The art – and design - of supermarket shopping

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The Design Museum has turned its shop into a collaborative work of art, created by a roster of young artists.

Conceived and funded by Bombay Sapphire gin Supermarket will open on Wednesday, April 21, and run for just five days, almost a month before the museum in Kensington High Street itself reopens, as a grocery store with artist-designed commodities, all competitively priced.

Natasha Curtin, Bombay Sapphire’s global vice-president, said all proceeds from the shop would go to support emerging artists, and hoped to raise £70,000. “We believe creativity is essential, and not being able to go to museums or galleries we wanted to work with a gallery with the idea of giving people a creative experience while they shop” she said.

The project has been directed by the artist/designer Camille Walala who has created the shop in broad primary colours, with the signature blue of the sponsor’s product as the base colour, all in two months, and essential items available packaged by ten artists.

“The past year has been really challenging for artists who haven’t been able to show work or collaborate as normal. Supermarket is a great way to not only support the Design Museum, but also shine a spotlight on the ten brilliant young artists who through this project have a new platform for their work” Walala said.

“Bread bags to rice boxes, toilet paper, coffee, washing up liquid, tote bags… ten emerging artists have produced the most fabulous packaging” said the Design Museum’s director, Tim Marlow.  “The idea was to launch a take over of high street shopping, and get a lead designer to take on the shop - not just to redesign it but actually create a fully immersive polychromatic installation.”

There are also fruit and vegetable stickers, a pasta box, face masks, tonic water and even a Bombay Sapphire label.

“Our high streets, museums and galleries have been hit hard by the pandemic; this is an opportunity to get people back to enjoying our cultural institutions safely and creatively” Marlow said. “This installation is an opportunity to rethink about what we buy, who profits and what we consider to be essential. We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to our museum.”

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