Vestfossen Kunstlaboratoriet Grand National, Art from Britain

Construction and protest The British brick: 215 x 112.5 mm

Concept | Content | Art direction | Book design | Environmental

An annual event
Every year since 2003, a larger, curated exhibition has been held at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium. When we were asked to develop the identity and communication for the art gallery, the theme of the exhibition – Grand National, Art from Britain – was art from the UK post the industrial revolution.

Much of the art expressed rage and frustration, dealing with topics regarding social differences in society as a result of the industrial development.

Former factory: Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium is a Norwegian center for displaying international contemporary art, and is located in the former Vestfos Cellulose factory at Vestfossen.

The concept: A brick
An important symbol of the industrial revolution, and a visible element of Britain's landscape, is the red brick. The brick is a symbol of building and construction, but can also be seen as an expression of anger.

215 x 112.5mm: Using indentations in the text and a translucent paper, the British brick is visualized on each spread throughout the book.

The English brick has a fixed size of 215 x 112.5 mm. The reason is that this is the perfect size for an adult hand. The size makes it easy and efficient for bricklayers to build bricks.

We based the visual profile on the format of the English brick. The cover of the catalog had a black surface, 1:1 size of an English brick. Using unconventionally long indentations from left and right, the shape of the brick was repeated on the pages throughout the book. The use of transparent paper also meant that one could recognise the outline of the brick from one side to another.

Sally Mann: A separate exhibition at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, and a separate section of the book, displays work by the American photographer Sally Mann.