Way back in April we wrote about the Ace & Tate Creative Fund, a project which aims to support creatives by offering one-off financial grants and the support of a panel of established creatives. To help them select a creative, the Amsterdam-based eyewear brand Ace & Tate harnessed the expertise of a creative board made up of industry experts Mario Lombardo, founder of Bureau Mario Lombardo, founder and CEO of Ace & Tate Mark de Lange, artists and filmmakers Lernert and Sander and It’s Nice That’s very own founder and director Will Hudson.
Out of hundreds of applicants from 40 different countries across six continents, the creative board picked out photographer Lucas Hardonk, whose work “intends to question imagery in relation to time and space by experimenting with dark translucent foils over pictures, to create day and night in the same image."
Like conceptual artists Lernert and Sander, Lucas is from Amsterdam, so it was only fitting that we asked the artist-filmmaker duo to tell us how they became involved in the Ace & Tate Creative Fund, and what it was about Lucas’ work that interested them.
“One year ago,” Lernert and Sander tell It’s Nice That, “we sent an email to [Ace & Tate Founder and CEO] Mark because we thought he was a very good entrepreneur and had a really nice brand and we thought maybe we could collaborate. Also because we love glasses! We wear glasses. We even had ideas about setting up a gay night for [men that wear] glasses — and maybe even a magazine.”
But back to Ace & Tate: “I think the first connection was about making a brand film, and then we turned the brief around. And he creatively came back to us and said let’s make glasses together but I’d also like you to be part of the creative fund. It was like a package!”
Lernert and Sander were not only one step closer to realising their product-designing dreams, but they almost unwittingly become part of an “absolutely sensational” and “extremely generous” project which had huge benefits for creatives. “[The Ace & Tate Creative Fund applicants] have a dream of a project that they want to do, but they may never have the financial resources for it.” Lernert and Sander explain. “The Ace & Tate Creative Fund comes, and they generously fund [the creative project].”
So what was it that made Lucas’ work stand out from the hundreds of other creatives? “We instantly fell for his approach of using filtering in his work. We thought his way of using colour and different filters as a kind of collage technique on his black and white photography created quite interesting and abstract works. It reminded us of sunglasses!”
Now they have their first creative, what direction would Lernert and Sander like to see the Ace & Tate Creative Fund going in next? “We have worked for ten years together now, and we know as applied artists that sometimes it’s good that you work in a framed environment, it makes you a little more critical, you can reflect it a little better,” product-obsessed Lernert and Sander say. “For us, it would be interesting if the Fund was focused on material.”
Lucas’ work, created in tandem with the Ace & Tate Creative Fund, will be realised and published in November. The Ace & Tate Creative Fund continues to look out for interesting projects to fund in the future.