Arts and Sciences BASc showcase is campus first
31 January 2024
A showcase of arresting artworks created by 2nd-year Arts and Sciences BASc degree students at UCL is the subject of the first public temporary exhibition of students’ work to be displayed in our recently opened Marshgate building on our UCL East campus.
The showcase runs until Monday 5 February in the breakout spaces on the first floor of the building and the public, staff and students are all welcome to browse the exhibits.
UCL’s Arts and Sciences BASc is unlike any other degree in the UK with its focus on understanding how different branches of knowledge interrelate and linking subjects together in new ways. Students build a bespoke programme including both arts and science specialisms while majoring in either cultures, health and the environment, science and engineering or societies. The result is graduates who can work effectively across multiple disciplines.
These arresting exhibits are the culmination of a course module on art and interdisciplinarity which gives 2nd year students the opportunity to learn about and experience art thinking and art practice, and to develop a personal art project to display.
It draws on a wide range of materials and theory from art, anthropology, architecture, philosophy, biology, physics, maths, neurology and geology, which is reflected in the showcase with artworks created from iron, fabric, cardboard, found objects, digital media, hair and even human fingernails.
This way of working embodies UCL’s ethos, which also drives all the activity on our UCL East campus, of promoting innovative thinking by bringing different disciplines together. The exhibits illustrate the use of art as a research tool and a medium to understand and express complex ideas as each student is invited to develop their unique artistic language and methodology. Each piece is a testament to how art can intersect with various academic disciplines to create something truly innovative and impactful.
UCL Arts and Sciences BASc student Nia Williams said:
"My installation consisted of a series of cardboard masks shedding light on monsters from Welsh mythology. With this being my first experience of having my art exhibited, it was a thrill to be able to showcase my culture, language and heritage in this context. The masks are currently hanging up on the first floor, representing creatures like Y Ddraig Goch (the Welsh Dragon) and Y Fari Lwyd (the Mari Lwyd), among other beasts. I highly encourage all to wear them and immerse yourself in these stories from Welsh folklore. The act of folklore is itself highly participatory and each time a story is shared, the history lives on.
"The brilliant thing about this exhibition was being surrounded by the sheer variety of works by my talented classmates, each with such richness of complexity and thoughtfulness behind them. I know a lot of effort and heart went on behind the scenes, so it's a really inspiring place to be in.”
Funa Ye said:
"It has been an immense pleasure to work with students this academic year, practising and witnessing the evolution of interdisciplinary art methodologies. Seeing students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds mould their ideas from conception through critique to refinement and final implementation has been profoundly inspiring.
“Exhibiting these works in UCL East's new spaces presents a rare and valuable opportunity for both myself, as a postgraduate teaching assistant, and the participating students. It's not just an exhibition; it's a celebration of our collective journey and growth in the vast realm of interdisciplinary art."
Another benefit to the students, many of whom like Nia Williams are displaying for the first time, the showcase is a chance to learn how to develop an exhibition, from the logistics of installing to curating interesting displays and understanding health and safety considerations.
Matilda Blackwell, Exhibitions Manager for the UCL Cultural and Community Engagement team based at our UCL East campus, said:
“The Cultural and Community Engagement team really enjoyed supporting the Arts and Sciences BASc students with their module showcase – it’s exciting to see their creative, cross disciplinary work. This is one of the first exhibitions in our recently opened Marshgate building here at UCL East, so there have been lots of learnings to take from the process, but we’re very excited to begin working with students, researchers and our community partners to animate and activate the campus.”
- Cardboard masks shedding light on Welsh mythology by UCL student Mia Williams