When we started the Sheffield Visual Art Group (SVAG) we debated what visual art would cover. Obviously we were concerned about the future of the Graves Art Gallery and Sheffield’s excellent collection of paintings. We realized there was far more to visual art. We decided to be open as possible to the subject. This would mean we would be interested in such diverse examples as tattoos, cake decoration, print design and street art. Our logo is a piece of decorated cake.
Recently I visited the Donnington Grand Prix Collection. This is the largest collection of Grand Prix racing cars in the world. There are over 130 exhibits and the collection grows all the time. The collection illustrates the growth of the sport over the 20th century right up to today.
Great. But what has this got to do with visual art? Just look at the images that follow. These cars are highly developed examples of industrial design: function and form – mechanical engineering and shape. These objects are designed to be exiting to look at and aimed at a precise objective – winning races.
If you look at the images and see how the cars have changed since the 1950s and 1960s you can see how commercial sponsorship has locked into the sport. At first there are a few stickers but later the sponsors have their names and logos as part of the cars. Of course these are all examples of graphic design. Two collections for the price of one!
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