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Take a closer look at Battersea South

A new public exhibition – at RCA Battersea from 17 September to 1 October – brings to the fore unexpected and under-represented visual narratives related to themes of physical labour and masculinity, technology and materiality as well as the visualisation of latency and duration of the architectural process.

See how a group of artists and designers, students and alumni are collectively exploring the process of recording the construction of our brand new flagship campus in Battersea in Future Archive.

Here's a taste of the artwork on show

Discover a site-specific and interactive virtual reality experience by Andrew Culloo. The artwork consists of 3D scanned building blocks, recorded sounds, key images and visuals inspired by strange and peculiar discoveries on site, which open up the magical aspects of the construction site.

Andrew Culloo
Andrew Culloo

A metal installation by Diego Valente (MRes RCA: Fine Art & Humanities Pathway, 2019) incorporates experimental chemigrams made with clay extracted from 50 meters below the construction site. 

Diego Valente
Diego Valente

Simone Mudde (MA Photography, 2018) analyses the photographic material, trying to find new possibilities within the medium, by utilising the nineteenth-century technique of colour separation. From the  black and white negative a colour image is created that captures the passing time and the latency of change. Simone has spent two years recording the progress of the Battersea building site and these current photographs focus on and celebrate the iconic power of the workers hands. 

Simone Mudde
Simone Mudde

Claire Felicity Miller (PhD Textiles, 2017–2020) presents samples to demonstrate future wearable technology that senses the worker’s skin, measuring their body parameters, incorporated in the builder’s protective workwear. 

Claire Felicity Miller
Claire Felicity Miller
Sam Creasey’s (MA Painting, 2018–) paintings of the Battersea campus builders are painted with aggregates using soft sand and chalky mediums such as pastel to emulate the topography of the site. 

Night Shift, Sam Creasey
Night Shift, Sam Creasey 2018
oil and spray paint on canvas
150cm x 100cm

David Barreiro's (MA Photography, 2019) photographs showcase the typology of marginal elements on the worksite. His photographs open up unexpected interpretative paths in a seemingly rationalised environment.  David uses photography as a way to introduce ambiguity and uncertainty about the familiar perceptions of the notion of masculinity, labour and the everyday.

David Barreiro
David Barreiro

Influenced by the theme of construction, designer and current MA Visual Communication student, Emily Schofield, has devised a support-structure for exhibiting the artworks. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication called ‘An Inventory of Gaps’, which brings together text by Lucy Holt, who is currently ‘writer-in-residence’ on the construction site and photographs by David Barreiro, who have followed the site closely over the last year. The book is designed by Bakhtawer Haider and Magda Tritto and is published by FOLIUM.


‘Future Archive’, an artistic research laboratory, is directed by Rut Blees Luxemburg, Battersea Artist-in-residence and Senior Research Fellow at the RCA. The project uses the construction site in Battersea as a location for field-study in order to create paintings, photographs, texts, performances and experimental responses.

The exhibition is curated by Agata Kik (MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2018) and designed by Emily Schofield (MA Graphic Design, 2020). Participating artists and contributors include David Barreiro (MA Photography, 2019), Sam Creasey (MA Painting, 2020), Andrew Culloo (MA Fashion, 2020), Bakhtawer Haider (MA Graphic Design, 2020), Eleni Han (MPhil Architecture), Adam Hines-Green (MA Sculpture, 2018), Lucy Holt (MA Writing 2020), Rut Blees Luxemburg, Claire Felicity Miller (PhD Textiles), Simone Mudde (MA Photography, 2018) , Magda Tritto (MA Graphic Design, 2020), Diego Valente (MRes Fine Art, 2019) and Simon Ward (MA Photography, 2007).