After 18 months of stifled curiosity and suppressed creative expression, Hendrick’s Gin encourages the most curious to immerse themselves again… through the flourishing artistic explosion of NFTs (non-fungible tokens or unique digital tokens).
In an effort to explore escape from the toughest and most demanding years and reward curiosity, the oddballs of Hendrick’s Gin asked a series of artists to create unique works of art to commemorate this summer’s more unique. Renowned sculptor Polly Morgan and spoken word artist and commentator Raven Smith mark their NFT debut for the particular Premium Gin Project, with established digital artists Ray Caesar and Jake Elwes rounding out the captivating lineup.
Each bespoke creation is auctioned through Rarible – with proceeds going to support the Saatchi Gallery’s learning program – and brings to life the sense of escape and hope the nation is feeling this summer, as well as to the representation of the juxtaposition between the digital world “zoom overload” we are now all so used to, and the physical world in which we dare to dip our toes again. The auction is now live here.
These unique pieces were also presented during an ephemeral and immersive opening at the Saatchi Gallery on Wednesday September 15. Using cutting edge holographic technology, the unique experience brought the digital to the physical. Open to the curious, the public event awakened the senses, one NFT at a time, sipping a delicious Hendrick’s Cucumber Lemonade, revitalizing the taste buds.
Donations from the Hendrick’s Gin X Rarible auction will allow the Saatchi Gallery to continue to expand its famous learning program, designed to present the cutting edge of contemporary art to a diverse audience. Saatchi Gallery Learning aims to reveal the possibilities of artistic expression to young minds, encouraging new thinking and stimulating innovation like NFTs.
Artist and commentator Raven Smith, who wrote her thoughts on this unique summer for a digital artwork for the collection, comments, “I love summer as much as next, but this summer has been different. It looked like a nice but disjointed series of vignettes, rather than an overall narrative. I wanted to print a photo of our summer snapshot. I really enjoyed writing this and working with the team to help prose exist in a new and distinctive way.
Ifan Jenkins, Marketing Director at William Grant & Sons UK, comments: “In 2021, digital, mixed media and concept art are 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 have always been close and involved in the arts. As proud providers of the bizarre, we’re passionate about the collision of curiosity and creativity, and the creators we admire now produce works that do not fit into a traditional golden frame. By ordering these one-of-a-kind NFTs, we are supporting a format that gives digital artists more protection over their work and rewards those who are curious enough to research it. “
Lala Thorpe, Head of Learning at Saatchi Gallery adds: “Our learning programs aim to respond to our ever-changing environments and encourage participants to explore new 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 immersive and engaging learning activities. “