, nature, and tribal art as well as African and Oceanic textiles. Through the original patterns that emerge she seeks to represent her West African heritage and her life in the UK. Ola intentionally obscures the identities of the figures in her work to allow the audience to place themselves or their loved ones within the images she creates. Ola is one of two 2021 UCL East student artists in residence.
- Lícia Santos
Lícia Santos is in the final year of her MFA in Fine Art in the area of painting. Her practice explores the body and nature through drawing, painting and performance, often drawing on her mixed Angolan and Portuguese heritage. Her work for Slade 150 engages for the first time with the practice of print, making etchings based on life observations of her peers at the Slade. She is interested in how spaces influence the creative process and how artists find refuge in these and consequently in each other. In 2020 she graduated from Goldsmiths College, was Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year series 7 and received the Slade’s Euan Uglow scholarship. In the year of her graduation from Goldsmiths College in 2020 she was recipient of the Slade’s 2020 Euan Uglow scholarship and participant in Sky Arts Portrait of the Year.
- Korallia Stergides
Korallia Stergides is in her final year of the MFA Fine Art in the area of media. She is an interdisciplinary artist based between London and Cyprus working with performance, installation and media. Stergides interweaves autobiographical narrative into her work that explores the vital politics of care in an interdependent world and emphasises nonhuman agencies. Moments of public gestures of care toward nonhumans imprinted in public spaces and buildings hold particular interest. Her work for Slade 150 introduces for the first time object making alongside drawing and sound, and takes as its focus the stray cat that transitions between its role as domestic and public ‘pet.
- Latifah A. Stranack
Latifah A. Stranack is a 2021 MFA Fine Art graduate in the area of painting. She has an East/West heritage that has inspired her fascination with cultural hybridity. In her work she seeks to capture fleeting moments in which she contextualises and reframes the presence and absence of family members and belongings. Through layers of paint, she works through subconscious emotions and fears. Stranack is 2021 recipient of the Desiree Painting Prize and 2020 recipient of the Max Werner Drawing Prize.
It is part of a programme of events marking the Slade’s 150th birthday, including a parallel exhibition Slade 150: Testing Ground at the UCL Art Museum.
Slade 150: Past, Present, Future has been created through collaboration between students and staff at the Slade School of Fine Art, museum curators and significant contributions from many others at UCL.
Find out more at www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/slade-150
Slade core curatorial team: Rebecca Loweth, Sharon Morris, Jayne Parker, Kieren Reed, Joy Sleeman, Estelle Thompson, Jo Volley
Exhibition curator: Nina Pearlman, Head of UCL Art Collections
Project team (external): Veronica Dominiak, project manager; Victoria Kingston, interpretation consultant
With production and financial support from UCL Culture curatorial, collections and exhibitions teams and the Slade School of Fine Art.
Graphic design Aspel Creative Ltd