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The Omnis launch
May 12th 2015 – Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London
From the glitz of Ballon d’Or awards to the glamour of the construction industry
On May 12th Kate Abdo, Sky Sports presenter, was the captivating hostess for arguably one of the most intriguing nights in the construction industry calendar, the Omnis launch event. Set in the prestigious Serpentine Sackler Gallery and Magazine Restaurant, this architecturally inspired evening saw guests lavished with exquisite canapés and fine wines, amidst spectacular artwork and unique sculptures.
Drinks, canapés and architectural art
The evening began with a drinks reception in the gallery for over 150 guests from all spectrums of the construction industry along with Omnis representatives and artists. After viewing the first solo exhibition in London by Cameroon-born, Belgium-based artist Pascale Marthine Tayou, guests entered the restaurant to peruse the Omnis sculptures. In conjunction with Degreeart.com and to celebrate the launch, Omnis invited nine sculptors to take part in the Omnis ‘Architecturally Inspired Sculpture Competition’. Entrants were provided with Omnis roofing, cladding and glazing products, which they combined with their own preferred material. Using their creativity, individual style and techniques they moulded, blended and shaped the materials into beautiful, integrated sculptures. Each piece was on display in the Magazine where guests could peruse and chose their favourite.
Chantelle Purcell, Head of Creative Development at DegreeArt.com, said: “It’s been a wonderful experience to be involved in the launch of Omnis, with the innovative competition offering each of the nine finalists a vital platform for development and exchange. This fantastic evening was positively received and couldn’t have been held in a more befitting space than the Sackler Wing designed by Zaha Hadid, whose artistic architecture is a brilliant example of how structuralist art can dip into the realms of architecture.”
Whilst votes for sculpture competition were counted, John Cowley, CEO of Xerxes Equity –the parent company of Omnis – introduced Kate to the stage.
“For us, Kate was an obvious choice to host the evening, as she epitomises core values that we feel Omnis represents: next generation, intelligent, approachable, ambitious and, of course, beautiful.”
Kate effortlessly led the crowd through the rest of the evening by first announcing the winners of the sculpture competition. Mark Beattie took first place and won £1000 for his fantastic piece which focused on the DNA of a building and the helix which represents DNA. Ian Tricker and his ‘Uruk I triptych’ piece took the runner-up position with £500 prize money. All of the sculptures are now on sale at degreeart.com, with 20% of the sale price being donated to Shelter, the homelessness and housing charity, the chosen corporate charity of Omnis and Xerxes Group.
Rachel Pierce from Shelter commented,
“We are very excited to be working in partnership with Omnis once again for 2015. The launch was a fantastic evening and we are incredibly grateful to Omnis for arranging some of the proceeds from the sculptures to be donated to Shelter.”
The big reveal
Kate then unveiled the Omnis launch film, which finally revealed who and what Omnis is all about. Guests saw sleek systems, high quality products and heard about the mission and vision of Omnis. Following the film, Kate interviewed the newly appointed Managing Director of Omnis, John Fahy, who commented, “All of the brands have outstanding heritages behind them. We wanted to celebrate this amongst our peers and also share our vision for the future of Omnis. We are building on a strong foundation and intend to become a leading provider of high quality exteriors solutions. This is the start of an exciting time for Omnis and I’m extremely proud to be a part of it.”
Limited edition gift
Not only did guests leave with a special Omnis gift box, but they also took home a limited edition signed print of the Gallery by the talented expressionist artist Stephen B Whatley – specially commissioned for the launch. Stephen is well known for his work on the Tower of London, which is on permanent display in the Tower Hill underpass. It’s also hung in the BBC and was published in TIMES magazine.
Overall, guests were in awe of the sophistication and creativity which flowed through every element of the evening. Key words that kept coming up were “creative”, “different”, “sleek”, “professional” and “innovative”. Teodosi Nikolov, Architect, commented, “We were expecting your normal view brochures, view samples agenda but this was something else: a truly enjoyable and creative evening. We’re looking forward to working with Omnis in the future.” Stephen Wilson, Senior Associate Architect at ANZIA, added, “I thought the event had the ‘glitz and glamour’ appropriately matched to the sleek products provided. The Omnis team are all very friendly and appear excited about future projects and opportunities that the new group offers.”
“It was an honour to be alongside Omnis on the first step of their exciting journey. Everything from the art, the beautiful venue and the guests made the evening one to remember.”
The evening was a great success for Omnis. Along with being creatively interesting, it also helped strengthen existing relationships and create the first steps towards new and exciting ones.