Thursday, 30 January 2014

ditchling museum of art + craft

Last month I attended a talk by graphic designer Phil Baines who rebranded the recently re-opened Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft. I was inspired to visit to see how it looked and also to see the exhibits, which center around the artists and craftspeople that formed a community founded by Eric gill in the early part of last century.

I went at the weekend and fell in love with it. The museum is small but perfectly formed. The exhibits are housed in a sleek and unfussy, yet warm and inviting setting. The redesigned building - a mix of 18th century cart lodge and old school buildings - is a sympathetic amalgamation of old and new and feels traditional and modern at the same time. I don't know much about architecture, so for a more indepth insite into the museum's transformation I recommend this informative report on Architects Journal.

Phil Baines' typography-focused branding sits well in the environment and uses the work of artists in the collection as a starting point, not least the use of Gill Sans type face.  The work on show is an eclectic mix of stone carvings, portraits, textiles, prints etc. that tell the story of the artist community that emerged in Ditchling, one that I would have been completely unaware of had I not been inspired to visit after Phil Baines' talk. So, thanks Phil! This is a museum that I'll certainly remember and undoubtedly revisit.