By Ángel Guillén

Visiting “Waiting for the UFOs exposition” at Ikon Gallery


In my first week when I arrived to Birmingham I visited the Ikon Gallery, where I could enjoy the exhibition of the New York artist Polly Apfelbaum. As soon as you take the first step in the exhibition, a colourful environment welcomes you, preparing you for a journey of sensations.

The fact I liked the most is that Polly uses real materials, as ceramics or fabric, to send her message. The first one, a painted wall to commemorate the fight of the LGTB community, explains in a simple but powerful way the meaning of each colour of the flag, yet it is fascinating how the artist takes the initiative to change some of the colours to give a personal touch to the original one.

During her exposition we see how she takes as reference different artists, cultures, music, countries and traditions to be inspired. I think she is a perfect example of how an artist can innovate and be versatile when it comes to express yourself in an artistic way in a world so overexposed to images.

I think that as graphic designers we must find our personal way of expressing ourselves, always having good references, but always being unique. And that is the most important thought I had after visiting “Waiting for eh UFOs” expo at the Ikon Gallery.


“Sun Targets” and “Life Spirit” by Polly Apfelbaum.

“Squiggles” by Polly Apfelbaum.

“Targets” by Polly Apfelbaum.