The Tetley’s 2015 Artist’s Commission

2015, dimensions variable, Tetleys Original Bitter, oil paint

The Tetley’s 2015 Artist’s Commission
The Tetley’s 2015 Artist’s Commission
The Tetley’s 2015 Artist’s Commission
The Tetley’s 2015 Artist’s Commission
The Tetley’s 2015 Artist’s Commission

For an invitation to propose an artists range of Tetley ephemera (drip mats, bar runners, pump clips etc) that would focus on the former brewery’s extensive history and heritage, I made marbled paper using a bath of ale (rather than the usual water) and a selection of bright oil based paints that produced an incongruous backdrop for the logos provided.

With this simple gesture I wanted to challenge the brief by asking what if Tetley didn’t have a history? What if it forgot the 193 years gone? And what if it had another side to its personality which had otherwise been suppressed by successive series of brand guidelines?

Knowing how internalised biographical narratives can become a trap, and conscious of the way in which back-stories had been appropriated by marketeers I wanted to give Tetley a new start.

The proposal was successful and selected by a panel of judges but its roll out was later vetoed by senior members of the parent company Carlsberg.


Arend Nijkamp
Mondriaan Fonds
Peter Paul Peterich Fonds
Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten

Alex Farrar
Born 1986 in Leeds, United Kingdom
29.3.18 – 2.4.18 Unfair at Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam
22 - 26.2.18 Christie’s Fundraiser Auction for Unfair 2018 at Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam
21 – 25.2.18 Arco Madrid with Dürst Britt & Mayhew
16.2.18 – 24.3.18 ‘Body Building’ group exhibition at Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague
7 – 21.12.17 ‘Places of Ruin Part III Beyond Thunderdome’ group exhibition at NEST, The Hague
John Cleese on Creativity featured in Fay Asselbergs’ The Extended Colophon
20.10.17 ‘Distant Constellations’ group exhibition at The Great Medical Disaster, Manchester
6 – 10.10.17 ‘Staging the inhabitable’ group exhibition at Cultureel Centrum het Fijnhout, Jacob van Lennepkade 334, Amsterdam
1.5.17 – 1.5.19 Kindly supported by the Mondriaan Fonds Stipendium for Established Artists
18 – 21.5.17 Arco Lisboa with Dürst Britt & Mayhew
6 – 9.2.17 Guest lecturing for the Autonomous Fine Arts department of the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague.
3.1.17 the ‘suits’ archived book will be distributed by Idea Books and is available now via their website and associated bookshops.
recent exhibitions
Dürst Britt & Mayhew
COLOPHON was built with the ingenuity and patience of DisplayHooray.
The typeface used throughout is Maria Pro, created by Phil Baber, whose 2010 design for the Index book reappears here in the work pages.
Credit also goes to Qubik for my original website (2010–2014), which lives on in the icon based home page.