Following 18 months of stifled curiosity and suppressed creative expression, Hendrick’s Gin is encouraging the most inquisitive to resubmerge themselves once again… through the blooming artistic explosion of NFTs (non-fungible tokens or unique digital tokens).
In a bid to explore escapism from the most challenging and limiting of years and reward curiosity, the unusualists at Hendrick’s Gin have commissioned a series of artists to create unique artwork pieces to commemorate this most unique of summers. Marking their NFT debuts for the project from the peculiar Premium gin are acclaimed sculptor Polly Morgan and spoken word artist and commentator Raven Smith, with established digital artists Ray Caesar and Jake Elwes completing the captivating line up.
Each bespoke creation is being auctioned through Rarible - with proceeds being donated to support Saatchi Gallery’s Learning Programme - and bring to life the sense of escape and hope the nation feels this summer, as well as portraying the juxtaposition between the ‘Zoom overload’ digital world we’re now all so accustomed to, and the physical world we’re daring to dip our toes back into. The auction is live now here.
These one-of-a-kind pieces were also showcased during a fleeting, immersive private view at Saatchi Gallery on Wednesday, 15th September. Using state of the art holographic technology, the unique experience brought the digital to the physical. Open to those curious enough, the public event reawakened the senses, one NFT at a time, while sipping on a delicious Hendrick’s Cucumber Lemonade, revitalising the taste buds.
Donations from the Hendrick’s Gin X Rarible auction will support Saatchi Gallery to continue to expand its celebrated learning programme, geared towards introducing a diverse audience to the cutting edge of contemporary art. Saatchi Gallery Learning aims to reveal the possibilities of artistic expression to young minds, encouraging fresh thought and stimulating innovation such as NFTs.
Spoken word artist and commentator Raven Smith, who has penned his reflections on this unique summer for a piece of digital art for the collection, comments, “I love summer as much as the next guy, but this summer hit different. It felt like a series of pleasant but disjointed vignettes, rather than an overarching narrative. I wanted to print a still from our snapshot summer. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this and collaborating with the team to help the prose exist in a new and distinctive way.”
Ifan Jenkins, Marketing Director at William Grant & Sons UK comments, “In 2021, digital, mixed media and conceptual art is THE means of creation – from the ephemeral, the live, to the immersive, the virtual and the online. Since the inception of Hendrick’s Gin, we’ve always been close to and involved in the arts. As proud purveyors of the peculiar we are passionate about the collision of curiosity and creativity, and creators that we admire are now producing work that doesn't fit in a traditional gilded frame. By commissioning these one-of-a-kind NFTs, we are supporting a format which gives digital artists more protection over their work and rewarding those curious enough to seek it out.”
Lala Thorpe, Head of Learning at Saatchi Gallery adds, “Our learning programmes aim to respond to our ever-changing environments and encourage participants to explore fresh ways of looking at contemporary art. We are grateful to be a part of this exciting showcase of NFT works by emerging artists and to be supported in our efforts to continue to deliver our thought-provoking and immersive learning activities.”