As museums in England tentatively await their reopening in May, the Design Museum in London is gaining a head start by launching Supermarket, an installation-cum-store stocked with beautifully designed essential goods.
The product packaging features the work of ten emerging artists, from the painterly aesthetic of Charlotte Edey and Holly Warburton to Kentaro Okwara’s bold illustrations. Visitors can pick up food items such as bread, beans, porridge and pasta, as well as household products like washing up liquid and possibly the most attractive toilet roll to have ever existed thanks to packaging by Michaela Yearwood-Dan. On the less ‘essential’ side of things are bottles of gin and tonic designed by Ruff Mercy (the installation is in partnership with Bombay Sapphire).
The products will be available to buy online and at the Design Museum in an installation space brought to life in colourful glory by Camille Walala, who lends her trademark punchy patterns and palettes to Supermarket. The artist has continued to brighten up public spaces throughout the pandemic, and was recently enlisted to work on the cover of an issue of Evening Standard Magazine created to mark the gradual reopening of London alongside Yinka Ilori, Lakwena and Jeremy Deller.
“The past year has been really challenging for artists who haven’t been able to show work or collaborate as normal,” said Walala. According to Design Museum director and chief executive Tim Marlow, Supermarket is meant to be an “opportunity to rethink about what we buy, who profits and what we consider to be essential”. The proceeds will go to the Design Museum’s new pay it forward scheme, giving up-and-coming designers and artists free access to exhibitions, talks and events.
Supermarket is open at the Design Museum in London from April 21-25; designmuseumshop.com