19 Chairs: A creative response to the COVID-19 pandemic
19 Chairs is an exhibition of 19 chairs (funnily enough), that were delivered to 19 locations to be reworked by 19 people from all walks of the creative world, during the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.
Held at Protein Studios from the 20th to 23rd May 2021, we partnered with the exhibition to raise its profile with displays on our sites across London. It’s the brainchild of Tom and Will Butterfield, a response to being abruptly cut off from their creative outlets when the pandemic and ensuing lockdown began last year.
After coming up with the concept and designing and building the original timber chair in 19 days, the duo managed to recruit an impressive line-up of creatives to work on the project. The exhibition will feature designs by Joe Lycett, Morag Myerscough, Brandon Carlton, Es Devlin, Sabine Mercelis, Jean Jullien, Ashley Williams and Nicole McLaughlin to name a few. You can view the full list of contributors and see each chair on the project’s website. With a relatively simple brief – “reinvent, reimagine or redesign your chair with an older person in mind” – the chairs are a nod to the work done by charity Age UK, “connecting collaborators with those experiencing the isolating effects of the pandemic most deeply.”
19 Chairs want to thank Age UK and Resourcing Racial Justice for the vital work they’ve done over the past year, so in parallel to the exhibition, each chair will be auctioned off to raise money for the organisations. The project’s core mission includes supporting those badly affected by the pandemic, uplifting advocates for social change, and beyond that, to shine “a positive light on the arts sector in these challenging times for the creative industries”.