East London design collective Bread have been working together since 2011. Creating a wide variety of projects that range from adorning artwork across London’s most iconic architecture to collaborating on their own Lacoste boot.
Oh and for our Hackney based readers, some of you might recognise their very special ‘The Walls Have Ears” mural that spread for 100 metre’s around Hackney Wick, the leading walk to the Olympic Park in East London.
I caught up with Luke from Bread to find out a little bit more about the past and the future…
How did things begin at Bread Collective and what’s it all about?
We all met whilst studying various creative subjects at university. Towards the end of 2011 we met up for a spot of breakfast at our favourite local café in Hackney Wick. For a while we had been talking about pooling our talents to work on bigger and more engaging projects and so when we happened to pick up a flyer encouraging artists and designers to submit a local project proposal it seemed like fate was trying to tell us something.
We applied for funding to paint a derelict street leading to the Olympic Park and were all delighted when we were selected. At the time we didn’t completely realise the scope of the project we had agreed to take on and as a result it meant a few of us quitting our day jobs and from that point Bread was go!
Today we work from our studio in East London and 2 years on from that first project we still aim to run the studio as a group of friends collaborating and sharing ideas. It sometimes sounds easier than it is, but maintaining a work / friend balance is the most important thing to us and we want the atmosphere in our studio to be relaxed and reflect the creative work we do.
Even the name bread comes from the expression to break bread, which in practice means coming up with ideas whilst socialising over food rather than corporate style meetings.
What are you all up to at the moment?
We’ve just finished working on the new creative campaign for Lacoste’s SS14 footwear. The project was based around 4 videos reflecting each faction of the footwear range and the brief was fantastically open: the only limitation was that each video had to end on a circle so the logo could click in place. It was a great project for us to be involved with as it played to everyone’s strengths and really pushed us to collaborate.
As a thank you for the work we did, Lacoste even asked us if we would like to design our own Bread Collective shoe and of course, we jumped at the chance!
Our take on the desert boot features a flecked paint sole and our studios post code debossed in to the heel as subtle nod to where all the videos were made. We were then given 24 pairs to share with our friends and family.
The Southbank work was so ace! What would be Bread’s dream building to produce work on/for?
Thank you! We really loved painting on the Southbank Centre. It’s such an iconic building and we had all been besotted with its brutalist style since we were kids visiting London. Apart from the Southbank, we love to face challenges, so any building with such an inherent history would bring up its own obstacles and push us to look at what we could do differently, both in terms of application and content.
It’s also great to work on contrasting types of building as this gives our work a different context. For instance, we would love to paint the entrance hall to a building like the Tate Britain as its style of architecture would have such a visually different appeal to the flat concrete facades of the Southbank Centre.
Is there a preferred discipline you guys feel most comfortable in?
Generally we love getting away from the computer whether it’s directing videos or painting walls. Both have stages where you are locked to a computer but it’s the time you spend out of the studio where we feel most inspired. We like everything we do we to have a hand crafted feel, giving the work a more human and tactile quality.
This approach has enabled us to take on disciplines such as product design, that none of us are formally trained in, and maintain a high level of design.
What’s the future of Bread looking like?
We have a few more large-scale murals in the pipeline so we can’t wait for the weather to improve so we can get out of the studio with our brushes! Also we have been stock pilling found objects such as hand saws, scaffolding boards and bread bins ready to be hand painted and we will launching an online shop later in the year. This is more to free up some space in the studio rather than a desire to commercialise what we do.
For more information on Bread Collective head over to the following: