Art & Wonder for Museums Sheffield — Celebrating 200 years of John Ruskin
John Ruskin: Art & Wonder is the latest exhibition to land at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery, as part of an international celebration marking 200 years of the spectacular mind and work of John Ruskin, set in motion by a preceding exhibition at Two Temple Place in London earlier this year.
Cafeteria were delighted to be invited by Museums Sheffield, in partnership with the Guild of St George, to design the visual identity for Art & Wonder, which saw us deliver the overall look and feel of the main gallery, as well as a suite of eye-catching marketing materials, from large-scale graphic panels above gallery entrances to 4-sheet posters plastered around Sheffield city centre, attracting the gaze of passers-by.
John Ruskin was an influential artist, critic and scholar, who believed that an understanding of the natural world could enrich human life in many ways. For Ruskin, appreciating the beauty of nature was just as valuable as any scientific knowledge and, in fact, the key to well being. Our approach to design combined a number of Ruskin’s exquisitely detailed and vibrant watercolour illustrations with an expressive serif typeface, typical of the late Victorian era, fundamentally taking the exhibition title, ‘Art & Wonder’, at its word to create hyper-colourful, engaging visuals with which to entice visitors into a state of wonderment. The interaction between the illustrated creatures and the typography is integral to the success of this ornate and other-worldly composition — perhaps, an imagining of the inner workings of Ruskin’s very own mind, considering the volumes of artefacts he collected, marvelled at and created studies of.
As a counterpoint to Ruskin’s own drawings and paintings, the exhibition also features works from a selection of contemporary artists, including photographer Dan Holdsworth, fine artist Tania Kovats and Glasgow-based design studio, Timorous Beasties, whose practices have been influenced by Ruskin, as well as the pure spectacle of the natural world itself.
If you’ve not yet had chance to stop-by, Art & Wonder runs all Summer long. Casting all bias aside, we urge you to pay a visit and afterwards be sure to check out the gallery shop, which currently has a rather appealing poster print on offer!
John Ruskin: Art & Wonder opened on May 29 and runs through to September 15, 2019.
Full Project Story to follow, so check back soon.