In the 19th Century there was a corking tradition of setting up societies and supper clubs to celebrate completely fictitious figures, with talks about and toasts to their spurious connections to anything and everything. Sadly said tradition seems to have died out but it has been given a new lease of life by the newly launched Rupert Ray agency.
Formed by ex-Airside co-founder Alex Maclean and his former coleague Caroline Matthews, the agency launched an exhibition asking a host of brilliant creatives, “Who is Rupert Ray?” Armed only with a gnomic biography telling them Ray “had a penchant for adventure, a reckless disregard for his own shortcomings and a hunger for knowledge that would place him close to the eye of a storm overtaking his world,” they set to work immortalising the mystery man in their chosen styles.
Potentially cringeworthy in the wrong hands, it’s the calibre of the creatives involved that made the work eclectically excellent, with established names like Noma Bar and Ian Stevenson alongside newcomers like Sarah Maycock (one of our 2011 Graduates).
And from 3D printing to embroidery, via a host of incredible illustrations, it’s a stonking response to the brief, although the man himself remains somewhat elusive.