Daybreak is a project initiated by the RCA’s School of Fine Art to provide a forum for the practice-based researchers engaged in the School’s MPhil and PhD programme. The result; an exhibition, live event and research symposium, will happen over four days at the end of June and include contributions by over 40 research students.

The events will take place at three different sites. On preview night, Thursday 29th June, the audience is invited to attend live performances and screenings at Asylum, a chapel on Asylum Road before promenading through Peckham to AMP, a gallery space, to see artworks and performances and then continuing on to the larger exhibition at Safehouses, near the well- known Bussey Building. The different venues and spaces will draw out the range of individual student’s projects and the walk between them takes around 15 mins.

On Friday 30th from 4.30 – 7.30 the students will host The Theatre of Reading and Speaking, a discursive event designed to be bring their research to a wider audience. Another reading event, The Blue Hour, led by students Isobel Wohl and Marita Fraser will happen at Safehouses on Saturday between 4-6pm. They write,

‘The Blue Hour is a series of readings and other encounters with fictions and text-based artworks, migrating from room to room in two heavily dilapidated Victorian houses that also serve as exhibition space. The event draws its name from a time during dawn and twilight each day when the sky takes on an intense blue colour that might be either night or day yet seems distinct from both, otherworldly. During this time there are no shadows. The Blue Hour similarly proposes uncertain, transient, and poetic relationships to writing.’


The project will make public the vast range of ideas, approaches and practices that represent current contemporary fine art research. This year the research programme has been exploring what the notions of commitment and resistance mean for the contemporary artist. It has also been thinking about how fine art methods might provide useful models for research. One group of students have been exploring the idea of magic as a method of investigation and they suggest,

‘To invoke magic, as a contemporary artist, is, in part, a means to subdue the rational impulse in favour of the irrational. In a post-industrial information age, that which opposes or seeks to short-circuit an over-determined, mechanistic message seems desirable. Yet, seeking out unknowing is not, in itself, a denial of Enlightenment thinking. In its appeal to possibility, process and ritual, magic becomes a strategy to rethink anew one’s connectedness to material, technology, language and change.’


Programme of Events

29 June, 5–7pm: LIVE at Asylum

Caroline Garden’s Chapel, Asylum Road, London SE15 2SQ


30 June – 2 July: REHEARSAL at AMP

1 Acorn Parade, Meeting House Lane, London SE15 2TZ

Open 11am – 6pm

PV // 29 June 6.30–8.30pm


30 June – 2 July: SHOW at Safehouses

Safehouses 139–137 Copeland Road, London SE15 3SN

Open 11am – 6pm

PV // 29 June 7.30–9.30 pm


30 June, 4.30–7.30pm: Theatre of Reading and Speaking

Asylum, Caroline Garden’s Chapel, Asylum Road, London SE15 2SQ


1 July, 4–6pm: The Blue Hour

Safehouses 139–137 Copeland Road, London SE15 3SN