This June, we have been excited to work on fifteen different stands at Masterpiece London – the outstanding art, antique, jewelry and design fair for discerning cross-collectors. We have worked at the fair since its inception in 2010 and have enjoyed seeing it evolve into a truly sensational world-class event that attracted 40,000 visitors over its nine day run.
This year we did something a little different. The fair’s principal sponsor, Royal Bank of Canada, asked us to create a branded salon to host its VIP guests. To provide a visual focus and a talking point in the salon, we conceived, developed and managed the RBC Fifth Plinth project.
Inspired by the prestigious Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square that hosts a series of art commissions, we created a replica plinth in the salon and invited key exhibitors from the fair to put forward important objects representing the concept of ‘a masterpiece’.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a masterpiece as ‘a work of outstanding artistry or skill’ and our exhibitor’s selections ranged from the tremendous Grima Lei necklace of gold wire and brilliant cut diamonds, through Ariadne’s Egyptian antiquity from 1075 BC and exquisite portraiture by David Jagger from Philip Mould & Co. We used the plinth to display each item at its best while the accompanying interpretation materials examined the concept behind the fair.
Visually, the plinth was part of a high-gloss white band that cut through the faceted walls of dark blue silk doupion, drawing the eye from the welcome desk to the plinth and into the atmospheric space. Intellectually the project inspired the RBC guests to consider the artistry and craftsmanship of every item in the fair and the sense of privilege and appreciation that accompanies its attendance.
We are very proud of the result – a beautiful and practical space that made visitors appreciate their surroundings and experience in a deeper and different way.
With grateful thanks to Ariadne Galleries, Thomas Coulborn & Sons, David Gill Gallery, Grima, Peter Harrington, Philip Mould & Company and Tomasso Brothers Fine Art.