Exhibition preview: If You Could charts the fruits of collaboration

When creatives from different disciplines come together to produce works, the results can chart unexplored design territories. If You Could Collaborate, the fourth exhibition curated by designers Alex Bec and Will Hudson of studio It's Nice That, brings together top talent from fields including graphic design, illustration, fashion, literature, product design and sculpture. It runs at the Foundation Gallery at Rochelle School, London from this Friday until January 24.

The If You Could series of exhibitions started four years ago as a university project by Bec and Hudson to raise money to stage their degree show, and has taken a variety of forms. For If You Could Collaborate, they chose 33 creatives early last year and asked them to partner up with each other to create projects.

"After last year's Print Series, we decided to challenge the curation of the If You Could shows a little further than flat work on walls," says Alex Bec. "So, we decided to let people choose what they wanted to make and who with, as we thought it would yield the most honest results, and the most interesting to curate. We like to give the people we really admire the opportunity to create new, personal work that otherwise wouldn't exist."

Graphical representations of chance encounters in space by Anthony Burrill and John Griffiths.

A flatpack rocking chair by Rob Ryan and Michael Marriott.

A large, abstract canvas using signwriter’s vinyl and timber by Sam Messenger and Bart Long.

A series of figures made from salvaged wood and scrap material by Chrissie Macdonald and Marie O’Connor

While Bec and Hudson didn't specifically ask participants to work with creatives from different backgrounds, many did -- and with wonderfully unusual results ranging from an artwork to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the M1 by the co-creator of many of Britain's road signs Margaret Calvert and illustrator Marion Deuchars, to a series of quirky wooden figures from Peepshow's Chrissie Macdonald and Marie O’Connor. As well as the freedom of working without a brief, the participants also got to work without tight time constraints.

"They got the kind of freedom and liberal deadline that is totally alien to them in their day to day practice," he says. "We rarely make the excuses to do the things we really want to, especially in a pressured working environment."

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Read Next...