Following on the success of SHOWstudio and Veuve Clicquot’s collaborative event, A Beautiful Darkness, which took place at the old Central Saint Martins building on Southampton Row in October 2015, SHOWstudio were pleased to present a focused version of the exhibition at SHOWstudio's gallery at 19 Motcomb Street. Showcasing a selection of the event’s exclusive artworks and illustrations, the exhibition brought the spirit of A Beautiful Darkness back to our London headquarters.
At the heart of the exhibition sat Nick Knight's Black Rose, which was shot as part of Plant Power, an exhibition of Knight's work at The Natural History Museum. Exploring man's relationship with plants, Knight created 18 large-scale panels that represented how important plant life is to our modern society even though we often forget its significance. Alongside this monumental image sat Michael Boadi’s ‘Magnificent Rose’ perfume. Inspired by Knight’s own rose garden and photography, ‘Magnificent Rose’ embodies both the beauty and the dark power of this fabled flower, adding literal scent to the room.
Alongside these two significant pieces, sat Anthony James’ artwork, Today Is A Good Day. Though simple at first glance, James' sculpture - a piece of sheet metal that's been shot with various guns - evokes a sense of ‘order in chaos’. In contrast to this industrial relief, hung Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s rural landscapes. Her miniature oil paintings of bats and spiders deftly force us to look closely at, and find the beauty in, things we often deem ugly. Anchoring this idea were two custom Gareth Pugh garments. Modelled on the concept of ‘clowns’, these pieces investigate how clowns are perceived as both frightening and joyful entities.
A single wall showcased fashion illustrations commissioned and curated by Ellie Grace Cumming, each offering a beautifully macabre interpretation of the Spring/Summer 2016 runway looks.