In May 2014 the world-famous Mackintosh Building, at the heart of The Glasgow School of Art’s Garnethill campus, suffered a fire that caused significant damage to the west wing including the loss of the celebrated Mackintosh Library. The Mackintosh Campus Appeal was launched to raise £32m to help restore the Mackintosh Building and return the library its original 1910 design.
Soon after seeing the news of the fire, Bill Hartley and Giles Hepworth, the JWT creatives behind the campaign, had the idea of using actual materials damaged in the fire to help raise money for the restoration. They approached the Glasgow School of Art, who embraced the concept. The agency and the school worked together to approach some of the biggest names in contemporary British art.
Each artist was sent a piece of debris specifically chosen for them with a note telling them what it was, where it was from and explaining the concept. The brief was left open for each artist to interpret what they received and create their own new piece of art. Their pieces were shown and auctioned at Christie’s in London.