Last week saw the launch of the ambitious and unique exhibition ‘One Room, Three Global Names’ curated by online video magazine, Crane.tv.
Squeezed into the small ‘Front Room’ on St. Martin’s Lane, big names in art and design – Sir Terence Conran, Kate MccGwire and Matt Pyke – articulate the exhibition’s big ideas on art and design as a democratic experience. It’s rare that an exhibition can construct such a clear message; the need for creativity and culture, in all it diverse forms, in our everyday lives; the need to cross-pollinate art across all mediums, inspiring everything we do. As Crane.tv founder Constantin Bjerke explains, “We feel that the creative disciplines have grown closer together, they are inspired by each other. You are now seeing Zaha Hadid designing shoes or Karl Lagerfeld being a photographer… For us it is one exhibition with different artists not different exhibitions.”
For the opening week the miniature ‘museum’ housed seminal one-man design institution Sir Terence Conran, a name that permeates through many aspects of British culture but is rarely showcased and celebrated in such a way. Conran was at the heart of Britain’s transformation in the 70s from austerity and functionality into the birth of style and design for the masses. The room is a synopsised satellite of a large exhibition currently at The Design Museum, titled ‘How We Live Our Lives.’ For Terence’s turn the room was filled with photos and objects revealing the impact he had on the home, most famously through Habitat. In the spirit of collaboration and artistic cross-germination, an electric clock designed by outstanding emerging talent Hye Yeon-Park sits alongside – all its numbers gradually morphing to the next in mesmerising sequence.
It is fitting that Conran’s episode was the first on show – the man who revolutionised the look of Britain both in its public and private spaces. The exhibition highlights his ethos of design and creativity in everyday life; an anti-elitist ethic similarly espoused by Crane.tv and their free online videos. In a Crane.tv interview shown on a screen on one wall of the exhibit, we see the cigar-wielding, cream blazer-bearing figure of Conran, edited elegantly into beautifully shifting shots of the great man, intertwined with his works.
As Bjerke explains, “video allows the viewer to hear the protagonist’s voice, see their facial expressions and emotions.” The video creates a visceral and human proximity to the individual; it is immediate and artistic in the way it tells the story.
With the second of the trio, Kate MccGwire launching in the room today and Matt Pyke doing the same on the 24th the exhibition is sets to intermingle yet more artistic and cultural ideas, giving the viewer further opportunity to approach art in new ways – what Bjerke summarises as “the opportunity to discover a broader context and reality.”
‘One Room, Three Global Names’ is open at The Front Room, St Martins Lane until Monday 30th June. Admission is free.
Text: William Severs
Photography: Paul Rappaport courtesy Crane.tv