David Shrigley for Ruinart: Unconventional Bubbles
The world’s oldest champagne house has the tradition of sponsoring artists and promoting art. This year Ruinart has joined up with British artist David Shrigley
Ruinart Champagne, the world’s first established champagne house, founded in the first half of the 18th century and owner of one of the largest wine cellars in the French Champagne wine region, stems back to the Age of Enlightenment, when l’art de vivre – the art of living – inspired elegance, sophistication and refinement in every aspect of life.
A true spiritual offspring and one of the recognized symbols of the era, Ruinart has since cherished the tradition of sponsoring artists and promoting art – Alphonse Mucha famously designed their label, Maarten Baas a silver-plated stainless steel bucket. Promoting an essential approach to a fulfilled life – something we all could use – Ruinart continues the tradition partnering with David Shrigley for 2020.
The talented Brit is an easy fit for the champagne maker: this artist blessed with a unique vision visited the maison de champagne in February 2019 and his artistic senses got tickled by what he found there. On his creative journey, he visited the vineyard and the cellars, learning about the processes of making champagne from cellar master Frederic Panatois. After experiencing first-hand the heritage and savoir-faire of Ruinart, Shrigley returned to his studio in Brighton and put his impressions on paper.
Unconventional Bubbles is a series of 36 drawings in black and white or in color that underline the importance of savoir-faire, of nature’s transmission and the respect the land deserves
As creative and prolific as ever, he created more than 100 sketches for Ruinart – leaving the poor representatives of the champagne house to choose from all that bounty. Shrigley’s works embody the values of Ruinart and his personal values alike, with an accent on nature and its importance in everyday life; and art, a powerful tool of empowerment and the loudest call to action. He was profoundly inspired by the famous Ruinart cellars, built in ancient mines – crayères – whose soft chalk walls 38 meters underground are ideal for aging champagne: it was there that Shrigley created his most impressive work, drawing graffiti and sculpting in the delicate chalk walls.
Unconventional Bubbles is a series of 36 drawings in black and white or in color that underline the importance of savoir-faire, of nature’s transmission and the respect the land deserves, accompanied by funny affirmations in neon that evoke the invisible process of fermentation, or the poetry of monumental ceramics that capture the scent of the cellars, made in a ceramics studio in Brighton. Behind every bottle there is a story brimming with emotions and offering a drop of insight into the life and work of these illustrious bubble-makers.
Text Niko Vučković