Well we made it! Its 2015! Great Scott where are the hover boards?!……… Oh well, who needs hover boards when you’ve had a year like ours! 2014 was quite a special one for us at Sweet ‘Art for so many reasons and we thought you may like to take a little stroll down memory lane with us before we get stuck into 2015 Sweet ‘Art style. We started the year recovering from our Christmas show Frieze and launching this blog that we are very proud of, with it now being read in 56 different countries including the US, China, Israel and Rwanda! We also began planning our first show of the year, ‘Visions Of Dr H’. A joke started on FB and which we probably took a bit too far, we decided with artist Karen Boughey to host a super fun exhibition of portraits of Dr Huxtable from the 80’s sitcom The Cosby Show! I mean why not? We spoke to some of our artists who all had fond memories of the character and were equally enthusiastic about the idea. We then all got to painting portraits and knitting tiny little Dr H jazzy jumpers for our press releases and teamed up with our new friends over at Juno bar and gallery in Shoreditch for this one of a kind show! Those little jumpers did the trick as we were sponsored by the mighty Johnny Walker Whisky and featured in the London Metro amongst other press all loving the show. Juno have said it has been their most popular and visited show to date and we made many sales. Who would have thought it? Guests on our opening night also enjoyed an interactive piece by Jerome Beresford where your projected self could dance adorned by one of many digitally generated jazzy jumpers!
In light of recent and historic allegations made against Bill Cosby that we were not aware of at the time of the show, we have wondered as a team how people have felt about the show since. ‘Visions of Dr H’ was an exhibition dedicated to the character Dr Huxtable which many of us grew up watching and loved, rather than Bill Cosby himself, but we are undoubtedly saddened by the nature of the crimes he is accused of regardless and invite those of you reading to share your thoughts and feelings about the show if you wish. The Sweet ‘Art team then parted company for a few months with Gav and I deciding to take some time out to embark on an arty world tour while the rest of the team held down the fort back in London. You can read all about S’A on the road in this blog but we must mention the amazing time we had meeting artists all around the globe and visiting some incredible exhibitions, studios and galleries. New Orleans and Santa Fe in the US were definitely beautifully creative highlights, as was meeting new friends in Texas at the LPM Gallery and the amazing studio visits with artist Water Kerner in LA and Antonius Khos in Bali. We have been so lucky to make so many new inspiring contacts and are currently working on funding proposals for international collaborations in both the US and Vietnam.
So Gav and I returned home in June inspired and rearing to go and with the team back together we began planning our largest and most ambitious show to date. Starting as an idea by our lovely Charlotte we decided on a large multi-disciplinary exhibition to coincide with London Fashion Week. We wanted ‘Seams’ to showcase artists from all disciplines including fashion design, with garments that could be on display and worn by models on our opening night! We wanted works that explored where fashion meets art and art meets fashion! We wanted works that celebrated fashion but that also intelligently critiqued the fashion industry and fashion norms! We wanted interactive artworks, stunning installations, insightful paintings, neon, sound, edibles, amazing sponsors and a stunning, cool exhibition space located in the centre of the London art scene! So…….we made it happen! Not before enlisting some amazing help in the form of our awesome hard working interns. This year we have welcomed Jade, Anthony, B, Diana, Rosie, Shikara and Karolina into the S’A family. Together we made ‘Seams’ a huge success that we are so very proud of. Taking place at the Hoxton Arches Gallery in Shoreditch and sponsored by the amazing Sipsmith and Crystal Head Vodka our opening night was one mahooosive arty party. We had interactive fashion pieces designed by Shara Hayz and worn by the lovely Rosie and Shikara in the form of amazing sound activated light up jackets! The Sweet team also collaborated with Carolyn Butler and George Kloet to create Sweetshop, an interactive online artwork that challenged and critiqued the fashion and media industries that Rooms Magazine reviewed as an “edgy, satirical exploration.” We also chose to raise money for the charity BODY, who support those suffering from body image related issues including Body Dimorphic Disorder. Why not listen in here to interviews on the opening night by East London Radio!
We followed up Seams a few months later with another awesome group show back at Juno. ‘Guilty Pleasures’ showcased the work of S’A artists old and new exploring the thrill, the fun, the sinister, the surreal, the absurd, the grotesque, the bizarre, the debauched, the moving and the taboo in the world of Guilty Pleasures! We enjoyed our now infamous anatomical heart cakes at our opening night washed down by Junos’ special Guilty Pleasures cocktails while listening to some Guilty Pleasures tunes courtesy of S’A friend and DJ Alex!
………and for December? We finished the year with two great shows just for good measure. We decided to take a alternative look at the festive season with ‘Saturnalia’ and ‘GIF(t)’. Saturnalia was a Roman holiday in December celebrated with a sacrifice, banqueting and continual partying that over turned social norms! Krampus is a demonic beast-like creature from folklore who was said to punish children during the Christmas season and carry them off to his lair! We decided we wanted more pagan than panto, less of The Snow Man and more of The Wicker Man this Christmas and so asked artist to explore these alternative Christmas themes for our show. We had an amazing opening night enjoying Junos’ delicious mince pies and mulled wine and guests were treated to some arty prezzies courtesy of Krampus’ sinister sack!
We ended the year with GIF(t), a UK first! Headed up by Jerome, GIF(t) was an exhibition of small works by selected artists showcasing an exciting new technology. We selected twelve talented gif artists that have begun to make their gifs into physical artworks via lenticular printing, sponsored for GIF(t) by the awesome people at gifpop! We collaborated with The Circle in Soho for this show and a great opening night was had by all thanks again to those Moscow mules courtesy of our friends at Crystal Head Vodka. We want to thank all the artists that participated, some flying in from as far as the US to be at the opening night!
I think you will agree that we had quite a year but what’s in the diary for 2015?! Well we are starting with launching our brand new website which looks amazing, even if we do say so ourselves. Do take a look and you will notice we have introduced our online store ‘Sweet Shop’. We have an ongoing submissions policy for Sweet Shop and are already in the process of working on its launch! If you are an artist that would like to get involved please visit our opportunities page for details. You will also notice our new submissions process via the site. I know, I know its pretty nerdy and yes we have been way too excited than is healthy about our new database and submissions procedure! It will help us to keep on top of all the submissions we now receive without anyone missing out on a chance to exhibit with us! Also on the site you can find out more about our amazing little team, the services we offer and check out our updated promo. What more could you want?! As for shows we have the whole year mapped out and are super excited! First up we’re going back to our roots and holding a large group show for International Women’s Day in March. The call for artists will be on the site very soon so keep an eye on our latest news sweet ‘arts and Happy New Year!!