Being able to create and appreciate art in the mundane and the everyday was the main aspiration of early street artists who believed art should primarily be for the people. Fast forward to 2015, and the London Frieze Art Fair is now in its twelfth consecutive year, bringing art from all over the world to London for the people. The contemporary art fair takes place in London’s Regent’s Park and features more than 170 contemporary art galleries alongside commissioned art projects, art talks and an education schedule, making it one of the most important features of the London art calendar.
On October 14th, luxury menswear label Pal Zileri celebrated the reopening of their New Bond Street store to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair. This reopening will also be the debut the brands new Avant-Craft Project which aims to promote artists through in store exhibitions and collaborations with up-and-coming artists. For the debut of their project, Pal Zieri has commissioned British artist Amba Sayal-Bennett, alongside Italian Matteo Callegari, to create a permanent exhibition within the store as a celebration of the brand’s rich heritage in art and craftsmanship and its commitment to the promotion of the arts.
Amba Sayal-Bennett’s work within Pal Zileri is an exploration of both the physical space within the store and they way in which an audience responds to art, even when it is placed in a non traditional setting, in this case, a menswear shop. Sayal-Bennett’s ability to turn mundane everyday objects into extraordinary geometric artworks is what has earned her multiple awards as well as being previously exhibited at the London Art Fair and at the Saatchi Gallery. Her three installations within Pal Zileri form a thoughtful collection of works which compliment the shop space seamlessly.
One of her artworks within the permanent installation, Muon Cript, is an installation within the first floor window and is visible from the street below. The work aims to encourage people to not only appreciate the artwork itself, but the space within which the artwork inhabits. She does this by emulating the shape and structure of the windows on the building and highlighting the unique architectural forms of the shop building within the piece. By doing so she hopes to provide people with a reason to pause and appreciate the building and its architecture rather than just the ground floor shop window displays as our eyes have become accustomed.
Another work in the permanent installation is Brack and Brine, which is playfully explores shop presentation methods by draping and hanging prints over a display stand. Within this work, Sayal-Bennett, explores how manmade everyday environments can be experienced and appreciated in sculptural and artistic terms. Her third piece on display within the store is Parse which is a projection of acetate prints of digital collages using an overhead projector. The geometric work is paired back to very bare shapes and lines in reimagined forms. It is an exploration of space and how the public engages with less traditional art forms.
Sayal-Bennett’s talent lies in her ability to question the perception of art as a concept through expertly crafted, aesthetic contemporary artworks and spaces. By taking regular or mundane units and manipulating them into unique and contemporary works, Sayal-Bennett is able to highlight the simplicity of line and form and maintain a distinct aesthetic.
Amba Sayal-Bennett’s work can be viewed at the Pal Zileri store, 125 New Bond St, Mayfair.
The Frieze Art Fair runs from 14–17 October 2015.
Words / Caitlin Donaldson