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Brand News, Market Town commission

Date uploaded: January 20, 2016

On Saturday 6th February 2016 a shop in Loughborough will replace all the branding on its shelves when its entire stock is repackaged and rebranded by artist Kathrin Böhm. Hundreds of people are expected to visit the shop to see the new work by the well known artist but just how much of a risk the shop’s owner is taking by supporting the project is yet to be decided.

The eight hundred shop items currently on display will appear distinctly unfamiliar when Ashby Square News, an independent newsagent, opens for business on Saturday the 6th of February. The project imagines a world in which well-known brands remain entirely absent.

Leading up to the event, throughout the month, there will be a series of workshops in which locals will assist the artist and designers ‘An Endless Supply’ in the creation of new packaging for the newsagent’s wares. As the workshops progress a doppelganger of the shop will be built and the new product designs will first populate the replica shop before going on sale at the actual newsagent in February. Visitors to the town centre will be able to see the replica shop gradually fill up with the strange new products.

Consumerism encourages the acquisition of goods in ever increasing amounts. This project aims to look at how we classify or attribute particular importance to a product. It asks: when we make a complex decision by assimilating large amounts of visual information, how do we build this information structure? What informs the ultimate decision?

The project follows on from Kathrin Bohm’s successful development of ‘Company’ a new drinks company formed when she worked with communities in London’s East End on everything from hop picking to production to branding.

The commission is one of six projects under the title 'Market Town'  that seek to re-imagine the future of the high street, playfully or practically addressing some of the issues that currently face the town centre.

Over the next four months, Market Town will see new projects by artists, architects, and designers that respond to the vision laid out in the Portas Review – a long hard look into the state of British high streets by acclaimed retail mogul Mary Portas. The review concluded that town centres should support social uses for their spaces, increased community ownership and new, innovative ways of working. As such, the artists selected for Market Town all have an interest in finding inventive uses for existing spaces, alternative economic systems, sustainability, and ensuring that members of the public have opportunities to get involved in their creative projects.

Contact: For further information, please contact Nick Slater on (01509) 222960 or Suzanne Hoogers on (01509) 222948 or click here.