By Paula Planelles Manzanaro
The Victoria & Albert Museum opens its doors to hold British Creates 2012: Fashion and Arts Collusion display, a specially-commissioned project which forms part of the London 2012 Festival. Nine pairs of top British designers and contemporary artists, worked together to create an innovative exhibition with fashion design and visual art as main characters. It is a perfect opportunity to admire the result that these two disciplines bring to the Olympic experience.
From 6th to 29th of July, Londoners will have the chance to contemplate works of art created by international designers and artists at the V&A Studio Gallery. The scheme forms part of Britain Creates 2012, led by the British Fashion Council/Baazar Fashion Arts in partnership with the Major of London. The exhibition is “the best opportunity to showcase unique talent within the UK in the creative industries and echoes the special relationships within”, Harold Tillman, Chairman of the British Fashion Council, stated.
Fashion 2012, the official fashion industry activity created by the Fashion British Council (FBC) for the year of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, aims to showcase the British talent while at the same time inspiring young people to get involved with the industry. The Fashion and Arts Collusion display, one of the events under this programme, offers lovers of arts a colorful exhibition full of talent and inspiration. Untitled, a creation by the iconic British designer Giles Deacon and the hugely influential artist Jeremy Deller, is just one of the examples of how fashion and art work together. Their printed lycra body suit with cover stitch detail and cape, accompanied by a crested headdress of leaves and feathers, represents “an Arts and Crafts suit of armour for an athlete”, Jeremy Deller explained.
The trick lies in finding the balance between different points of view and several ways to inspire feelings. Talented ideas, inspirational conversations and hard work were necessary to make the project possible. Life, created by the winner of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in 2012, Jonathan Saunders, and the young British sculptor Jess Flood-Paddock, is one of the results of this combination. Both artists found common ground in screen-printing and created an interactive file of plastic sheets in a variety of shapes and colour juxtapositions. Life shows that sometimes the best works of art emerge by chance. “One day one of Saunders’ jumpers casually thrown onto the exposing plate and that gave us a brilliant idea of how to develop our work”, Mrs. Flood-Paddock said. The artist showed her enthusiasm about the display and highlighted how easy working with Jonathan Saunders was. “We found a solution for every obstacle. The work with Saunders was amazing as we always found the middle point”, she told London Glossy.
Like Jess Flood-Paddock and Jonathan Saunders, the rest of visual artists and fashion designers built up an impressive collection, the fruits of a perfect dialogue between them. “A good collaboration is like going on a long journey without a map, never knowing quite where you will end up”, Mr. Deller commented.
The final destination of the trip is an exhibition where the spirit of the Olympics becomes more prominent. For instance, the fashion designer Mary Katrantzou and the English artist Mark Titchner created Tint the pallid landscape (off the wars in lace), a digital animation where Katrantzou’s prints become a multi-layered landscape dissolved with Titcher’s text. Passion, power, precision and ambition are some of the words that appear on it, invoking a list of Olympic qualities.
Tint the pallid landscape (off to the wars in lace). By Mary Katrantzou and Mark Titchner. Photo credit: Paula Planelles
Works of art like this one bring a perfect mix of colours, exotic shapes, innovation and talent, “trying something new and paying tribute to the British talent”, Susanna Greeves, curator of Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion, told London Glossy Magazine. Ruth Mackenzie, the Director of the Cultural Olympiad, also highlighted the importance of the innovative scheme. “This exhibition is an extraordinary achievement. These works of arts came up my expectations”, she commented during the presentation of the display on Thursday 5 at the V&A.
The project will be recorder for posterity in a box set, which includes two books, published by Booth-Clibborn Editions, where the readers will find nine posters of the finished artworks along with a CD containing audio track collaboration.
As part of the London 2012 Festival, Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Arts Collusion contributes to turn the Olympics’ celebration into an unforgettable experience and shows that anything is impossible in the world of arts.