Style | Van der Postings

London’s Southbank offers more than great art and music

Pitch-perfect products from the Southbank’s shops

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London’s Southbank offers more than great art and music

May 26 2010
Lucia van der Post

Some may go to the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London to hear Daniel Barenboim’s latest tour de force, others for the Hayward Gallery’s edgy art exhibitions, yet others for some recherché music in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. But there’s a small group who have a slightly shameful secret – they go for the shopping.

The Southbank Centre’s shops have long had a reputation for nurturing innovative designers, for coming up with jewellery that isn’t all about great big stones and precious bits of this and that, for discovering new ceramicists and uncovering offbeat, charming small bits of stationery or presents you wouldn’t find elsewhere. In other words, the sort of creative pieces that are perfectly in tune with the artistic endeavour that lies at the heart of the Southbank Centre itself.

This year the Southbank Centre has commissioned six designer-makers from Cockpit Arts to create new designs for its Bloom 2010 project. The designers were given a brief that the pieces were to be inspired by the Southbank Centre – to have a connection with the world of architecture, art and music, and somehow reflect its history. The results are now on sale at the Southbank Centre shops. What’s more, those who are interested in the designers and the process of how their pieces are made will be able to visit them in their workshops. From June 11-13 they’ll be at the Cockpit Arts studio in Holborn and from June 18-20 they will be at Cockpit Arts in Deptford.

Look out for Timeo Sido’s raffine music-motif tea-lights (first picture, £40), Tania Clarke Hall’s striking leather jewellery (second picture, from £40 for a bracelet), for Naomi Ryder’s charming music-inspired handkerchiefs (third picture, £15), for Sue King’s beautiful glass dishes (fourth picture, from £55), and for Sena Gu’s enchanting ceramics (from £10).

The Bloom 2010 products are available in the Royal Festival Hall and Festival Terrace shops. Lovely though the shops are, and worthwhile though it would be to go to the open studio days, not everybody can manage that so it’s good to know that everything can be bought through the Southbank Centre’s online shop.

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