Last week saw the opening of Xhibit 2018, a yearly exhibition of student work held by Arts Students’ Union (Arts SU).
Founded in 1997 by Student’s Union officers Kit Hammonds and Angela Robinson, Xhibit showcases the best emerging creatives from across UAL colleges. Submissions are open to all current students, and selected by an expert panel of artists, curators and creative industry professionals.
Now in its twenty-first year, Xhibit’s increasingly significant history is preserved as part of the UAL Institutional Archive, which is held within the Archives and Special Collections Centre (ASCC). This includes ephemera relating to the promotion of Xhibit, including; posters, flyers and installation views dating from c.2000 to 2018. These are part of a wider collection of Students’ Union material.
Xhibit has always reflected the diverse range of creativity at UAL, which is often at the forefront of contemporary practice. Inevitably, this is mirrored in its archive. An especially interesting aspect of the archives’ Xhibit material is that it allows researchers to consider how the show’s promotional aesthetic has changed over time to reflect contemporary cultural tastes. It is possible to see the wider trends in graphic design represented in these posters; from the cool colours of the Neo-Futurist Millennium, to the celestial design trend that was emerging in 2010, right up to the bright and playful yellows and ‘Millennial pink’ of 2017.
The UAL Archive will continue to collect material relating to Xhibit in collaboration with Arts SU, as part of an ongoing development of its collections, creating a legacy which will allow future researchers to revisit these exhibitions, which by nature must themselves be transient.
Xhibit 2018 is open until 12th May in the Bermondsey Project Space.
The UAL Institutional Archive online catalogue can be viewed here. If you’d like to come in and see our material, we recommend making an appointment in advance which can be done by emailing email@example.com or telephoning 0207 514 9333.
For any queries relating to the collection, email the UAL Institutional Memory Archivist: firstname.lastname@example.org