April 2015 art and design trends: 7 things you must see this month

This month’s shortlist of the best exhibitions – plus two films on creativity and the one Instagram feed you have to be following right now.


The Reinvention of Normal

Suffering from lack of inspiration? Take some tips from someone that’s overflowing with ideas: designer Dominic Wilcox. The charming film above by Liam Saint-Pierre takes you inside the studio, and mind, of this inventive talent, giving you insight into his designs - including a specially adapted ball that allows you to make smoothies while playing footie - and where Dominic gets all his ideas from.

Exhibitions at Somerset House

April is a big month for this London institution as two design events descend on its immaculate surrounds. Secret 7” (opening April 10) will see more than 700 artists and designers reimagine album artwork for seven top musical tracks, and raise money for Nordoff Robbins with an auction of the work.


Pick Me Up (opening 23 April) is the UK’s largest illustration festival, and will see Somerset House’s bankside gallery taken over by established collectives and new talent for ten days of exhibitions, talks and workshops.

Image: Avignon by Thomas Lamadieu

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Made You Look

Getting its official premiere at Pick Me Up, Made You Look is a documentary about creatives who are getting their hands dirty.

Conceived by designer Anthony Peters – and co-directed by him and Paul O’Connor – Made You Look is about the importance of hand-made crafts in a world where so much of the art we spend time with is digital.

The artists and designers interviewed include Ben the Illustrator, Jon Burgerman, Anthony Burrill, Fred Deakin, Pete Fowler, Adrian Johnson, Kate Morross, Ian Stevenson and Hattie Stewart.


What is Luxury?

As the title might suggest, the What is Luxury exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum (opening 25 April) will examine and question the whole notion of luxury, from what makes something valuable to how objects are used as status symbols.

An evaluation of craftsmanship as well as an analysis of present day consumerism, this show will feature expected objects (like a timepiece by British watchmaker George Daniels) to the more wacky (a diamond made from roadkill and a vending machine stocked with DNA).

Images: © The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection, and Marcin Rusak.


The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay

Often eclipsed by her artist husband Robert, Sonia Delaunay’s immense contribution to the Parisian avant-garde finally gets the credit she deserves with this the first UK retrospective of her work at the Tate Modern in London.

A must-see for anyone interested in colour theory, the show will exhibit her paintings and textiles as well as collaborations with brands like liberty and other creatives, like the founder of the Ballet Ruses, Sergei Diaghilev.

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Seb Lester’s Instagram

Type designer and letterer Seb Lester has had a very good week. His Instagram feed, which contains frankly mind-blowing videos of him penning all number of type styles and logos by hand, went viral.

If for some reason you missed it, you can check out Seb’s ‘in progress’ films on his Instagram. It's a pointed reminder that the general public are sometimes just as interested in your skills as your finished pieces – don’t forget to blow your own trumpet every now and again.