Animating our Manifesto

Sarah Wishart — outgoing Marketing & Communications Manager, UCL Culture

Please watch our animation.. but wait… you know what, before you do — here’s a little bit of history!

In the run up to launching our Manifesto last year, I began thinking about how I could animate our work in a very literal sense. I had worked for months with our branding agency Undivided to pull together the ideas that flowed through our incredible department, who work in so many different ways with publics, researchers and artists at UCL into our development of this Manifesto. This document was a labour of love, and flowered into life with the wonderful design and determined work of this agency.

My time in the RSA’s events team — working with the producers that created the RSA Animates in collaboration with Andrew Park from Cognitive Media and the RSA shorts had been two of the most inspiring years in my working life. I’d also worked closely with the Student Design Team and championed the pilot brief we ran that year, to get animation into the process of that incredible competition.

With this inspiration at my back, I could see how the Manifesto lent itself so naturally to animation. I decided it would be a key piece of work that I’d look to do in the year after our launch. I wanted to use it to show off a small selection of amazing research and creative practice that we at UCL Culture get to see because of the unique way we work with UCL academics and students

My collaborators on the animation were people who had already worked with UCL Culture and had helped me with the launch in some way.

Will Spratley and Naomi Fitzsimmons were students had been involved with UCL Culture through the relationship we have with the Slade School of Art. Naomi had a summer residency working with the collections within UCL Art Museum. Will had been one of a handful of students working with the Grant Museum on the Skullpture residency. This residency had been developed with Kieren Reed and had engaged students with the working practices and archives of a museum. Then there were the relationships that sprang out of incredible collaborations with performers like Dr. Chiara Ambrosio and Impropera. (Catch Impropera — back at the Grant in November for Muso — get your tickets here!) Finally there was the moment when our long lost curator — the fabulous Nick Booth — invited Adam Roberts to bring his incredible swab and send project to UCL’s very own Jeremy Bentham.

At the end of our videos — we now have the line ‘this is just a small selection of the work we do’. This is no hyperbole. UCL Culture is perfectly positioned, on many crossing points throughout the university, coming into contact with curios and the curious, connecting collections to thinking and animating ideas in the process.

I’ve enjoyed the huge double challenge of developing a new website and a new visual identity, working with so many ideas and collaborating with two agencies, UCL academics and students and artists inside and outside the university in the process. I take all the knowledge gained in the process into my new Creative Director role at the human rights charity RightsInfo, but I’ll be keeping my eye on what UCL Culture does next. And so should you.

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