Design Management & Cultures
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A Design Process: Pick Me Up 2016

A Design Process: Pick Me Up 2016

Pick Me Up Arts Festival 2016 located in Somerset house is a current art exhibition, that as its name suggests is worth selecting from the other various art events taking place in London. The fair showcases the work of thirteen international up and coming artists in a minimal white setting between two floors. The main purpose of the exhibition is to communicate the artistic process of artists, an illustration of their working processes and techniques. Some parts of the exhibition were more of a trial and error process communicated through sketchbooks and multimedia tools, making the design process more transparent to the audience.

The artists’ fair made it possible to promote unconventional ways of displaying art works to viewers, by revealing a range of media and distinctive quality of work. Some sections of the fair served as a technological awakening to showcase the impact of technology on art. The 3D animation software enabled London based illustrator Jack Sachs to visually communicate his interest in the human form through motion graphics and still image in his ‘Inside Ya Body’ art collection. Sachs was able to produce a short interactive video showing the functions of the human body, and gave viewers a correct look inside humans through neon digitally printed illustrations by playing with scale and proportion. (Refer to link to watch Inside Ya Body video: https://vimeo.com/164129645 )

Installation art is another medium that some artists employed to interact with the audience through more than one sensory stimulus. The off-the-wall approach of the London based partnership of Isabel Gibson and Helen Chesner displayed an automated self-playing instrument. Altogether the instruments formed a mini orchestra that caught the attention of viewers at the exhibition through sound.

The fact that artwork was then displayed and sold in the exhibition itself made the overall festival more democratic. Instead of uplifting the event through framing works of art and creating a distance between the audience and the work, artwork was displayed for visitors to interact with and closely analyse through sight, sound and the reassuring sense of touch. The name of the exhibition ‘Pick me up’ indicates that this is art for the masses, where visitors are able to communicate with artists and buy their handmade works at a relatively affordable price compared to the perception of high arts. The festival served as a promotional tool to showcase talent and gain brand recognition of artists, which seemed unintentional while visitors roamed around the space. Brochures, business cards and magazines were handed, as well as pop-up shops that were diffused into the exhibition.

At last, the curators and developers of the festival seemed to recognise the current growth and increased competition of the modern art market; that demands innovation. The exhibition served as a one-stop design shop that showcased the ideas generation phase, the implementation and final stage of the design process. It captured the current on-going trend of the experiential economy that gave the audience temporary sensory experiences through limited chosen works of art from a diverse range of artists. It enabled those who wish to take part of workshops to experience the challenging artistic process.

Aseel Bokai