New Balance & Kate Gibb & Osian Batyka-Williams
Just over a week ago, Art & Sole was invited to the launch of the New Balance ‘Let’s Make Excellent Happen’ campaign, held at The Wapping Project centre for arts. We didn’t know it before-hand, but the event, which started in Haymarket as a journey on an old Routemaster bus, involved artists Kate Gibb and Osian Batyka-Williams...
The invite that arrived through the post a few weeks ago was actually an original Kate Gibb screenprint, created especially for the event - it even had an edition number (of 250) hand-written in the top left corner. There’s no artist/designer shoe-collaboration to talk of yet, but equally as interesting is the fact that Gibb and Batyka-Williams have been selected to be part of, and represent, the ‘Let’s Make Excellent Happen’ campaign.
The campaign itself aims to celebrate New Balance’s ethos of quality craftsmanship and passion for manufacturing. To emphasise this, the company, who are celebrating their 30th Anniversary of domestic manufacturing this year, have recruited like-minded ‘excellent makers’ who exhibit the brand’s philosophy through their own craft and creativity.
As we’ve mentioned, Gibb created an original screenprint invite for the night (shown top), and in addition to that, Batyka-Williams created a typographic installation for the event - using shoe-laces to outline letterforms (shown below). It will be very interesting to see what other creativity stems from this collaboration over the following months.
It was a pleasure to meet both artists on the night – especially as we’ve admired Kate Gibb’s work for a long time. A silkscreen artist based in London, Gibb is renowned for her music industry work which includes a longstanding creative relationship with The Chemical Brothers. Equally interesting is the work of Osian Batyka-Williams, whose practice encompasses product, interior and exhibition design. Importantly, Batyka-Williams is committed to producing work with both a social and ethical responsibility, with a focus on British manufacturing and the use of sustainable and reclaimed materials. His newest venture is the design and community led shop The Cottage Project; a ‘micro’ department store that showcases new British designer/makers.
As well as images from the night, shown below are two video interiews with both Gibb and Batyka-Williams, which explain a little more about the artists themselves, their working practice and their thoughts behind the New Balance collaboration. Batyka-Williams also created his own video which shows the creation and installation of his piece for the event (shown bottom)