Not For Rental

 A lot of films feature dark backstories, plot twists and, occasionally, a positive ending.

Not For Rental flyer
Not For Rental flyer

It’s fitting, then, that a forthcoming film-based exhibition in London firmly adheres to these familiar concepts.

The Not For Rental exhibition, created in collaboration with beautiful film mag Little White Lies, will be showing around 300 gorgeous film-based pieces when it opens in London later this week.

Each work is inspired by a film, actor or line from a film. The only stipulation for the work is that nowhere does it explicitly say which film they’re referencing. That’s where the viewers’ guesswork comes in.

Edu Fuentes
Edu Fuentes

All the work in the show is sold for £50 apiece, with money raised donated to charities Macmillan Cancer Support and Art Against Knives.

More than 200 designers, illustrators, typographers photographers and artists will have work in the show, including duo Crispin Finn, Gemma Correll, Gordon Reid, Hattie Stewart, Kyle Platts, Sam Taylor, I Love Dust and street artist Mr Penfold.

It’s set to be a brilliant show, but one borne of not-so-brilliant circumstances.  Designers and exhibition curators Timba Smits and Gordon ‘Flash’ Shaw had a ‘rough patch’ last year, in the rather putting-it-mildly words of Smits.

Pablo Pintachan
Pablo Pintachan

Smits suffered a violent knife attack on a bus; while Shaw was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Taking their love of design and film, the pair decided to create something positive from the situation, and the the Not For Rental idea was born.

‘Our mutual love is movies – we pretty much talk in code, quoting movies left right and centre’, explains Smits.

‘When we’re not talking about art and design we’re talking about movies. We thought it was a good thing for us both to focus on a positive project supporting charities close to our hearts’.

Steve Scott
Steve Scott

The pair set about putting together a list of 400 artists to invite to take part in the show, and around 250 responded.

Smits says, ‘The brief was to take an entire film or character or line and interpret it into a graphic image. It could be a typographic image, a mix of illustration and type or photography. Some have even crocheted the designs, and one is chiselled out of stone.’

Chris Thornley
Chris Thornley

As well as the artworks, there will be a series of events and screenings running alongside the exhibition, including a VHS screening of Francis Megahy’s 1988 film, Taffin, as a spin-off of Little White Lies’ Ex Rent Hell column which examines the ‘VHS hate crimes’ of the 1980s.

But as with any good flick, there’s a twist to the show, which will only be revealed on visiting.

Andrew Fairclough
Andrew Fairclough

Smits says, ‘I can tell you now it’ll be pretty full – it’s not just pictures on the wall, but an interactive experience. You’ll be immersed in a space and you won’t want to leave.’

Not For Rental runs from 4 – 13 July at 71a Gallery, 71A Leonard Street London EC2A

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