The REDD Lowdown: A joint guide to London's top summer events to attend with Jemimah Graff, CEO at Martin Kemp Designs and Russell Smithers, CEO of REDD

As the days grow longer and warmer, the British summer brings with it a series of spectacular events, Jemimah Graff and Russell Smithers share their ‘must attend’ gatherings for the season. From the vivid landscapes of the Chelsea Flower Show to the exhilarating matches at Wimbledon, these celebrations offer a glimpse into the cultural tapestry that makes summer in London truly special.

Marc Quinn : Light into Life, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew - 4 May to 29 September 2024 

This summer, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew will be transformed into a haven of contemporary art with the arrival of Marc Quinn's latest exhibition, "Light into Life." This showcase promises to be a must-visit for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Jemimah shares her anticipation for the exhibit, “Marc Quinn will forever be remembered by my younger self as the winner of the Fourth Plinth exhibition in 2007 with his Alison Lapper Pregnant. The beauty and monumentality of the piece has stayed with me all these years,” she recalls.

Chelsea Flower Show 21-25th May 2024

The Chelsea Flower Show is a hallmark of horticultural excellence. Since its inception in 1912, this event has transformed the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea into a paradise of creativity and nature, attracting renowned designers and enthusiastic visitors alike.

Jemimah, a regular attendee, eagerly anticipates this year commenting, “I am most looking forward to seeing St James’s Piccadilly: Imagine the World to be Different designed by Robert Myers. It’s said to be a tribute to urban pocket gardens, a place of sanctuary for city dwellers. Martin Kemp Designs has a project on St James Square, just a few streets away from St James’s Piccadilly where this garden will be relocated after the show.” 

The Chelsea Flower Show's influence extends beyond its gates, as noted by Russell, adding, “I think the brilliant thing about Chelsea flower show is how it has crept out onto the streets of London, with shops across the West End dressing their frontages in honour of it with often flamboyant floral displays. It also marks the start of the summer season, with heightened activity across the property market.”

Concours on Savile Row 22-23rd May 2024

Over two days, Savile Row will host the Concours on Savile Row, a sophisticated blend of automotive excellence and bespoke tailoring. The event offers an oasis amidst the busy streets, featuring exceptional cars, tailor exhibits, and engaging talks.

“Being based just around the corner from Savile Row, our team always look forward to attending Concours on Savile Row. The event combines the best in class for tailoring and suits with the greatest selection of classic and new cars. What more could you want!?” remarked Russell Smithers.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 18th June - 18th August 2024

Held annually without interruption since 1769, the Summer Exhibition has become a cornerstone of the art world, showcasing an eclectic array of contemporary works. From prints and paintings to films, photography, sculpture, and architectural designs, this exhibition offers something for every art enthusiast.

This year, under the expert coordination of sculptor Ann Christopher RA, the exhibition features a remarkable selection of pieces by both open-submission artists and Royal Academicians. This unique blend of works by established figures and rising stars is what cements the Summer Exhibition's status as the UK's most cherished art show.

Eye of the Collector 26-29 June 2024

Eye of the Collector is a unique fair that offers a thoughtful presentation of art and collectible design in harmony with its beautiful architectural surroundings, this year displaying at the Garrison Chapel Chelsea.

“Previous highlights include Ormond Gigli’s “New York City (Models in Windows)”, which I came across during the 2023 exhibition. It coincided with my imminent relocation to New York during the summer of 2023 to open our first stateside MKD studio. The old school glamour and the deco detailing and that feeling of anything is possible in NYC emboldened me ahead of our move,” added Jemimah.

Wimbledon Tennis Championship 1-14th July 2024

Finally, the Wimbledon Tennis Championship stands as the pinnacle of the British summer sporting calendar. Since 1877, this tournament has been synonymous with tradition, elegance, and sportsmanship.

Russell noted, "Wimbledon is very much the highlight of the British summer for me. Come rain or shine, an afternoon at Wimbledon is unbeatable." This sentiment echoes the universal appeal of Wimbledon, where every match is a celebration of tennis history and British culture.