JWT London Joins Leading Artists in Turning Ash to Art
In a Campaign created by J. Walter Thompson London, 25 leading international artists, including Simon Starling, Sir Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Cornelia Parker, Jenny Saville, David Shrigley and Douglas Gordon have used materials retrieved from The Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh library after the fire to create original works of art to help raise money for restoration of the Mackintosh Building.
Each one of the diverse and distinctive pieces, covering a range of practices including Sculpture, Photography, Drawing and Painting has been created using remains from the fire, from charred timbers and debris to books and furniture.
Called Ash to Art and created by created by J. Walter Thompson London in collaboration with The Glasgow School of Art Development Trust, the new art works will be displayed at Christie’s in London King Street in a special exhibition between 3rd and 7th March 2017, then auctioned during the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 8th March 2017. The proceeds will be donated to The Mackintosh Campus Appeal.
When the creatives behind the campaign, Bill Hartley and Giles Hepworth, saw the news about the fire they approached the GSA with the idea of using actual materials recovered to help raise money for the restoration. Since then the school and the agency have worked together tirelessly to bring some of the art world’s biggest talents together to deliver this hugely ambitious project.
Each artist was sent a piece of debris specifically chosen for them with a note telling them what it was, where it was from and explaining the concept. The brief was left open for each artist to interpret what they received and create their own new piece of art.
J. Walter Thompson London’s Bill Hartley and Giles Hepworth, said: “It seemed appropriate to use a by-product of the School's fire as the tool of its rebirth. By putting debris from the fire into the hands of artists, it places the future of the School firmly in the hands of the UK’s creative community.”
Artists chosen by J. Walter Thompson London, and including seven Turner Prize winners, come from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to create a distinctive body of work, reflecting the international importance and influence of the Mackintosh Building on those who studied there and further afield. Other leading artists participating include Anish Kapoor, Tacita Dean, Conrad Shawcross, The Chapman Brothers and Sir Peter Blake.
Grayson Perry, said: “It’s a tragedy. It’s the most famous art school building in Britain. It’s also the masterpiece of Mackintosh. It’s a double tragedy. I was very excited when I received the box of charcoal. I had an idea almost immediately and the idea of making an urn was an obviously thing to do. The idea of memorialising or celebrating the difficulty - honoring the wound. It’s something I’m trying to do. Move on and make the most of it.
I really like the idea of using the charcoal from the fire. I thought it was very clever. It’s also fresh – it’s not something that has come up before. We’ve all been asked to do t shirts, knickers and mugs – endless charity rounds. I get about two a week.”
Creative Agency: J. Walter Thompson London
Producer: Kate Duncan
Executive Creative Director: Russell Ramsey
Senior Account Director: Sophia Redgrave
Head of Art: Dave Dye
Account Manager: Jonah Werth
Creative: Giles Hepworth, Bill Hartley
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