Supermarkets are essential. Museums and galleries? Not so much. This line of lockdown reasoning was the starting point for the Design Museum’s new installation Supermarket, which sees the London museum’s gift shop transformed into a cornucopia of essential delights.
Open from 21st-25th April, Supermarket will nourish creativity through offering a range of limited edition groceries, whilst the museum itself must remain closed until at least 17th May. The installation was funded by Bombay Sapphire and designed by multidisciplinary artist Camille Walala, whose recent work includes large scale murals in Leyton, Canary Wharf and White City. Her bold, Memphis-inspired style invigorates the shop with bright shades and graphic shapes, which act as a joyful backdrop to a range of artist-designed products.
Charlotte Edey, Kentaro Okawara and Joey Yu are amongst 10 artists who have reimagined our favorite lockdown essentials with new packaging, from loo roll and pasta to tea, kidney beans, washing up liquid and gin.
These limited edition essentials will be available at everyday prices (Michaela Yearwood-Dan’s toilet rolls will cost just 50p), and all proceeds will go to the Design Museum’s Emerging Artists Access Fund – an initiative that grants young artists and designers free access to the museum’s exhibitions and events.
After the UK’s cultural sector has been plagued by a year of cyclical closures, Supermarket represents a reckoning with the role that creativity plays in our lives.
“This installation is an opportunity to think about what we buy, who profits and what we consider to be essential”, Tim Marlow, director of the Design Museum, explains. “We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to our museum.”
Supermarket is on view at the Design Museum until 25th April.