The pandemic has forced institutions worldwide to devise innovative digital solutions to exhibitions that once appeared in physical form. The same is true for UK charity National Saturday Club, which has moved into annual Summer Show – usually at Somerset House in London – online, into a dynamic digital experience constructed by global design agency Imagination.
And ‘imagination' is apt – it's one of the cornerstones of the charity, which hosts masterclasses at Saturday Club centres nationwide, supporting young people in key creative areas of Art and Design, Fashion and Business, Science and Engineering, and Writing and Talking, with the aim of building essential and transferable skills.
In the Art and Design category, the young people had the chance to learn about collaborative world-art from Barnaby Barford; about sculpture, from ceramicist Fernando Casasempere; and embroidery, from a team member at Alexander McQueen – amongst many other topics including animation, typography, photography, screen-printing, and interior design. This year, in a virtual film made for the Club, Antony Gormley challenged the young people to create body forms out of clay.
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Contending with the pandemic, the Club provided an enhanced online programme since April 2020, including digitally-accessible projects that could be performed at home. In the Fashion and Business category, tutor Rebecca Barton demonstrated how to adapt single use plastics and everyday objects found around the home, to create a series of innovative costume designs. Meanwhile, in the Writing and Talking department, student assistant Angelica Jacobs-Grant advised on how using a random word generator can help develop a filmic plot.
The product of these workshops and masterclasses – attended both physically and remotely – will be available to explore through the new digital portal, alongside behind the scenes insight into what the Club has been up to. Annually, its Summer Show is the finale to the year-long programme, and friends and family are invited, too, in a communal celebration that seems more important than ever during this time of continued distance.
Visit saturday-club.org/summershow (opens in new tab) from Saturday 18 July at midday
Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees Wallpaper.com and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.
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