Writings on the Wall

IF_DO was the exhibition designer for the exhibition ‘Writings on the Wall’ at the Waddington Custot Gallery, London, which ran from May to August 2019. The exhibition examined the significant influence of ancient and contemporary graffiti on the practice of a group of twentieth-century artists who studied the ways in which ideas and speech have been communicated and recorded through inscriptions on communal walls of the urban environment. 

The design draws inspiration from the city — public expression defining the primary motif of derivative art forms. Urban layers are overlapped so that civic space is reconstructed inside the walls of the gallery, while partition walls interrupt the usually unconstrained circulation. Elements such as dark alleyways and oblique partition walls guide the visitor to experience the exhibition as an initial encounter of the city: unpredictable and personal. 

Textures and tones of the city have also been borrowed: raw, exposed, perishable. The gallery space acts as a canvas for the artworks in the same way city walls do for art brut, materialised through the use of the unfinished pattern of the fibreboard, the darkness of the black paint and the rough quality of the concrete texture. 

"with their inspired selection and staging" IF_DO have brought "the era in which [the artists] emerged, vividly to life” Studio International

“This white-walled Mayfair gallery has been transformed with a gritty grey overhaul  […] It's an ambitious set up that does a great job of bringing fine and street art together.” Londonist


Waddington Custot




Waddington Custot, London