Preview: Friday Late Village Fete, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Global art in a local setting
Tuesday 22 July 2008
The Victoria and Albert Museum's annual village fête in the museum's John Madejski garden, now in its ninth year, offers a snazzy twist on the traditional English summer fête of soggy sandwiches, bunting and terrible prizes: the stall-holders are all contemporary artists and designers showcasing their work.
The Pose Me a Postcard stall, hosted by the up-and-coming prop and graphic designers Fred & Teo, offers visitors the chance to star in a souvenir postcard that re-creates an iconic portrait from the V&A's own collection. The furniture designer William Warren and his band, Prints of Whales, meanwhile, will perform a set of country and bluegrass with a troupe of line-dancers.
The product and furniture designer Michael Marriott, aka DJ Barry, has created his own shed-like DJ booth where he will spin records. The design collective Garudio Studiage challenge visitors to find three of the same animal in a specially created rabbit hutch, to win a "flat pet", a screen-printed cut-out of a rabbit, kitten or puppy.
The paper-cut-out artist and screen printer Rob Ryan, who has created a paper-cut-out ball dress for Vogue, and who has worked with the fashion designer Paul Smith, returns to the V&A fete for the fourth time. "Some take 100 hours or more of solid work," he says.
At his stall, punters can buy a large scratchcard print, either as a work in its own right or to scratch to win a paper-cut-out print. "It is a risk, because to win something better, you have to destroy the piece of art you already have. I'm also considering turning it into a bingo game, so that you have to wait for the winning numbers to be called to match them to the numbers on your scratchcard."
Why exhibit here? "It's far more interesting than other village fêtes," Ryan says. "Artists and designers can prove themselves and come up with the best, most original stall."
25 and 26 July (020-7942 2000; www.vam.ac.uk/fcfridaylate)
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