The Cass students contribute to programme at Wellcome Collection exploring interconnections of art, activism, performance, politics, health and print.

A group of Visual Communication students from The Cass participated in the delivery of Daylighting, a four-day programme of events at the Wellcome Collection which was co-curated by Clare Qualmann who teaches at the School.

Daylighting, which took place from 17-21 October 2018, set out to explore the interconnections of art, activism, performance, politics, health and print in a live printing workshop, supported with events, talks, screenings and continuous collective writing. At the core of the programme was the production of DAYLIGHT, a collaborative artwork in the form of a newspaper that explores the presence of women through their art, thinking and speculations. 

The students from The Cass worked at the heart of a letterpress print room created for the event in the public spaces of the Wellcome Collection. Their experience included managing the workflow of visitors bringing names in for setting, using metal type to compose names and short quotes, ‘locking up’ into chases and onto galleys ready for print, as well as operating the adana and farley presses (and equally important, putting type away!) Once the page of names was complete they worked to produce the prints, contributed to the cover design and printing, and assembled the complete editions at the end of the weekend.

The project asked the public questions such as: Who are your heroes? Who have we forgotten? Bring in your references! Visitors brought the names of women they wanted to add to the paper’s centrefold, and set them in type to be printed into history. The traditional letterpress was chosen to create the printed artwork because the medium takes time and care, assembling letters, making decisions, physically handling, moving and setting type to create deep impressions on the page and in the archive.

Through creating this artwork, Daylighting investigated the authority of the printed form, with the press producing live print pages in response to history’s ongoing omissions, exploring cracks in the narratives and ‘daylighting’ new ones.

Daylighting is one of several high-profile current projects for Clare. Her psychogeographic work Perambulator was recently exhibited in New York, and on 26 October she talked about night-walking the Museum of London’s late ‘Night London Council’ event, which was broadcast on Resonance FM’s night radio session. She will be launching her new book ‘Ways to Wander the Gallery’ at the Tate Modern on 8 November. 

 Daylighting was curated by Amy Sharrocks, Clare Qualmann and Madeleine Hodge. The full programme may be found online.

Three women look at traditional letter press in a print-room

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