Reflection on Process in Exile, MiAL’s First Independent Exhibition

Process in Exile 10 – 20 October 2013

Our first independent exhibition was a celebration of the best emerging talent coming out of UAL at the moment, marking the launch of our Autumn collection and taking place during Frieze art fair, it placed MiAL firmly on London’s creative agenda.
Occupying an old office on Oxford Street (with thanks to 3 Space) for two weeks, we brought the work of 25 artists and designers from all of UAL’s colleges whose work incorporates a vast range of approaches, materials, thinking and experience together for the first time.
Both in the curation of the exhibition. which was assisted by independent curator Francesca Cavallo and MiAL’s Rose Pickles and also the packed schedule of events, screenings and talks, it was wonderful to be able to facilitate a dialogue between these young artists and the work which they create.
Of course, this being our first show and with the inherent problems of trying to turn the Primark-facing former office into a space which did not encroach on the work we were lucky enough to be working with, things were not always plain sailing. Even though we might have been panicking, hoovering, labelling and dusting right until the last minute, as soon as our first event got underway we were able to relax a little and realise that the show had come together beautifully.
Any last minute stress faded as Ladies of the Press snapped into action. For those of you who missed them, we urge you to visit their site and find out when you can see them next!!! Armed with glitter, a nose for a story, some novelty wigs and a laser jet printer Ana and Renee captured the fun of the opening night and packaged up into a great mini publication for everyone to take home. If you missed the event, fear not – you can flick through the zine online here.
This interactive approach to events was replicated throughout Process in Exile, with Francesca leading a brilliant family day which saw two wonderful children, Summer and Wynter create their own Esther Ellard-inspired tape installation, become guest art critics in a game ‘toddler or Turner’ and write their own review of the exhibition – you can read Wynter’s insights here…
At other events people got to see some geriatric avatars getting into the Halloween spirit early with the Thriller routine courtesy of Sneja Dobrosavljevic’s Funky Senior Home and fine art graduate and digital media …. us all into the art of social media for artists.
Like, with everything MiAL does, the exhibition was aimed at promoting and selling the work of these exciting young artists and it was great to see some pieces, including Rene Ramirez’s mesmerising etching Cuetzpali World and Marlene Huissoud’s exquisite silk scarves go to good homes.
This exhibition was both a launch for our new collection as well as an opportunity for us to show what we have planned for MiAL and the people we work with.
In recent months the team has grown from one to three and so have the possibilities for what we can achieve. We hope that the artists involved enjoyed the experience of exhibiting and working with their contemporaries working in different mediums and colleges. We’d also like to thank those who continue to support what we do by collecting the work of these emerging artists at the beginning of their careers. And to those of you who visited MiAL for the first time, welcome, we’re looking forward to taking everyone on our continuing journey…