Dutch collective Envisions return to its academic beginnings this month in a new exhibition, Envisions: The Envisionaires at Plymouth College of Art. The internationally acclaimed design collective, whose work focuses on the process behind making objects rather than final product, met while studying and have gained critical acclaim since graduating and its debut show at Salone del Mobile in Milan, 2016.
Envisions’ ability to “deconstruct and disrupt, reverse and reinvent” the process of production, has caught the attention of various galleries, curators and product designers, sparking imagination for its use of experimentation. Displaying its latest work in an art school is an apt setting for Envisions, placing the work in a “similar environment where the initial concept for the art collective was conceived and where the founders acquired their fundamental skills,” says The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art.
As a result, the exhibition “represents a feeling of ‘coming home’ after a series of insightful travels and adventures”. Sanne Schuurman, a member of the Dutch collective explains that this show displays “our different skills and qualities create one big image or story,” she says. “We want to break free of existing boundaries.”
Part of Envisions’ appeal is its ability to embrace and build upon chaos. Exhibitions by the collective feature multiple items and the show at Plymouth College of Art is no different, transforming the gallery space into a “lively playground that showcases the collective’s joint approach, while shining a light on the distinct style and talent of each individual member of Envisions,” displaying each individuals abilities in “experimentation, error, authenticity, professionalism and wit”. Envisions: The Envisionaires is also the first time the Dutch collective have shown its final products alongside process items, and marks the first time it separates the work by individual collective member, rather than the whole group.
Exhibitions coordinator at Plymouth College of Art, Leah Harris, says: “having Envisions exhibit at Plymouth College of Art will set an excellent example for our students of how to do things differently and generate attention for doing so. Envisions have proven that they don’t always have to play by the rules, working together as a collective to create something innovative and exciting.”
Envisions: The Envisionaires is on display at the university and open to the public until 27 January 2018. On 10 January next year, Envisions will lead an artist talk including two members of the collective discussing how Envisions works in depth.
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Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.