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Unusual paint job: ‘Knockers’ by Tom Gallant

An eyebrow-raising exhibition of sex toys and paraphernalia made by artists and designers opens this month at Transition Gallery.

For Sex Shop, 50 artists, designers and creative types were invited to submit a prototype of a sex toy or fetish object.

The responses were as provocative as they were wide-ranging, from a video piece about the eroticisation of stilettos to a 3D representation of the internal workings of the clitoris.

The first incarnation of the exhibition was in Folkestone, where it played on the idea of the British seaside as a place for dirty weekends and secret liaisons.

In Hackney, Sex Shop will be curated in two halves though the personnel will be the same.

As well as artists, those taking part include a philosopher, a puppet maker, a graphic designer, a fashion designer and a jewellery designer.

“It’s quite a mixed bag,” says Darren Nairn, co-curator of Sex Shop. “Some people have done sculptural objects but there’s other things going on too.

Marlos tenBhomer, a footwear designer, made a video focusing on footwear and looking at film noir where women come a cropper, so women falling down stairs, or on perches and falling off.”

Other artworks include a contract, a piece formed from colour samples taken from adverts in pornographic magazines, and some scrap metal bought in China and shipped using the exact route used by sex traffickers.

Nairn’s own contribution to the exhibition is a butt plug. “The exhibition takes on any gender to some extent,” he says. “We’ve got mixtures of men and women, gay and straight going on, so there are all these different voices coming through.”

Sex Shop is at Transition Gallery,Unit 25a, Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, E8 4QN from 28 February – 29 March

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