Press release

Come and be dazzled by Wellcome Collection’s spring weekend 'On Light'

Wellcome Collection and UCL will host a dazzling extended weekend of free events and activity this May to mark the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. 'On Light' (1-4 May 2015) will illuminate our human relationship with light with four days of performance, discussion, activity and art.

The ambitious programme will bring together over 60 contributors, from performance artists and storytellers to engineers and architects, to explore the significance of light in human life and reflect on its influence over our health and happiness. It will be the first all-building event at Wellcome Collection since its expansion, completed in February 2015.

The weekend will begin on Friday 1 May with a late event at Wellcome Collection, when visitors can seek out performances and installations from renowned artists such as Fevered Sleep and Mariele Neudecker, listen to a talk by cosmologist Andrew Pontzen, or enjoy a drink at a pop-up bar. The event will range across five floors, filling the expanded event spaces and new galleries which have doubled the venue’s capacity for live events. In the darkened Auditorium the Pars Foundation will lead a captive audience through an audio performance of music, poetry and science, while up in the transformed Reading Room award-winning storytellers The Crick Crack Club will enchant audiences with myths of the sun, the moon and the stars.

On Saturday 2 May UCL will throw open the doors of the Institute of Making for a day of investigations into materials that we use to make and manipulate light, from Ballotini glass beads and invisible balls to cats' eyes and road markings. Elsewhere on Malet Place, UCL researchers will host a colourful street fair of activities, including the chance to take part in a record-breaking attempt to create the world’s largest cyanotype print.

A changing, eclectic selection of free ticketed and drop-in events will run throughout Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Wellcome Collection. Visitors can catch a one-off discussion with a Wellcome Collection conservator on Sunday and return on Monday to hear sociologist Simon Carter explore popular attitudes to sunshine and health, from sanatoria to cheap travel. Other installations will run across the four days. For his installation 'Non In Luce', artist Andy Field will invite audiences to work together to create a model city in complete darkness, finding a new way to communicate without the light of an electrical bulb or the glow of a digital device. The city will be built for the first three days of the event, before the finished landscape is lit for a new audience on the final day.

Rosie Stanbury, Events Manager at Wellcome Collection, said: "'On Light' is a bold and exciting event that will fill our newly expanded venue with an invigorating mix of activities, art and people. Our collaboration with UCL is a brilliant opportunity to extend our programming into the local area, to celebrate the rich history of Bloomsbury and the UCL Museums and the world-class academic research that takes place at the University, all just a short walk from Wellcome Collection."

Simon Cane, Director of UCL Public and Cultural Engagement, said: "UCL is delighted to be collaborating with the Wellcome Collection on the upcoming ‘On Light’ weekender. Researchers and academics are involved across the university, from the Slade School of Art and Institute of Sustainable Heritage, to the department of Electric and Electronic Engineering, as well as activities from UCL Museums and the Institute of Making. The theme has really caught our imagination, and we look forward to sharing it with the public in May."

'On Light' runs from Friday 1 May to Monday 4 May. All events are free. For tickets and information visit the Wellcome Collection website.