Mother advertising agency is branching out into the art world with a new gallery, titled Downstairs at Mother. The space is held in the large foyer area of Mother’s offices in Shoreditch, London, and will open officially tomorrow evening with an exhibition of prints by Peter Blake.
The collaboration with Blake came about after the agency worked with him on a live art project for Coca-Cola that took place on London’s Southbank recently. His exhibition at Mother follows earlier experiments with showing art at the agency, which have included shows by Martin Parr and Anthony Burrill & Michael Marriott. Peter Blake has created a new limited edition print for the exhibition.
The decision to open an art space follows other creative ventures by the ad agency which include a graphic novels arm, Mother Comics, and a film and television arm, Mother Vision. “Mother as an agency has always sought to immerse itself in the creative environment that inspires it – not to interrupt but rather contribute to art and popular culture,” says the gallery director, Bridie Picot. “Downstairs at Mother is another expression of this vision, one which the agency can share with the wider community.”
In conjunction with the opening of the space, Mother is also launching the CCA Art Bus, a commissioned bus that shows art on its upper deck and has educational facilities on its lower deck. It will travel to schools and colleges and aims to introduce children and students to the visual arts.
Peter Blake will be travelling around London on the bus during the day tomorrow, and it will stop at various Pop Art locations in the city, such as Battersea Power Station and Stanley Road. The bus will pick up people relevant to the locations who will join Blake on the bus for a time. These include graphic designer Storm Thorgerson, who designed many iconic Pink Floyd covers, and Paul Weller. The bus will then travel to the Mother gallery space in time for the opening in the evening. A live feed of Blake’s bus adventures will play on the Guardian site during the day.
Following the opening tomorrow evening, the exhibition will be on show for a month, with viewings by appointment only. Picot is planning an eclectic selection of shows for future exhibition at the space. “Because we’re not representing artists and not selling work we can do whatever we fancy,” she says. “We’ll also be using the space to do album launches and talks.” Potential exhibitors can approach Picot at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.