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Mark Titchner, It is You that I Love the Most, 2006

Introducing the UAL Art Collection

Written by Lucie Pardue
Published date 15 October 2019

In August this year, the UAL Art Collection made the move from UAL’s Careers & Employability department to the Archives and Special Collections Centre (ASCC).

The UAL Art Collection comprises artworks of exceptional quality from across the six UAL colleges. It exists to serve two main purposes: firstly, to create a visual history which reflects the diversity, quality and history of practice, as well as diversity of the student body of the University. Secondly, to financially and professionally support graduating artists at the early stages of their career, through the purchase of artwork and through resources available as a part of the collection.

Being part of the Careers & Employability department for the past seven years has meant that holistic support for the artists has been at the forefront of our objectives, and that priority will be maintained. However the move to the Archives and Special Collections Centre opens up a wealth of new opportunities and exposure for the collection and its artists. Whilst previously primarily a display collection, we can now encourage artists, curators, researchers and students to study and use the collection, which holds approximately 750 bodies of work – from individual pieces to series and portfolios - in a vast range of media and disciplines.

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UAC 962: Ed Phipps, The Digital British Museum, Virtual reality (2019)
UAC 962: Ed Phipps, The Digital British Museum, Virtual reality (2019)

Every year the UAL Art Collection visits all UAL graduate shows and based on recommendations, purchases a selection of artworks. You can view our recent acquisitions, or browse the whole collection, on our webpage. This year we were excited to collect our first Virtual Reality work from Camberwell BA Drawing graduate, Ed Phipps. For The Digital British Museum, his digital version of the museum's Egyptian room, he 3D scanned artefacts using the museum's own Wi-Fi. By moving them from the physical to the digital space, these artefacts have been digitally appropriated from the museum - using emerging technology to take part in the restitution debate.

The collection holds works by a number of well-known artists including Toby Ziegler, Mona Hatoum, Mark Titchner, Tom Hunter and Yinka Shonibare. Many of our more recent and emerging artists have also been involved in exciting projects and been recipients of prestigious opportunities and awards, such as Kazuma Obara, an LCC MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography graduate who won the World Press Photo award in 2016 for his project Exposure. It presents the life of Mariia, a girl born 5 months after the Chernobyl disaster, and was made using film found in the abandoned city of Pripyat, 5km from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Kazuma Obara Exposure 003 and 008, 2016
UAC 878: Kazuma Obrara, Exposure 003 & 008, Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Photolag 308gsm paper (2016).

Recent Wimbledon BA Painting graduate, and UAL Art Collection artist, Annie-Marie Akpene Akussah has been featured by emerging artists’ platforms such as New Contemporaries and was a 2019 MEAD fellowship winner. The collection is proud to contain her painting, Women on the Move, in which the artist explores a dialogue on what inter-African migration is like for women today, in the early 1950’s and post-independence whilst exploring their role to the economy during Ghana’s independence.

UAC 919: Annie-Marie Akpene Akussah, Women on the Move, Oil paint, silkscreen print, transfer and Kente cloth on canvas (2018)
UAC 919: Annie-Marie Akpene Akussah, Women on the Move, Oil paint, silkscreen print, transfer and Kente cloth on canvas (2018).

If you are a curator, it is possible for you to loan artworks from the UAL Art Collection for exhibition purposes. If you would like to study UAL Art Collection artworks, we would be very happy to assist you at the Archives and Special Collections Centre. For these, or any other enquiries, please email the UAL Art Collection Coordinator, Lucie Pardue: l.s.pardue@arts.ac.uk or ualcollection@arts.ac.uk.

Banner image: UAC 525: Mark Titchner, It Is You That I Love The Most, Silkscreen print on gold paper (2006).