I had a really interested conversation on the phone earlier with Art Driector, Hester Chillingworth and creator of’ Sold As Seen’ who put together an installation for Rouges’ Galleries.
I asked her a few questions about the project, to find a little more out about it. Mainly asking what gave her the idea of using shop sale signs, why the red and white, and asked what her current interpretation of the sale signs is.
She thought of the idea around Christmas time, being bombarded with sale signs everywhere. ‘Massive Clearance’ followed by ‘Reduced’ and ‘Everything Must Go’ signs… The signs are almost sinister and ‘reduced’ donates strong emotion. It was this that led Hester to question ‘why must everything go, and what is going to happen? ‘Everything is going to continue being the same and sales are going to continue happening…
Consumers are afraid of missing something, with this in mind – along with a sale sign beside it, their chances of missing a good bargain immediately increases.
Hester also pointed out that the sale language is almost poetic, and the fonts used on sale signs are ‘cartoony’ and ‘comic book’ style, almost capturing an action and consumer experience in store, and therefore used this within her work.
The setting for ‘Sold As Seen’ was perfect, with the use of an empty shop. Hester had recorded the amount of people that had walked past this and the majority had not noticed the posters, which I think was particularly interesting.
As consumers we are too used to being shouted at by bright colours, typography and constant sale signs. Even seeing something remotely similar in a shop window, we do not think twice to stop and read it in order to understand it. It becomes symbolically obvious to each of us as what the signs are suggesting.