Peter Fowler and Stuart Semple tell us about the turntables they're auctioning for charity

31 August 2018

Pete Fowler: Turn Tabowl

Love art? Love vinyl? Love doing something brilliant for a great charity? Good, read on, because the ever-interesting Secret 7” squad have teamed up with Greenwich Peninsuala for Planar 1/1, an online auction which’ll see 10 unique turntables created by Gavin Turk, Jeremy Deller, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Es Devlin, Stuart Semple, James Joyce, Jean Jullien, Pete Fowler, Hsiao-Chi Tsai & Kimiya Yoshikawa and Francis Richardson sold off to raise money for Mind.

Each artist was given a Rega Planar 1 and told to go wild. The results – which you see a selection of below – range from Gavin’s humorous take on the heritage industry to a typically spiky Chapman brothers effort entitled “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall daaaaaaaaaaaay long”

The auction is being hosted on online platform Artsy and runs between now and 12 September. The turntables will be on display at Shoreditch’s Ace Hotel.

Illustrator, DJ, and all-round psychedelic powerhouse Pete Fowler tells us that as soon as the turntable arrived, he gave it a few days to breathe in the studio. “I really liked the glossy finish on it, so the first decision was to use a high gloss enamel paint and to keep the thing to just black and white."

Like a lot of creatives, Pete’s an adherent to the “first thought, best thought” philosophy, and describes “overcooking a load of ideas” before going back to his first sketch. His turntable adopts a “sinister, supernatural, tropical owl tableaux,” which requires a record to be placed on the platter for the piece itself to be completed. “I may have been listening to Circle or some other cosmic boogie,” Pete notes.

Despite the fact he’ll be manning the decks at the Ace Hotel on 12 September to celebrate the end of the auction, Pete’s not got a declarative answer to the question which keeps every crate-digger up at night: just what exactly do you play at an auction for charity?

“That answer would change day to day, but I’d say now, off the cuff, Art for Art’s Sake by 10cc.”


Stuart Semple: Known Pleasures (remix)

Mind ambassador Stuart Semple won’t be playing the auction itself – he likens attending one to being “a bit like taking a pig to visit a butchers” – but if he were to inflict one solitary record on the crowd, it’d be Cyndi Lauper’s mid-80s stomper Money Changes Everything.

A fan of record shops in general, because “they are rare and they are geeky and you can get lost in them,” Stuart tells us that he was delighted to be involved in the project as, “I just think records are really special and it’s always cool to be with like minded people that love them as much as I do.”

Chunks of Stuart’s work are inspired by songs, and given that designing a turntable isn’t an everyday occurance, he decided to go as iconic as possible by visually remixing Peter Saville’s iconic work for Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures LP, which he describes as “the holy grail of album art.”

Stuart goes on to say that in terms of process, “I wanted to really embrace the transparency of the turntable’s lid so I worked with a digital print that you could see through. I very much wanted to enhance the kinetic nature of the piece so I worked on a piece of graphics for the turntable itself that once it spins creates an interesting effect.”


Hsiao-Chi Tsai and Kimiya Yoshikawa: Composition I

“Few music friends are keen on record playing so we appreciate the creativity and spontaneity of record playing and how music can become flexible! We have actually never owned a vinyl record ourselves,” say London-based duo Hsiao-Chi Tsai and Kimiya Yoshikawa.

“That’s why when we were approached for the project, we agreed straight away, as it was a very special and precious moment to unveil a brand new record player with our art on it. We imagined different thoughts that could go through a composer’s mind when playing a record and tried to convey an adventurous journey, flowing from one song to another, spontaneously yet harmoniously. The process of playing music mirrors our abstract drawings which are created in moments of freedom: they come purely from within and not from any outside sources. So for Composition, we playfully composed our drawings, colours and abstract motifs on the record player to create our first ever “music” composition.”


Jean Julien


Jeremy Dellar: Rock & Roll


Es Devlin


Gavin Turk: Heritage Turntable


Jake and Dinos Chapman: The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall daaaaaaaaaaaay long


James Joyce


Frances Richardson

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Josh Baines

Josh Baines joined It's Nice That from July 2018 to July 2019 as News Editor, covering new high-profile projects, awards announcements, and everything else in between.

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