UCL East


Two new artists-in-residence for UCL East

9 February 2022

UCL East is excited to present its newest artists-in-residence, Annie Lee and Olivia Lopez, both students at UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art, which is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary. 

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The residencies are just one of a range of ways that UCL East and UCL’s Public Art Programme support future generations of artists by providing opportunities and exposure.

This is the third in a series of residencies offered to students at the Slade. They will spend a 12-month period observing, commenting and reflecting creatively on this significant development for UCL in east London, including the run up to the opening of the new campus this autumn. 

Annie Lee, an interdisciplinary studying Fine Art, has been featured on TV as a semi-finalist on Sky Arts’ Portrait Artist of the Year 2019. Their work is often site-specific and situation-responsive, investigating how an object’s function and meaning can change depending on its context.  

Annie also works as an online art tutor and finds it rewarding “to help young people from a diverse range of backgrounds become more confident in their creativity and engaged with experimental creation”, something they hope to bring to their role as an artist-in-residence. 

Olivia Lopez is a geographer and artist also studying Fine Art at UCL Slade. By combining their knowledge of geography with the lens of fine art, Olivia tries to bridge the gap between science and art, which in turn epitomises UCL’s approach to interdisciplinary learning.  

Their practice is very research oriented, using digital mediums alongside installation, and is aimed at “understanding humanity’s relationship to the environment, exploring themes of migration, territory, and infrastructural development.”  

Over the summer of 2021, Olivia volunteered with artist development charity A Space Arts, where they engaged with Southampton's grassroots arts scene. They have also worked with Resolve Collective for a residency called School of Broadcasting, run by Arts Catalyst, which explored the role of sound in urban settings, and how sound is transmitted between communities. 

Both artists chosen are oriented very much around spaces and letting their art be inspired by the environment around them.  

Annie said: “I am excited by this opportunity to explore my practice in a new context and am looking forward to meeting new people and seeing how these connections inform my response to the site.” 

Olivia is also inspired by the residency: “I am excited by how UCL has embraced interdisciplinary learning in this development. In this residency, I hope to harness the approaches of science alongside the lens of fine art to create work that helps us understand our environment in a new perspective." 

UCL East Director Professor Paola Lettieri FREng said: “UCL East will be ground-breaking in the way different disciplines come together to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing people and the planet.  For example, we will be opening a new Slade Studio, which will be a flexible art studio space supporting a new degree that focuses on the intersections of art and technology. 

“I would like to congratulate Annie and Olivia on their appointment as our current student artists-in residence. I can’t wait to see how Annie and Olivia reflect on UCL East and the insights their practice will bring to the power of art to influence thinking on everything from architecture and design to engineering and computer science.” 


Learn more about UCL's work in east London