Art in the elements

An artist and an architect walk into a pub. It sounds like the start of a joke, but in fact it was the start of a stunning exhibition idea that would take art back out into the elements. Michael worked with artist Ant (Anthony) Garrett to figure out the logistics of producing an outdoor exhibition. The result was spectacular.

The Brief

Pubs can often be a good place to get the creative juices flowing. Bouncing ideas around, Michael and artist friend Ant conjured the idea for an outdoor exhibition. The paintings would be displayed in the same place they had been created, immersing the viewer in the true sense of the picture. But how would it work?

The stand design needed to be functional, stylish and subtle – so they didn’t detract from the art itself. They also needed to be mobile and easily assembled on site. And, of course, they needed to resist the weather Scilly would throw at them, from Atlantic gales to long days of sunshine and UV.

The Interpretation

With nature-proofing in mind, we got stuck into the designs. We used steel for the construction, in a Meccano style, and marine plywood was chosen for the paintings’ surface – as it was even and could be treated with UV varnish to protect against the weather.

We got a structural engineer involved to help with the steel sizes and our previous connections with ship builders Mark and Loz came in handy when it came to organising the shipping and assembly of the stands in situ.

This was a very different and exciting type of project for us, with an extremely fluid process – reflective of the concept itself.

The Outcome

Our technical experience and creative problem solving lead to a spectacular and successful outdoor art installation. The exhibition, in the great outdoors, provided a “far more immersive, thought-provoking” viewing (Ant Garratt).


The exhibition turned heads from the Telegraph to the FT – read their reviews here:

Telegraph review  Financial Times review