Inspire: Selfridges State of the Arts
The well established department store Selfridges has been a long-standing patron of the arts, championing a showcase of artworks across its London store for many decades and at its regional stores since their opening in the late-90s and early noughties. Showing art in unexpected places is therefore not a new thing at Selfridges although ‘State of the Arts’ is the stores’ first major dedicated arts campaign take over.
The campaign marks a turning point in Selfridges’ commitment to supporting the arts and the artists behind them – especially emerging, promising British-based talent, alongside established names.
This commitment – part of what Selfridges sees as its civic responsibilities – also extends to the promotion of art in communities within and outside Selfridges, actively allowing them to have a more frequent, organic and unfettered access to and appreciation of it.
Harnessing the visual power of its world famous windows, shop floors and selected spaces, Selfridges has invited dozens of artists to contribute to State of the Arts and see their work exhibited and, at times, created, in full sight of the passing trade. With virtually no merchandise for sale featured in the windows or in the usual in-store displays, this is one of the most daring campaign ever undertaken by Selfridges.
Running until the 30th March Selfridges Oxford Street windows have been turned galleries and exhibition spaces, featuring nine critically acclaimed artists. All nine artists were commissioned by the Crossrail Art Programme, funded by the Crossrail Art Foundation charity, to create site-specific artworks in the new stations of the Elizabeth Line due to open later this year. This includes the new Bond Street station installation, created by British artist Darren Almond and sponsored by Selfridges.
Alongside Darren Almond the artists’ lineup includes Spencer Finch, Douglas Gordon, Chantal Joffe, Yayoi Kusama, Simon Periton, Michal Rovner, Conrad Shawcross and Richard Wright.
All nine artists have conceived unique art installations for the windows that echo the piece they created for their respective station. In effect, the Selfridges windows offer a preview of sorts of artworks set to become landmarks in years to come and which together are set to form one of the capital’s biggest ever public art projects.
The campaign additionally includes The Corner Shop at the London store which plays host to the Art Store, as well as a series of creative classes, talks, an arts trail and tour. The Manchester and Birmingham Selfridges stores continue the State of the Arts campaign collaborating with local artists and running in-store exhibitions, workshops and events.
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