UCL News


Artists In Residence: 18 students celebrating 200 years

19 January 2010

18 students from the UCL Slade School of Fine Art will be taking up residence in the windows of Heal's flagship Tottenham Court Road furniture store to create a unique piece of retail theatre.


Heal's has been at the forefront of modern design for 200 years and is working with UCL as part of its bicentenary celebrations. Between 1st - 7th February 2010 this inspirational design project will see interactive art installations being created day and night in Heal's 27 meter long showcase window.

The 18 students from the UCL Slade School of Fine art are:

- Alex Springer; building a vintage pinhole camera to take 200 portraits which will be collated and displayed.

- Cansu Aladay; creating the installation 'Woven Memories' using coloured yarn and Heal's oak photo frames .

- Diana Taylor; referencing cartoons and Disney characters alongside archive Heal's patterns and prints to create a large scale mural in the Meal's Peyton & Byrne restaurant on the 1st floor.

- Gavin Weber; screen printing 200 prints on a large 1830s wood block printer where wood blocks will be carved, printed and displayed.

- Haruka Ono, collecting customer receipts which will be screen printed in fluorescent colours and printed as large scale keepsake posters.

- Helga Helgason, creating an installation by carving paper as if it were wood.

- Jayne Wilton, creating the installation 'Catching Breath' where 200 breaths will be caught as copper plate etchings, acid washed and displayed as a large scale collage.

- Jeremy Hutchinson, creating a propaganda Anglo modernist office installation within the windows using decals and posters.

- John Shelvin, producing an installation of two clocks, one analogue set at the time 18.10 and one digital set at the time 20.10.

- Julia Vogl, creating the installation '200 Units For 200 Years' comprising 200 small wooden shapes and tessellating decals based on archive Heal's prints.

- Kitty Clark, creating a series of silk screen prints of celebratory bunting, taking inspiration from and colour matched to archive Festival of Britain Heal's posters.

- Kristen Schaffer; draping an iconic Louis 4 Poster bed by John Reeves with a sheet of dried acrylic paint to create a large scale 3-dimensional installation.

- Nadine Mahony, a fine artist painting on photographs to create a series based on architectural details of the Heal's building using raw materials and mixing pigments on site.

- Nina Rodin; producing a multi layered abstract forest of trees painting on the glass of the windows in a continual marathon seven day session.

- Peter Sant; producing a projection film of the Heal's store at night as if the building were a film set waiting for actors to arrive.

- Rebecca James, creating a large painting of mixed media inspired by the Heal's building.

- Shan Hur; a sculptor creating a faux column inside the store window and excavating part of it to reveal hidden Heal's products.

- William Saunders, taking macro imagery of the textures of Heal's furniture and accessories to create a film to be projected within the windows.

Sir Ambrose Heal had a keen interest in fine art and attended classes at the UCL Slade School of Fine Art.

Up until the 1980s Heal's held an exhibition space, the Mansard Gallery, on the fifth floor of the Tottenham Court Road store which was opened in 1919 by Ambrose Heal. It was the White Cube gallery of its day, the first place to exhibit Modigliani in the UK, where Aldous Huxley first met Virginia Woolf and where the first room sets were presented by Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Maxwell Fry.

"It is no surprise that Ambrose - always interested in the overlap  between art, design and commerce - should set up a galley at Heal's to show the best and, in many cases, most innovative art," says John Aiken, Director of the UCL Slade School of Fine Art

Although the gallery no longer exists, Heal's core values and links with the art and design community are just as fundamentally important as ever. 'Artists In Residence' reflects Heal's rich design heritage, whilst heralding the next chapter of Heal's history.

The art produced over the course of the seven days will be available to purchase from the Heal's virtual Mansard Gallery which launches online at heals.co.uk to coincide with the project with prices ranging from £15.



Images: The UCL Slade School of Fine Art

Media contact: Dave Weston

About UCL

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. UCL is the fourth-ranked university in the 2009 THES-QS World University Rankings. UCL alumni include Marie Stopes, Jonathan Dimbleby, Lord Woolf, Alexander Graham Bell, and members of the band Coldplay. UCL currently has over 12,000 undergraduate and 8,000 postgraduate students. Its annual income is over £600 million.

About Heal's

Heal & Son was founded in 1810 by John Harris Heal and this year celebrates its Bicentenary. Heal's is owned by Wittington Investments Limited, the investment vehicle of the Weston family who also own department store Fortnum & Mason, Associated British Foods and fashion retailer Primark. Andrea Warden is currently the Chief Executive and has been since 2004. Heal's has seven stores located throughout the UK and an online store www.heals.co.uk selling a wide range of modern, designer and contemporary furniture, homewares, lighting, accessories and gifts for the home.