Summer is the most prolific breeding ground for Art:  retrospectives, joint exhibitions, summer shows, events et al. overflow the Capital with bombs and here is one, fresh, new project.

Judiciously hand-picked by Art historian Ben Street and Lawrence Lek, Designer-in-Residence at the Design Museum, 32 artists will be making the front page on the 11th of June at the Strand Gallery for Lines, a show organised by Jack Smurthwaite and Hannah James from the newly established Advertising Exhibitions.

A non-profit project aimed at propelling upcoming talents to the fore, the exhibition is a concept in itself. It will consist of photography, sculpture, illustrations, graphic design, fine art, crafts and installations, grouped together in order to develop a “conversation between artworks”.

Rice Tanks Image

“The works are fit for discussion between each other”, Smurthwaite explains, “you can discuss a work in relation to the one it’s next to. It’s also a way of further understanding any given media or working practice by comparing it to a work which may have started at the same place but ended with an entirely different realisation.”

Where exhibitions often offer only one shared aspect between every artist or pieces, Lines modus operandi is to create a different relationship between the public and the artwork.

For example, “both Alice Cunningham and Ram Samocha have depicted a personality or reflection on themselves but they’re working in completely different ways and to different ends.” Smurthwaite continues. “I want viewers of the works to feel slightly involved and to draw their own links between works, not to feel obliged to decipher my personal reflections on the exhibited artists. I didn’t want to limit the viewing in that way.”

Each artist being from a different background and discipline, the event promises a rather varied yet interesting melting-pot and we hope to clearly understand leit and motif. But in fact the show is most likely to attract attention: a step further any normal exhibition, at times when movements are all muddled up, this graduate-led project reinvents convention.

“A lot of what we see now is seen in different ways. There is a lot of collaboration going on, especially between artists and musicians and fashion designers. Styles change so quickly in these latter two industries, they have to, and I think current trends is art have taken a lot from this. Many artists’ practices are intrinsically linked to so many other ways of working – a lot of the time you have to argue what works ‘aren’t’ rather than what they ‘are’,” Surthwaite describes.

LH_Darkwood Days

“In London specifically,” Hannah James says, “there are countless projects happening, especially student led. The way we have approached this project is as mediators between the ‘flash’, one-day exhibitions you find throughout East London and the more commercial gallery exhibitions.”

As each piece showcased is available for sale with a commission-free policy in place, all other proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to The Prince’s Trust for Children and the Arts.

“Advertising Exhibitions is a long-term investment of our time which we undertake with a professional mindset,” Hannah highlights. Described as the “brainchild of a group of university students eager to forge their careers within the culture industry”, everyone involved wanted to gain first-hand experience outside of education where curatorial courses can become very expensive.  Not willing to pay that amount of money, Advertising Exhibitions aims at creating their own rules.

Advertising Exhibitions presents Lines sponsored by FIJI Water and Sloane’s Gin.
From 12 June to 15 June 2013 The Strand Gallery, 32 John Adam Street, City of London, WC2N 6BP Admission free (Donations encouraged). Private viewing: 11th of June


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