Monday, 3 June 2013

London's Top 5 Treasure Hunts

Treasures old, treasures new, treasures worth the pilgrimage to...Inspired by Channel 4’s ‘Four Rooms’* and my Blom & Blom recycled lighting piece for Phoenix Magazine, trawling for treasure has never been more fashionable. Here are 5 fantastic events where you just might get lucky

Michael Landy in his studio at the National Gallery, 2012 © The National Gallery, London

1. Spot the Next Stella McCartney 

Showcasing the labours of love from hundreds of fashion students in catwalk shows and exhibitions, Graduate Fashion Week runs until 5 June at Earl’s Court. Focusing on industry employment, fashion journalist Colin McDowell will host a series of talks with high-profile guests such as Imran Ahmed (Business of Fashion) and everyone’s favourite rave kid Henry Holland. So far this year’s one-off international show of cherry-picked talent (including the FIT (Italy), Parsons (New York) and BUNKA (Japan)) has been particularly impressive. 

GFW (until 5 June 2013), tickets from £10.50, Earl’s Court 2 Exhibition Centre, London

2. Top-Up your Design Cred

Graduate shows don’t get bigger than this. With over 3000 exhibitors, every 2D and 3D design discipline you can think can be found at New Designers. Encompassing textiles, jewellery to architecture, product and graphic design, the event takes place over two shows at Islington’s Business Design Centre. Highly recommended for spotting and buying affordable works off future Thomas Heatherwicks (who was a past exhibitor) and for boasting broadened design horizons in general. 

New Designers, Pt. 1 (26 − 29 June), Pt 2 (3 − 6 June), tickets from £11.50, Business Design Centre, London

3. Antiques Roadshow

For beautifully crafted, rare and historical finds from UK and Europe’s top dealers, the International Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia’s iconic 19th century exhibition venue is the place to be.  A diverse range of collectibles from gadgets, meteorites to film memorabilia will be on sale, offering priceless inspiration and no doubt fascinating stories for creatives and curious visitors alike. A steal at £1million, a 24cm high, 16th century gilt bronze sculpture by Renaissance sculptor Giambologna of Greek god Prometheus is just one of the treasures to marvel at.

Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair (6 − 16 June 2013), £13-15, Olympia Exhibition Centre, London

4. Celebrity Car-Boot Bonanza  

Sir Peter Blake, Gavin Turk, celebrity taxidermist Polly Morgan and more will be popping up their motors at the 10th annual Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair. Promising to be the “maddest, eye-poppingly fabulous car-boot” to date, you’re encouraged to let your hair down whilst bartering and rubbing shoulders with Britain’s established and emerging talents. It’s not all about bargain hunting either – be sure to buy tickets for ‘Pass the Art Parcel’ (self-explanatory - win a signed piece of art) and ‘Handbag Disco’ (dance yourself silly inside a ‘70s tent piled with mystery goody bags, including the likes of Jimmy Choo, Anya Hindmarch and Alice Temperley arm candy). All game profits go to charities Just for Kids Law, Kids Company and Help for Heroes.

The Art Car Boot Fair (9 June 2013) £5, Brick Lane Yard, London

Pam Hogg at last year's Art Car Boot fair,

5. Saintly Satirical Sculptures 

Who would’ve thought the ‘Prince of Destruction’ Michael Landy (known for his 2001 'Break Down' and 2010 'Art Bin' project, where he destroyed all his possessions and threw Hirst and Emin’s ‘failed’ artworks in a giant skip respectively), would seek salvation at the National Gallery? The fascinating, devoted and often ill-fated lives of holy saints are the inspiration behind ‘Saints Alive’, Landy’s new exhibition of large-scale, kinetic sculptures. Ingeniously assembled from bits of car boot/flea market-sourced junk, components like wheels, chains juxtapose against 3D-cast fragments of painted saints from the museum’s permanent collection - including Carlo Crivelli's 15th century rendition of red-hat wearing Saint Jerome and Sassetta's 'The Stigmatisation of Saint Francis'. Macabre, witty and more-than-slightly piercing.

Michael Landy: Saints Alive, (23 May – 24 November 2013), FREE, National Gallery, London

*100% collector/hoarder’s porn, whichever way you see it

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