A new exhibition from Spin isn't quite what you might expect from the London studio. Merging art with design, the show focuses on experiments, offshoots and previously unreleased material from past creative projects.
Spin is bringing together work beyond commissioned design projects, in a new exhibition called Etcetera. Spanning painting, print, sculpture, photography, video and animation, the exhibition blurs the boundaries of analogue and digital media while finding inspiration in figures from Ovid to Gustav Metzger.
And there was plenty of material, it seems, to choose from. "Looking back over the life of the studio, I have been plagued by inconvenient and irrelevant ideas throughout, periodically popping up unbidden," says Spin founding partner Tony Brook. But why exhibit them as art? "The obvious attraction," he replies, "is that you can ask yourself creative questions you would like to be asked and answer them without restraint."
Releasing these artworks into the wider world has been a heady experience, he adds. "I'm in a strange new place, this is the first faltering step, so naturally, there are some nerves," says Tony. "You want people to enjoy the work and provoke a positive response, but the overriding feeling is excitement, verging on giddiness, that this work will finally have a life beyond the walls of the studio. There is a phrase that sums up our attitude to making the exhibition succinctly: 'Go hard or go home'. I guess we have gone hard."
And exploring the space between art and design has been a real pleasure. "I honestly can't say I enjoy one discipline more than the other," says Tony. "SPIN has a wonderful reputation in the design world and a raft of exciting clients, so there is absolutely no room for complaints in that department. But the opportunity to explore other, more personal possibilities is equally satisfying.
"The really strange thing," he adds, "is how often this work feeds into commissioned projects, often in surprising and utterly unexpected ways. Our creative process is a dialogue that zig-zags between the commercial and the self-initiated — it's a conversation that has a genuine back-and-forth.
Etcetera is showing throughout July at Studio 2, 33 Stannary St London SE11 4AA. Opening times are 9-10, 14-17 and 21-24 July, from 12noon-5pm or by appointment.