UCL East


Eleven new artist and researcher collaborations announced in UCL Trellis knowledge exchange

17 April 2024

Looking at topics ranging from migration and autism to recycling and fermentation, each of the collaborations has been funded to spend 10 weeks exploring ways of working, both together and with east London communities.

Viewed through a willow trellis, you can see two people sat on cushions on the floor with headphones. They are smiling to each other.

Following a process of online and in-person networking events, UCL researchers and east London artists were invited to apply for £1,500 to support their time to develop ideas for an art commission. 

This initial funding, given to eleven pairings, will cover the artist's time and project expenses for the 10-week exploratory period. Five projects will then be awarded £15,000 to create an art work. These will be exhibited in March 2025 on our UCL East campus.

This is the fifth iteration of the Trellis programme, which began in 2018, when the first cohort of artists and researchers came together at a matchmaking event. Since then, UCL has worked with more than three hundred artists and researchers, and many local community individuals and organisations through a process which has so far led to 21 art commissions showcased in four exhibitions.

Most recently, the Field Works exhibition took place at Hoxton Hall in March 2024, showcasing six Trellis artworks created by artist, researcher and community. Find out more on the exhibition website.

The funded collaborations are:

Artist Laura Copsey and Sarah Yardley, Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department, Division of
Psychiatry, UCL.

Laura and Sarah initially came together over a shared interest in sailing, but for Trellis are interested in exploring ideas around “re-wilding healthcare”. Drawing on Sarah’s work thinking about an ecosystem of care that centres on relationships, particularly for those with severe mental illness or in need of palliative care, they will use creative storytelling methods with an emphasis on ideas of sea navigation and islands.

Artist Daisy Hana James and Ava Fatah gen Schieck, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Both Daisy and Ava work around Tower Hamlets and share critical perspectives on urban development, especially around memory, identity, sensory (smell) environments and the challenges of groups and communities to assert their presence in the city. Daisy and Ava will share their experiences as they navigate the city on a series of walks where they will build their project through sharing experience.

Artist Louise Ashcroft and Duncan Greig, Centre for Life’s Origins and Evolution, UCL

Louise and Duncan will use stage one to explore their shared interest in non-linear reproduction and inheritance. Louise makes performance around alternative reproductive strategies (how to have kids without procreating) and Duncan has investigated altruism and co-operation in reproduction. They are interested in using humour and play to mirror biological and social concepts of altruism, reproduction, mutation, and inheritance, and allow different perspectives of the scientific method.

Artist Jack Wates and Margarita Garfias Royo, Lecturer, Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, UCL

Margarita and Jack share an interest in public space, and the use of lighting to both understand and change perspectives of space. Drawing on Margarita’s work on infrastructure planning, they want to take the issue of Violence Against Women (VAW) in public spaces after dark and explore a site-specific light work with users of a space.

Artists Monika Gravagno and Lottie McCarthy and Sara Adhitya, PEARL (Person-Environment-Activity Research Laboratory), UCL

Monika, Lottie and Sara have chosen to work together as they share an interest in the performance of medicine and the roles we have to play within our current medical system in order to be recognised for our neurological or physical differences. They want to focus on the premise that by prioritising the principles of neurodiversity and adopting a more inclusive approach, urban design can cultivate spaces that promote well-being, inclusivity, and equitable access for all.

Artist Milou Stella, Jonathan Hogg and Andy Cruz and researchers Vassilis Sideropoulos, Department of Psychology & Human Development and Georgia Pavlopoulou, Department of Clinical, Education and Health Psychology.

As a group, Milou, Jonathan, Andy, Vassilis and Georgia, bring together a powerful blend of diversity and expertise, with a shared focus: to explore the authentic, lived experiences of neurodivergent people with addictions. Together they will use their own lived experiences of being neurodivergent or advocates for neurodivergent people, alongside the artist's social practice and the experience of the researcher in co-production to build a project with residence of east London for whom this issue resonates.

Artist Chengwei Xia and Sophie Zhu, Department of Biochemical Engineering, UCL 

Chengwei and Sophie are interested in exploring fermentation, one aspect of Sophie’s research, with communities of growers in east London. This process will involve sourcing vegetables from the growing communities, exploring different fermentation processes, conducting workshops on making fermented foods, and looking into the potential of using food waste byproducts as art materials.

Artist Joe Moran and Anna Maguire, Department of History, UCL

Joe and Anna’s work align around themes of sanctuary, movement and mobility, activism and intersectionality. Anna’s research focuses on the history of migration and the question “what happens when people move?” while Joe’s work as a choreographer considers the body and embodied presence as a site of complex subjectivities and political unrest. They both work with communities in east London already and will use this first stage of Trellis to move together through east London’s streets and spaces and to engage their existing contacts to develop their ideas.

Artist Libby Liburd and Jose Izcue Gana, Institute for Global Prosperity, UCL

Libby and Jose have both worked with communities in east London and share an understanding of the complexities of the intertwining challenges for residents in the area (housing affordability, food and energy security, good quality jobs and sustainable income, etc). They want to explore through this project the contrast between the perception of those viewing east London as a place where prosperity is being achieved, versus community experience of living there. 

Artist Jennifer Crouch and Gema Amaya Santos, Department of Chemical Engineering, UCL

Material life cycles and human behaviour link the work of Jennifer and Gema, who specifically studies how Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHP) are disposed of and potential sustainable solutions to this. Together they will investigate how creative methods could be applied to analysing these complex issues and to enhance the discourse surrounding them.

Artist Tony Mason and Azadeh Shariati, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UCL

As artist working with puppets and costume, Tony is interested in the way natural movement can be embodied and replicated by humans operating a puppet. Azadeh is researching touch and movement in robotics to ensure safe human-robot interaction and to dramatically innovate and enhance haptic perception when the sense of touch is lost. Together they are interested in exploring where these interests overlap, and how communities in east London respond to these ideas.

You can find more information on the previous Trellis projects and the process we use on the Trellis web page.

  • Image taken at the Trellis Field Works exhibition launch