Rebecca Wang joins Mick Jagger and L'Wren Scott at Hyde Park Serpentine Summer Party
Kensington Gardens plays host to glittering highlight of the London Summer calendar
The annual Serpentine Summer Party, which this year took place on June 26th, joined the Chelsea Flower Show, Ascot and Wimbledon fortnight as one of the quintessential outdoor events of London's summer months. Attendees of the evening included Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick, Mick Jagger and his long- term girlfriend L'Wren Scott, Kate Moss, Rebecca Wang and Daphne Guinness.
The party was organised by the Serpentine Gallery, one of London's best-known and loved art venues. Housed in a tea house pavilion in the centre of Hyde Park and close to the lake from which it takes its name, the gallery enjoys an international reputation for excellence and attracts up to 800,000 visitors a year. In addition to its prestigious collection of modern and contemporary art which includes works by Henry Moore, Man Ray, Andy Warhol, Bridget Riley and Damian Hirst, the Serpentine Gallery also aims to provide learning through art for people of all ages and backgrounds via its exhibition, architecture, design, education and public programmes.
The Serpentine Summer Party is an annual fundraiser which supports the gallery and its programmes. Co-hosting this year alongside Gallery Director Julia Peyton-Jones, Co-Director Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Chair of party organising committee Tim Jefferies, is gallery patron L'Wren Scott, an American stylist and fashion designer, whose creations enjoy a world class reputation and high status endorsement, particularly at the Academy Awards. Among other patrons attending the event were writer and critic Bonnie Greer and executive film producer Rebecca Wang.
Bonnie Greer, recently elected Chancellor for Kingston University, has also served as deputy chair at the British Museum, as well as on the boards of the Royal Opera House and the London Film School. Rebecca Wang is a dedicated supporter of all art forms. In addition to her roles as patron to the Tate Modern, the National Gallery and the Serpentine, she is a member of both the Academy Circle for BAFTA, and the Director Circle for the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is a pioneering project that gives internationally renowned architects an opportunity to design a temporary pavilion for the summer on the gallery lawn. At the end of the season, the Pavilion is generally auctioned to the highest bidder, thus largely funding its construction. Previous artists who have taken part in the project since it started in 2000 include Oscar Niemeyer, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Olafur Eliasson, Ai Weiwei and Zaha Hadid.
This year is the turn of award winning Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, who at 41, is the youngest so far to receive the commission. Fujimoto has created an airy delicate latticed structure that occupies 350 square metres and is composed of 20mm steel poles of lightweight and semi-transparent appearance that allow it to blend , cloud-like, both into the landscape and against the classical backdrop of the gallery. Fukimoto's design is considered an apt representation of one of the themes for this year's programmes: the generation of artists born after 1989, and raised in the digital age. With a cafe sited inside, the pavilion is a flexible and multipurpose social space, playing host to film screenings, talks and broadcasts.
The Serpentine Party holds the reputation of being a glamorous affair and is viewed as one of the hottest events on the London event calendar and a recognised highlight on the social circuit. Tickets tend to be a desired rarity, while the guest list is selective with the party's organising committee ensuring that those attending include the right blend of artists, art buyers, brokers, patrons and local and international celebrities. In addition to exotic eats, drinks, live music, and a chance to view the surrounding art, entertainment in recent years have included giant mushroom-like umbrellas created as shelters by Hadid, the provision of swings for guests to play on, a historical display of car designs from Jaguar, and the installation of photo booths for guests to capture their own fun and informal party shots.
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