UCL East


Trellis free art exhibition in Mile End will amplify voices of east London communities

4 April 2022

This year's Trellis art festival, run by UCL as part of its engagement work in east London, will see local issues expressed through multidisciplinary works co-created by contemporary east London creatives, cutting-edge UCL researchers and east London communities.

An aerial view of a record player where the turntable appears to be made from a manhole cover

Now in its third year, Trellis is an annual free exhibition of collaborative commissions grown out of UCL’s world-leading researchers working in collaboration with contemporary artists and east London community groups.

Trellis is commissioned by UCL's wide-ranging Public Art programme, which also incorporates commissions from renowned artists for the university's public and social spaces, including recent artworks from Bouke de Vries, Rachel Whiteread and Thomson & Craighead. 

Food poverty, mental health, cancer narratives, inclusive AI (Artificial Intelligence), refugee, and disability experiences are all explored in an impactful new exhibition at The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park from 29 April to 8 May 2022.

The selected creative projects exhibiting this year are: 

  • Tailor-Made - this a participatory project that gives cancer patients microscopic insights into the disease and creates the potential for new a relationship with their cancer through bespoke wearable art. UCL Cancer Institute research fellow, Dr. Ayse U. Akarca, and award-winning conceptual jeweller, Kassandra Lauren Gordon, collaborated with people with lived experience of cancer, to co-create ‘Tailor Made’, where the patients take cancer tissue samples as stimuli to design a bespoke jewellery piece, telling the personal story of their own cancer journey.
  • Material Design Meets AI - Tackling the in-built discrimination and biases of AI design, making the digital world tangible, and demonstrating the accessibility of AI combine in ‘Material Design Meets AI.’ Building on initial collaboration with Computer Science PhD student Amy Widdicombe, material designer and artist Ella Bulley has worked with Hackney Quest, in collaboration with Hackney Youth Quest, this interactive exhibit seeks to make understanding AI disruptive and fun, with a focus on intersectionality.
  • Patterns of Connection - after lockdowns limited to virtual communication and starved of physical interaction, how do we use all our senses to reconnect with each other and build new bridges across communities? In ‘Patterns of Connection’, photographic artist Marysa Dowling collaborates with biomedical engineer and neuroscientist Dr. Catherine Perrodin, and neuroscientist Dr. Liam Browne, to chart this transient territory.
  • Another Provision - the food poverty issues dominating the headlines during Covid-19 are tackled head on in ‘Another Provision,’ as the food insecurity which has long plagued communities across east London is brought into sharp relief by the cost-of-living crisis. New Contemporaries artist, Johann Arens, and UCL Institute for Global Prosperity interdisciplinary urban researcher, Dr. Hanna Baumann, are collaborating with the London branch of the National Food Service, exploring ways to work towards food justice as a basic human right, as part of a political vision of Universal Basic Services.
  • Bubble Worlds - intra-active artist, Duncan Paterson is collaborating with the charity CodeYourFuture (which teaches coding skills to the refugee community), roboticist and Associate Professor of Robotics, Dr. Helge Wurdemann, and UCL Mechanical Engineering research fellow Dr. Azadeh Shariati. Reflecting on their psychological experience of COVID lockdowns, the refugee community revealed amazing stories of resilience; despite their double isolation, separated both from their new community by lockdown and alienated their old community by geography, the group saw it as an opportunity to block out the negativity of the 24 hour news cycle, reconnect with nature, begin new studies and focus on their own growth – in their eyes it became a chance to form a protective cocoon around themselves and embrace it as a moment in which to be reborn.
  • Material Conversations - what does a paint brush sound like? How does clay feel? What memories do these materials evoke, and how can these senses help us interpret and navigate the world? ‘Material Conversations’ brings together researchers, artists, disabled and non-disabled people to explore materials, opening new perspectives on the powers of touch and sound, which are so foundational to those with sight-loss. In this project artist Caroline Wright collaborates with researchers Dr Tim Adlam, Dr Youngjun Cho, Maryam Bandukda and Dr Ben Oldfrey, and members of the Beyond Sight Loss community, to discover where creative approaches can intersect with technology to evoke new and stimulating experiences.

The Trellis exhibition runs from 29 April – 8 May 2022 at The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park, Clinton Road, London, E3 4QY.

The exhibition will be open daily 11am – 6pm. For more information, please visit the Trellis art festival siteThe Trellis events programme runs throughout the exhibition, for full information and bookings please visit https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture-online/trellis-2021-22/visiting-exhibition


  • ‘Material Conversations, 2022’, credit: Caroline Wright, Tim Adlam, Maryam Bandukda, Youngjun Cho, Ben Oldfrey. 

Visit this year's free Trellis art exhibition