Oh, for art's sake!

by Simon McClelland Morris
Inspiration, Art, Galleries, Giclée

We believe that giving back is important, culturally and environmentally. We care about what's going on around us, how it affects us and inspires us.

One of the ways to give back, and obviously very pertinent at present, is being conscious of our industry's environmental impact. We offer our sustainable print programme as a way of trying to mitigate the effects of graphic production on the planet. You can read more about our eco offering here.

Sustainability is important and worth a mention at every opportunity, but it's not what this post is about. This one is about art, and giving back to its community.

Earlier this year we launched Twenty One Trees – a platform, curated by The Graphical Tree, that highlights show listings and articles centred around contemporary art in London.

It's a space that the art community can benefit from by way of extra exposure, gallery viewings, and hopefully sales.

Art has been very good to us with the team working with a constant flow of artists and galleries over the years including 2008 Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey. Mark used to work with the co-founder of The Graphical Tree, Simon McClelland Morris, a few years back to produce printed pieces for his artistic concepts.

Of course, we're blessed to be surrounded by art in our central London location. But we chose the site for a reason, not just for convenience to ourselves and customers being so central to Oxford Street and the surrounding retail world, but because it's also a cultural hotspot for art. For all the Royal Academy of Arts and National Galleries, there is a plethora of smaller well known galleries too.

We have has been working with Unit London, The Halcyon Gallery, Simon Lee, Tiwani, Gazelli Art House, Brunei Gallery, and Somerset House, to name just a few, for years. This is predominately to support the galleries exhibitions through signage and graphics, produced using cut vinyl decals and printed wallpapers. But it can be with actual work for the show itself including fine art giclée printing.

We would be doing a disservice to the world of art if we created Twenty One Trees just for personal promotion and featured those we already work with at The Graphical Tree. Instead, we feature and promote the galleries and artists that surround and inspire us at our own central London, Great Titchfield Street HQ. The mix of installation, sculpture, paint, photography, film, sound and performance adds a healthy, and we feel, necessary, thoughtful and creative input to the city, and to our lives at large.

The galleries would of course be lost without the artists themselves, so we're happy to champion their cause, their ideas, their work, and the method of their artistic communication. Contemporary art, in particular, can be a subjective beast to encounter. Art produced in the second half of the 20th century or in the 21st century often begs the question, "what is art?" or even, "that's not art." But we hope by giving the featured artists and galleries a platform on Twenty One Trees, it helps us all understand the world a little better from its interpretation through the medium of art.

Photos include João Farkas; Kenny Schachter's Family Guy show at Simon Lee Gallery; Sonny Assu in The Baldwin Gallery, Canada House; Wolfgang Tillmans at Tate Modern; Pedro Paricio and Picasso at the Halcyon Gallery; North at Somerset House.

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