Uncharted Stories

About us

We are a collective of PhD and MPhil students from University of the Arts London who have joined forces with other visual artists and art organisations to produce contemporary art exhibitions and engage research topics with new perspectives. Our members include visual artists, designers, curators, art historians and gallerists, all from different parts of the world.

Our first curatorial exercise is to create artwork, narratives, and art lab style workshops for the benefit of designing an exhibition on the theme of marginalised cultural histories.  Our group name, Uncharted Stories, reflects this first project.  Together we will produce a juried exhibition and discussion series on the theme of uncharted cultural histories and stories. The term “uncharted” is used in this context to describe any particular history that has not been widely documented, or has not been documented using a particular arts approach. The committee will view work from many artists solicited by means of an open call for artwork documenting cultural histories through performance, sound, image, or object.

Fifty pieces will be selected for the final exhibition. Additionally, an art lab model  will be used to solicit new works with the open call, in which artists will be encouraged to engage with historical data. The organising committee will provide workshops and sample projects on this model for any artists interested in submitting work. This will add to a laboratory-like environment for inspiring the creation of contemporary art reflecting on culture, history and representation. Some examples of artworks might include: a series of images depicting a regional design history, a sound archive on Queer activists in London, or a mixed-media installation illustrating the transcontinental journeys of religious memorabilia. Participating artists may include UAL alumni, students, and any independent practising artist. The principal aim of the exhibition is to create verbal and visual dialogue around the concept of documenting cultural histories in new ways (not primarily text-based).

An emphasis will be placed upon work form a variety of cultures within transnational communities, and one resource will be the African-Caribbean, Asian & African Art in Britain Archive housed at University of the Arts London’s Chelsea College. We will use this archive as a starting point for considering arts-based cultural documentation, examining how and why the archive documents the work of contemporary artists in Britain of African-Caribbean, Asian & African descent.

Our final project objective is to carefully document the exhibition process and create a collection of new work reflecting cultural histories. Project documentation will consist of an online blog (including video, photographs, sound recording, and text) and hard copies of promotional material, discussion notes, evaluations, and images of artworks.

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1. San Francisco’s interdisciplinary art space The Lab is an inspiration for this model, in particular its recent exhibition Theory of Survival with Taraneh Hemami, which features new artworks inspired by a historical archive from Iran.  For more details see: http://www.thelab.org/events/181-theory-of-survival.html

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