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UAL student takeover for RA 250th anniversary

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Published date 20 November 2018

UAL students will be taking over The RA in an epic birthday party on 8 December to celebrate its 250th anniversary and examine museums of the future. The event, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will be curated by UAL students, injecting a modern take on the RA’s history, collection and archive.

Visitors are invited to explore the RA’s two-acre site and undergo a multi-sensory experience across its two activated spaces, including PLAYGROUND and LABORATORY.

Book here.

RA Lates: The Other Paradise

The RA’s historic Burlington House, a 17th century town-palace on Piccadilly, becomes a nostalgic and colourful art-filled playground. Visitors will discover:

The Birthday Party
Step inside this eclectic art-filled birthday party complete with artist led party games, oversized cake, art-making workshops and artist led party games, including: Piñatas Anatómico; Tonal Tangle; Artists Guess Who?; Art Party Hats; Balloon Life Sculpting; Pin the limbs on the sculpture.
Immersive art experience designed and curated by Helena Vannerley (Graphic Design, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL), Jennie Foot (Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL) Beatrice Morris (Production Arts for Screen, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL) and Gilly Hernandez (Fashion Public Relations and Communications, London College of Fashion, UAL)

2268 Ball
A unique line-up of time bending DJs and performers. Expect the unexpected from acid house and disco, to baroque and ballet, at this one night era-defying ball. Featuring DJ sets from Japan Blues and Joewith more to be announced. Music and performances curated by Marco Pini (Graphic and Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL) and Scott Castner (Performance, Design and Practice, Central Saint Martins, UAL)

Slow Dance Takeover  
Slow Dance Takeover showcasing the best of UAL student DJs and musicians, featuring: PVA (Live) | acid house meets Bo Diddley; Rothko Williams b2b Glows | Disco, soul and oddities; FEMME Collective | Femme, queer and non-binary collective spin 90s classics.


The recently renovated Burlington Gardens, plays host to an experimental programme of cutting-edge performances, sound art and experiences from emerging artists, current students and established practitioners including:

Pop-up planetarium at the RA Lates: Cosmic Ocean

Museum Futures | RCA
Experience a multi-disciplinary exhibition produced by MA Information Experience Design students at the RCA that explores museums and galleries of the future.

Collections Gallery takeover
Site-responsive performances in the RA’s historic Collections Gallery, including cutting edge groups, Primeordial Soup, Dubmorphology and House of Decay:

Sonic Redux | Dubmorphology
Live sound art inspired by the RA’s Collections Gallery, Dubmorphology present this new artwork incorporating gallery recordings and responsive music to create a collective sonic space, a layered tapestry of past and imagined futures.

Eugene Waits | Primeordial Soup
Multi-disciplinary performance piece conceived and directed by Kimia Amina, produced in collaboration with Primeordial Soup Collective, and dancers from London School of Contemporary Dance and Trinity Laban. The performance explores the patterns of behaviour within a city, and the psychological evolution of the human mind.

House of Decay
Site-responsive performance from House of Decay, exploring the perception of fertility in Renaissance art from a queer perspective, through a multi-disciplinary programme of contemporary dance, voguing, fashion and live art.

Student Film Festival | UAL
Watch new short films by current UAL students, screened in the RA’s new Benjamin West Lecture Theatre.
Produced by Cameron Lee (Film Practice, London College of Communication, UAL), Freddie Wise (Painting, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL), Jessica Timbs (Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL)

In the Air 2018
Digital artwork exploring the movements of air and its relationship to time. The artist ‘paints in code’ to interactively programme pixels – recreating the timeless presence of air moving around us all, using technology to visualise the invisible.
Shirley Renwick (Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL)

Line of Sound
Showcasing boundary-pushing sound art and live DJs, featuring sets by Gribs, Lucaufer with more to be announced.
Curated by Marco Pini (Graphic and Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL)

Explore an underground space to discover secret happenings.

RA Lates: The Other Paradise

Hidden Archives
Experience a new soundscape, a sonic atmosphere created alongside oral histories from the RA Archives. The space invites you to consider the relationship between human perspectives as conveyed through oral histories and the detached wonder and immensity of night-time star-gazing.

Curated by Elvira Garcia (Culture, Criticism and Curation, Central Saint Martins, UAL) in collaboration with music producer Glows.

Quick on the DRAW

Take part in a series of 30-second drawing challenges that embrace mistakes and burst creative inhibitions at this playful drop-in activity.

Produced by Bill Redshaw (Foundation, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL)

RA Student Night: The Birthday Party
Saturday 8 December, 7 – 11pm
Royal Academy of Arts
The event is FREE. Booking is required.

RA Lates: The Electric Forest

About the UAL Curator Programme

In Autumn 2017, the Royal Academy of Arts partnered with Arts SU and UAL to programme a series of peer-led free events as part of the RA’s 250th anniversary celebrations, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. Recruitment began for 12 student curators, two from each of UAL’s six world-renowned colleges, including Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of ArtsLondon College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Arts. The final selection were chosen from over 330 applicants.

Through a series of Development Workshops delivered by Imogen Willetts, Lates and Special Events Creative Programmer at the Royal Academy, the UAL curators have learnt about the RA’s history, Collection and Archive, alongside experience design, creative programming and curation. The projects’ first outcome was programming spaces at the RA’s Arts Festival in July 2018, which saw an eclectic programme of site-specific installation, live music, workshops and DJs across the RA’s newly redeveloped Burlington Gardens Site.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported and #NationalLottery.

About the Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by a group of artists and architects, under the patronage of King George III, in 1768. It has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded charity led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, understanding and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.

The Royal Academy has launched a new campus as part of the celebrations of its 250th anniversary year. Following a transformative redevelopment, designed by the internationally-acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield RA and supported by the National Lottery, the new Royal Academy of Arts reveals more of the elements that make the RA unique – sharing with the public historic treasures from its Collection, the work of its Royal Academicians and the Royal Academy Schools, and its role as a centre for learning and debate about art and architecture – alongside its world-class exhibitions programme.

About Arts SU
Arts Students’ Union (Arts SU) is an independent union run by students, for students. One of the most innovative Students’ Unions, Arts SU promotes and supports the development of UAL students, both professionally and personally. The SU aims to provide the tools for a sustainable creative career, giving students the chance to showcase their work and access new opportunities or environments through our extensive partnerships, such as that with the RA.