top of page


human, future


Ullyesand' Universal Pigment 

c. 22nd-23rd century

London, England

This Universal pigment was created by Joe Volley, a well-regarded pigment scientist at the once renowned Slade School of Art. 

Volley’s work on synthesising new pigments at the beginning of the nineteenth century, laid the groundwork for the production of cheap and ubiquitous artist paints that revolutionised painting techniques at the end of the Age of Affluence. Later, she established the Institute of Material Research (IMR) and its legendary ‘Studio 10’ research team. In the spirit of a utopian democratisation of the creative process, Volley’s team developed a universal pigment from which anyone could create any colour.

The reasearch of the pigment, however, was thwarted and finally destroyed by Oona Kaprish, a capitalist roader who had accumulated excessive wealth from his hyper-exploitation of the art market. He then managed to patent the pigment, and restrict its use to specifically designated authorised artists, who were able to pay based on their ability to sell. This pigment sample was discovered during scavenging raids on the site of the London Patent Office. Unfortunately, none of the artwork produced from the universal pigment survives today, nor any example preserved in the Art Historical record. 

It is thought that the name ‘Ulleysand’ is a reference to a researcher involved in creating the Universal pigment. It is also argued that the name was a misspelled reference to the long journey undertaken in developing the Universal pigment. Kaprish, though, claimed that rather than synthesised, the pigment was in fact a naturally occurring coloured sand mined from Ulley Bay, Isle of Wight.  

MB 5110.4


human, 0002035 C.E.


Do-It-Yourself Decorative Bottle 

late 20th Century - early 21st century

London, England

This is a decorative bottle with colourful sand. It is usually sold as a do-it-yourself kit containing an empty bottle, several individual packs of coloured sand, and some decorative material including dried flowers, seashells, and metal or plastic widgets. The consumers could select the colours and items they like to put in the bottle and thus make a customised decoration. 

The product was especially popular among teenagers and young adults. Sometimes, it was sold as an astrology zodiac item, though so far no evidence of supernatural power has been detected from the object we have acquired. Among certain age groups, this item was also regarded as a friendship or relationship gift. This object has revealed the interesting leisure life of young people in the late twentieth century, when digital entertainment we are enjoying today was yet to be widely and cheaply available.

MB 5110.4



silicon-based life, far-future


Silicate Specimen


London, England

The object displays a batch of sample of silicate, a compound containing silicon and oxygen. It was dyed by natural and artificial colourants into different colours.

Nowadays, silicate is a widely accepted and easily available source of energy. It is not yet clear, though, the usage of this batch of silicate in the Anthropocene. Unlike today, life back in the Anthropocene were carbon-based, and relied on carbohydrate as the source of energy. This batch was possibly used as industrial raw material for multiple purposes.

MB 5110.4


Jo Volley

bottom of page