The image above is a detail from “Fruits from the Garden and Field (Rainbow)”, by David Burns and Austin Young. It was commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum to celebrate the museum’s current exhibition, “FOOD: Bigger than the Plate”. The V&A’s shop is offering gorgeous, limited edition prints of some of the work.
From the exhibition notes:
“For over 175 years preceding the museum’s inception, the grounds of the V&A were filled with fruit trees as part of a historic nursery that supplied gardens across the country. Artists David Burns and Austin Young (Fallen Fruit) have foraged depictions of British fruit from the V&A collection, bringing this rich heritage back to the site once more. The artists invite us to experience the city as a fruitful place, presenting fruit as a catalyst to re-imagine the city as generous and productive and to explore the meaning of community through creating and sharing new and abundant resources.”
Here’s a compressed version of the full print. Enbiggen it as large as you can to get a hint of the amazing detail of the original work.
As I write this, the V&A site says that only six prints from the limited edition of 100 are still available.
It’s big, and it’s not cheap. The actual print is 60 by 20 inches. The price is £350 ($427), and shipping is another £30 ($37).* It comes unframed, and given its size, getting it framed will probably cost about as much as a small car.
Stunning, isn’t it?
The V&A is also selling other prints from the same artists, in limited editions of 250. These prints are 33 by 24 inches and cost £175 ($214).
Here’s a scene from the exhibition. I don’t think the curators planned for the wallpaper to dominate the room, but with that background, who can focus on anything else?
The show runs through Sunday, 20 October 2019.
*I did a little research when I was checking the rate of exchange. The British pound trades for about $1.22 right now, and it’s been declining for the last decade.
If you’d bought the print for £350 five years ago, when the pound was at $1.68, it would have cost you $588. The rate of exchange was even worse for Americans before the 2008 economic disaster, when the pound hovered around $2.00. That £350 price would have been the equivalent of $700. Viewed that way, you could claim that you’d actually be saving $273 compared to the 2008 price, and if you repeated that statement enough times, it might actually sound believable.
Or you could wait until a few weeks after Brexit when you’ll probably be able to get the print in exchange for a couple of chocolate bars and a pair of stockings.