Well, it seems like only a few days ago I was hanging up my stocking and untangling the Christmas tree lights. Before you know it, another year is upon us and the team at Mat Dolphin are charged up and ready for a good one. We’ve hit the ground running with some great new projects on the horizon and we can’t wait to get stuck in.
Catching up after the Christmas break and comparing socks, we got into a chat about what non-Christmas related activities we got up to. Being the geeky types who spend a bit too long slaving away in front of our layout pads and computers, the chance to go and check out the latest exhibitions and events is always a pleasure. We thought we’d share a couple of the best with you.
Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion may sound like is isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of green tea, but those willing to give it a go may be pleasantly surprised. The exhibition, which is showing at The Barbican until 6th February, showcases pioneering work from a number of Japanese fashion designers, focusing primarily on collections from Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. The pieces on display are stunning and show the lasting legacy these designers have had not only on their industry, but on popular culture as a whole.
The British institution that is The National Portrait Gallery is currently showing the 2010 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. The exhibition runs until 20th February and displays sixty works from a huge range of photographers, with upcoming amateurs rubbing shoulders with more established professionals. With many of the images previously unpublished, the photography covers a wide range of subject matter and disciplines, drawing from the worlds of fine art, editorial and advertising. An annual must-see, even if just to compare favourites at the end.
The idea of inter-disciplinary multimedia collaboration seems like a relatively modern concept. The snappily titled ‘Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929‘ exhibition at The V&A shows how the artistic director of the ‘most exciting dance company of the 20th Century’ made hugely innovative steps towards combining dance, music and art to bring his new concept of total theatre to life. Working with legendary figures such as Stravinsky, Chanel, Picasso, Matisse and Nijinsky, Diaghilev changed the way we look at modern dance and theatre in a groundbreaking way. This weekend is your last chance to check it out so get down there quick!
With a host of current and upcoming exhibitions to check out, we got talking about the importance of taking inspiration for our work – graphic design – from other outside areas. In spite of (or maybe because of) the fact we spend a lot of our time looking at the ‘traditional’ graphic design work from our peers it’s always hugely refreshing to see work from different areas and take inspiration from less insular sources. The creative juices which have started flowing as a direct result of seeing the three exhibitions mentioned above will in some way trickle down into the design work we produce in a way that has more resonance and impact than mirroring the latest design technique or typography treatment from the daily round of design blogs we see. Taking creative inspiration from any source is something I think should always be encouraged but it was interesting that the exhibitions that have been most inspiring to us recently have come from areas as such as fashion, dance and photography and if I’m honest, I’m not sure an exhibition showing the current crop of up and coming Graphic Design talent would excite me in quite the same way.
New years resolution – Look further afield for inspiration, there’s enough of it out there.
As a parting nugget of food for thought, I’ll leave you with some words from the American independent film director Jim Jarmusch.
Thanks for reading and here’s to an inspirational 2011!