Pick Me Up- Somerset House
Billed as the first contemporary graphic art fair in the UK, Pick Me Up presents a selection of affordable work from a selection of innovative graphic designers and illustrators, chosen by influential galleries, collectives and publishers. Held in the impressive surroundings of Somerset House, it’s refreshing to see designers and illustrators, who usually show in much less auspicious surroundings, given the chance to set their contemporary work against classic architecture.
Revealing the processes behind creativity, designers are screen-printing in a makeshift studio, making pieces of art that are actually available to buy, whilst Rob Ryan has moved his paper cutting studio all the way from East London, and will be working from the exhibition over the coming week. These elements combine to create an energetic exhibition that does not represent a typical gallery experience, the visitor is able to pick up and look through limited-print zines, observe and become involved (through numerous workshops, discussions and events), an ethos that is likely to draw parallels with the recently dismantled ‘Show Studio: Fashion Revolution’ exhibition, which took place in the same space.
The emphasis on participation works particularly well within this genre. Many of the artists featured are recent graduates, and Pick Me Up manages to capture the energy and excitement they bring to the contemporary graphics scene. Described by its curator as a ‘hybrid of exhibition and fair’, it offers viewers something back regardless if that’s a piece of art or simply the act of participation, Pick Me Up is about a far removed from your atypical gallery experience as it’s possible to be. Go, if you don’t like ‘traditional’ exhibitions. You will not be disappointed.
Pick Me Up is at Somerset House until 3 May.
Images: Rob Ryan, Peepshow collective, ‘If Not Now’ by Claire Scully, Peepshow Collective, London Print Club
Posted by Jessie Piper