The subtle alchemy of the editing process will be familiar to most designers and art directors. Browns’ Jonathan Ellery has translated his own fascination with it into three personal projects, all of which are brought together at his debut London gallery show, Unrest, which opened at The Wapping Project earler this month and was featured in last month’s issue of Creative Review.
Objects, people, sounds, numbers, fashion, products, words, plants – Ellery takes anything that moves him. He then orders them, or juxtaposes them, bringing out the subtle changes in meaning or the sparking of new ideas that can be brought forward simply by placing objects next to one another or in sequence. The show features 136 Points of Reference (2005) and 87 (2006), both of which have previously been published in book form, as well as Ellery’s most recent project, Works In Brass. The latter features 25 beautiful, large-scale brass etchings, (some shown here) each juxtaposing pairs of objects.
For the 136 Points of Reference segment of the show, Ellery has transformed the content of his book into a series of framed exhibits, “from beer-mats to gurus to stolen moments”, in a collection first shown at the Roth Gallery in New York in 2005.
87, his collection of sequential numbers in different typefaces, is transformed into a multimedia piece using projections, LCD screens and sound.
The show, says the gallery, “defines Ellery’s ideas, his approach, and, essentially, his voice”. Is it art or design? Who cares? It’s just beautiful.