The organisation, which promotes the work of designers and designer-makers, faced closure after the London Development Agency withdrew funding. For 22 years it had supported designers, helping to build the careers of such talents as Ella Doran, Kay & Stemmer and Jethro Macey.
Hidden Art director Dieneke Ferguson likens the arrangement to a ‘concession’, adding, ‘We wanted to keep the Hidden Art brand alive’. Culture Label is providing an online home for Hidden Art in return for a cut of the sales – Hidden Art currently boasts around 800 products from 75 designers.
Speaking to Ferguson about the resurrection of Hidden Art, you get a sense not only of her relief that the organisation has been saved, but also an excitement rebuilding it in its digital world. ‘We had no money at all,’ she says, ‘So we were forced to think creatively.’
Hidden Art is not the only organisation, client or consultancy that has had to rethink its position in the wake of financial uncertainty. It’s a bit of a cliché to suggest that challenging times lead to great opportunities, but in some cases the threat of going to the wall can be the best opportunity to work out why you’re important and how best to do what it is you do.