Mother clients put art in store

Mother has brought together two of its clients, Selfridges and Britart, to create what is hoped to be a unique showcase for contemporary British art.

From next week until mid-April, the windows of the Selfridges department stores in both London and Manchester will be used as a gallery space solely to exhibit work by artists represented by Britart, billed as Britain's largest contemporary art gallery.

The drive is part of Britart's philosophy to make original art more accessible to the general public.

The window displays have been art directed by Mother, and the exhibited works will also form the basis of a text- message auction in which window shoppers can bid for their favourite pieces of art. The work featured will include contributions from established and emerging artists.

Britart will also present work by the comedian Vic Reeves, whose first solo exhibition was held at the Britart gallery last year. Matt Clark of Mother said: "The partnership between Selfridges and Britart is a great idea, and we wanted to take it one stage further by creating the world's first live auction by text. It's great for the artists, Britart and the nine million people who will walk past the store during the exhibition."

Giles Howard, the founder of Britart, added: "We have always sought to find new ways for artists and consumers to enter the art market, and collaboration with Selfridges takes this objective to a new level.

"In particular, the window auction truly democratises the purchase of art."

Britart represents work in a variety of media by more than 400 British-based artists via its website and gallery.

Selfridges appointed Mother to handle all of its advertising communications last December. The consolidation of all its activity into one agency marked a step change for the retailer, which had traditionally used a variety of agencies to handle its advertising.