By Sian Disson, Senior Media Consultant
On Tuesday night Red Setter joined the throngs of people winding through the backstreets of Hackney to the August edition of Nicer Tuesdays, a monthly gathering of artists and designers who come together to hear short talks from other leading creatives, curated by It’s Nice That. Following the publication’s mission to champion creativity across disciplines, this month’s line-up was suitably diverse.
First to take the stage was Luke Evans, a self-defined ‘sort of photographer’ who creates artworks and sculptures then uses a camera to bring them to life.
Luke took the audience on a journey through his project portfolio starting with ‘Inside Out’, an internal self-portrait whereby he and a fellow Kingston graduate ingested 35mm film and then (once passed) used an electron microscope to turn the film into photographs of their insides. The unusual nature of the project catapulted him into the public eye, with ‘Inside Out’ appearing on the Channel 4 news within 24 hours of going online.
Whilst working on a project for Somerset House in 2015 Luke was diagnosed with cancer and during this time found his interest in photography waning as he focused instead on returning to full health. Brought back by the support of family and friends, Luke gave an impassioned talk about the need to be selfish sometimes, of taking time when you need it in a busy creative world and finding strength in the people around you.
It was through his recovery that Luke discovered archery, a new skill that helped him find ‘stillness’ and saw him scouted by Team GB within twelve months, and one that found its way into his latest series – ‘Second Nature’.
Within this ongoing series of photographs, all is not what it seems. A deep glacier is actually a block of dyed ice created in Luke’s freezer; a flock of birds is in fact a scattering of carefully-selected birch seeds; and dappled light across surface water turns out to be a photograph shot through with a bow and arrow, before artificial light is shone from behind and recaptured on film.
Up next was Charlotte Mei, an illustrator and ceramicist working with clients from Hermès to Cosmo’s Midnight; and documentary filmmaker and journalist Roxy Rezvany who presented her recent work ‘Little Pyongyang’, a film about North Korean refugee Joong-wha Choi and his life in New Malden, London.
Closing the event was Pentagram’s latest partner Sascha Lobe in his first speaking opportunity since taking on the new role. Having moved to London only a few weeks ago, Sascha took the opportunity to say goodbye to one project (Bauhaus Archiv Museum) and hello to another (a new building in Seoul with David Chipperfield).
As a German, he explained, the importance of the Bauhaus Archiv Museum as a cultural icon was ever present. So too were the competitors thinking they could do a better job…
So where to start? Sascha and his team began by considering the clichés of Bauhaus – minimalism, less is more – and then reviewed the actual Bauhaus Archiv materials, soon finding that these perceptions don’t always translate into the works themselves. The work is often more open, searching, experimental and brave than widely perceived, and it was this spirit that has been captured in the new identity.
Until the rebrand, the Archiv was still using a logo from 1968 and a 1920s typeface by Herbert Bayer, and whilst Sascha loved this original font, a more radical change – both creatively and to enhance legibility in a corporate environment – was needed.
Taking the original Bayer font as a base, Sascha noticed that some letters were more special than others and set about experimenting with the forms, taking inspiration from the artworks, sculpture and furniture in the Bauhaus Archiv to shape an extended letter archive. The resulting identity has been met with widespread praise, with Bauhaus posters now sold to the public – something that hadn’t been available previously.
We left for the evening feeling warmed and inspired by the diversity of London’s creative sector, and the strength of the creative leaders driving the industry forward. And, of course, setting a reminder to book tickets for next month’s event!