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19 Jul 2012 07:07:27

The power of pop-up

The pop-up movement has been secretly transforming London for years now, offering unique experiences to those who know where to look and giving everyday people the chance to take their passions and talents to the wider world. The power of the pop-up has been to make an event an experience, the mundane exceptional, and ideas reality—and in August The Pop Spot Festival will make this magic accessible to everyone. Read on to see what the power of pop-up can achieve.

One hundred scrolls

For many people, being offered a job as a broker is a dream come true. Not for Jimmy Garcia—he’d rather post 100 scrolls through his neighbours’ doors, inviting them to supper at his house. This might seem like odd behaviour, but it's certainly paid off; from seating his diners on an array of borrowed tables and chairs in his front room, Jimmy has developed the successful South West Supper Club and Wild and Foraged Food Kitchen. Years after his realisation that his “love was for food and not necessarily money” Jimmy will now be celebrating London’s Olympic summer with Jimmy’s Supper Club @ Annex East in the heart of Stratford.

Bringing his unique twist to British favourites and helping to transform an 1800 square foot warehouse into a cultural hub, Jimmy will be showcasing some of the best of what London has to offer. He explained that “pop-up restaurants give aspiring restaurateurs like me a platform to show people what they can do, and express their personality and passion in a unique way without having to adhere to the formality of a restaurant.”

From lego to life size

Three years ago artist Julia Vogl left behind her native US and moved to London—and she’s been thinking about what makes a home ever since. Watching last August’s riots and anticipating this year’s celebrations made her question how the citizens of one London area, Peckham, feel towards this city of contrasts that they call home. This summer, after gaining the support of Southwark Council, Peckham Space, Peckham Settlement and Resonance FM, Julia is taking the question from abstract to reality, as the lego model of a house that she constructed is transformed into a large-scale pop-up art exhibition in Peckham Square. Her exhibition, HOME, is a visual and audio representation of the local population and their home.

Visitors to the pop-up will be able to explore the life size public living room, listen to interviews with residents and gain an insight into the kind of home that Peckham offers at this historic moment. Julia believes that pop-ups have the “power and presence” to transform art into an “anecdotal experience—a moment—rather than something that is embedded in the environment and goes unnoticed.”

Painting a sustainable picture

Once upon a time Liam Muckleston was travelling in Australia and found himself living with local boy Ben Disney. They soon became close friends and when Liam moved back to the UK, Ben wasn’t far behind. Coming from the worlds of corporate sales and restaurant management, the two friends hatched a plan to link communities through sustainable living. For two years they continued their normal lives before taking the leap and making their idea reality; now they’ve challenged people to capture what sustainability means to London in a single photograph.

Entries will be judged by a panel of six judges and the top 50 exhibited in a pop-up gallery at London Metropolitan University. As representations of a single instant exhibited in a 17 day pop-up, this venture takes capturing the moment to a new level. In Ben’s eyes, this gives it its charm: “What I love most about any sort of pop-up is its impermanence. If you miss it, it’s gone forever.”

The Pop Spot Festival: Summer 2012

Three pop-ups, three stories, one city, one month. And one festival. The Pop Spot Festival will bring these pop-ups — and many more — together throughout August and give everyone a chance to experience their creativity, spontaneity and vibrancy. The festival will also see the launch of The Pop Spot app and website, which will help pop-up explorers to navigate the pop-up landscape and discover experiences by type, time and location.

Open your eyes and step into the world of pop-up.

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