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Review // Surprise and Serendipity


Written by
Helen Carney
Published date
27 May 2015

On 23 April 2015, a crowd gathered at east London’s Apiary Studios for Surprise and Serendipity, an event organised by PhD students from London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins.

Karel Doing, LCC PhD student and Postgraduate Engagement Assistant, reports.

Surprise and Serendipity, funded by the LCC Graduate School, presented a non-curated collection of works in progress with the objective of finding unexpected connections and new meaning.

Similarities in content and form emerged, opening up possibilities for further collaboration. The wide scope of the event brought together works appealing to all senses: sound art, moving image, performance, spoken word, photography and design.

The audience was also a mix of different networks brought together by the participants.


Work by Lara Torres. Image © Tzortzis Rallis

Apiary’s rough white cube provided a canvas and an open-minded atmosphere that made it possible for all works to thrive.

At the entrance, visitors could hear Artur Vidal’s collaboration with Charlotte Law, the sound installation Yokousa Road Like Flower. Next they encountered Elena Brebenel’s Home Pharmacy, integrating pleasant-smelling natural oils.

In the main hall they could participate in Joana Casaca Lemos’s project Crafting Sustainability, made in collaboration with photographer Katherine Needles.


Work by Manoela Afonso. Image © Tzortzis Rallis

Meanwhile, Carl Grinter’s video loop created a sensory experience related to the effect of entering spaces. Throughout the event, poetic notes were sent by fax by Manoela Afonso, rolling into the space and read out aloud to the public.

Additionally, a time-based programme with works by Lara Torres, John Kannenberg, Julie Marsh, Karel Doing and Maria Papadomanolaki was presented, in which a prevailing minimalist approach resulted in a series of intense and engaging works.

The success of the concept and the positive response have created a platform for further exploration among these disciplines, and collaboration between PhD students from the different Colleges. A follow-up is expected next academic year.

The Graduate School encourages all postgraduate students at the College to develop their own ideas for exhibitions, events and activities that bring together the postgraduate community. For more information about the Graduate School Fund, get in touch at

Words by Karel Doing

Read more about the LCC Graduate School