Slade 150: Testing Ground
Through the medium of printmaking, Testing Ground celebrates all the artists who have contributed to the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL over its 150-year history.
A feature-wall is dedicated to ‘ThanksToEveryoneForEverything’, a specially produced time map of the names, in chronological order, of those who have studied or worked at the Slade since 1871. It captures important events and initiatives, including developments to the art school’s building. It is a record in progress and will be added to as more names and dates come to light.
Testing Ground also hosts ceiling-high displays of experimental test prints and plates, collaboratively made by students and staff exploring print processes in the Slade’s printmaking workshops over recent years. Curated displays showcase historic student work from the Slade Print Collections, alongside recent video works, sound pieces and examples of printmaking tools and paraphernalia.
In a space where past and present are in dialogue to evoke ideas of process, teaching and learning via mark-making, Testing Ground conveys the challenge, unpredictability, and excitement of artists encountering new situations, as well as the coming together of different outlooks and approaches between students and staff.
Current displays feature recent Y1 publication projects: Bound Mail Art in the Pandemic (2021) and Cosmic Chromas (2022), both part of the Slade’s annual Small Press Project; a selection of research publications recently published by Slade Press; Print Pals: Then and Now (2021), a publication resulting from the unique (lockdown) print collaboration between the Slade and the National College of the Arts (NCA), Lahore; and Gingko (2022), the result of a collaborative workshop with the legendary PoetArtist Paula Claire.
Testing Ground is part of a programme of events marking the Slade’s 150th birthday.
Find out more at www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/slade-150