ICA aims to raise £90 000 at gala auction

The Institute of Contemporary Arts will auction six unique commissioned objects by Tom Dixon and other designers at its gala fundraising event tonight.

The ICA, partnered with Veuve Clicquot, aims to raise £200 000 for its new commissions fund and has invited designers to create works based on the theme of ‘treasured possessions’, featuring the champagne brand’s trademark yellow colour.

‘We wanted to invite a mixture of known and up-andcoming designers to create images of treasured possessions to decorate the evening,’ says ICA development manager Rosie Allerhand. ‘Veuve Clicquot was the first company to patent a Pantone colour and its founder invented the champagneriddling mechanism, so the company has a close relationship with design.’

The ICA estimates that, along with a series of ‘experiences’ which will include having a portrait painted by artist Gavin Turk, the six one-off pieces could net about £90 000. The gala evening will feature celebrity supporters of the ICA, including Nigella Lawson and Michael Nyman, showing and speaking about their favourite objects.

Tom Dixon’s chair, Timorous Beastie’s gravestone, Copenhagen-based Mater’s champagne stand and Moritz Waldemeyer’s bicycle all contain splashes of, or are entirely coloured with, Veuve’s yellow. Product design er Oscar Diaz avoided using the colour by separating it into its constituent red, green and blue shades for his glass vases. Recent Royal College of Art design graduate Jodri Canuda is donating a machine which drips Veuve-yellow paint on to a yellow lamp. ‘For me, memories link objects to situations, so I tried to do something that records the gala and becomes a memory, pointing out that the evening itself is special.’ He adds, ‘It is a strange thing that a company can patent a colour.’

The designers were not paid for their work, although Veuve Clicquot covered production expenses for the pieces. This is the first time the ICA has commissioned designers to create auctionable works, but it says it hopes to do this again next year. Allerhand adds that designers exhibiting at the ICA next year could benefit from its new commissions fund.

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