Britain Creates….a 12 week ‘celebration’

Today I visited the V&A to discover the wonders of it’s newest exhibition titled ‘Collusion’. The 12 week exhibition is a collaboration between artists and British fashion designers, to celebrate the talents and relationships our country has with fashion and art. A select few were teamed up with an open brief and what emerged was a variety of visuals from sculpture to video, music to photography. These series of works have been commissioned as part of the London festival and the Olympics, conceived by the BFC/Fashion Arts Foundation.

As I approached the first piece of collaborative work, I could tell instantly that Jonathan Saunders had the fashion input. The colours and prints demonstrated classic Saunders style, which had been print-screened onto clear plastic sheets hanging from a rail. The artist was Jess Flood-Paddock who experimented with Saunders to create these obscure shapes and patterns. The rawness and the bulk of the vibrant colours make this piece one which will draw you in.

Life by Jonathan Saunders & Jess Flood-Paddock

Celestial Bonnet by Stephen Jones and Cerith Wyn Evans

(A sparkly and elegant take on the Olympic symbol which, when suspended, should feel as if it is a bonnet/hat)

 Hussein Chalayan and Gavin Turk took an unexpected approach to the open brief and produced a film alongside the music and lyrics from the appropriately titled song, ‘Four Minute Mile’. As I listened to the piece on the V&A’s Dr Dre headphones (nice touch!) the dialogue was read alongside sounds of breathing and running feet as the film took the viewer on a point-of-view journey around the Olympic rings. As the song gets deeper, the rings begin to blur and distort. The textures of the surface of the rings focus in and out as the change of tempo increases, acting as the heart beat intensifying.

Four Minute Mile by Hussein Chalayan and Gavin Turk 

Untitled by Giles Deacon & Jeremy Deller

(‘An arts and crafts suit of armour for an athlete’. Design by William Morris stained glass windows.)

Arch by Peter Pilotte, Christopher De Vos and Francis Upritchard 

(Effortless, peaceful yoga posed figure embellished with Pilotto and De Vos’s fabrics and encapsulated by fish-scale like sequins, giving the illusion of glass from afar)

My personal favourite piece was the breath taking ‘Lepiszaulo’ by Matthew Williamson and Mat Collishaw. The piece is a production of Collishaw’s print of a crushed insect or a butterfly which has been embellished by Williamson with fluorescent and raised sequins. This raised element gives this abstract piece a three dimensional feature, creating depth and a deeper tone. The piece reminds me of the Great Barrier Reef with it’s sea like colours and textures.

Lepiszaulo by Matthew Williamson & Mat Collishaw

(‘Zaulo’ translates from Greek to Crush. ‘Lepis’ translates from Greek to Flake or Scale)

I recommend any creative to visit this collection of British talent. I haven’t reviewed all the pieces out of the exhibition as many should discover the room themselves. The exhibition is open until the 29th July at the V&A, room 17a.


About jessica Jenner

Fashion Stylist, Journalist and Reporter
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