Gilded Birds examines contemporary ideals of beauty by asking some of the world’s greatest creative minds to choose one object they find beautiful and do a short interview about it. It covers a broad range of people: artists, designers, philosophers, photographers, mathematicians, composers, neuroscientists – including: Marina Abramovic, Thom Yorke, Jim Holt, Tom Sachs, Alan Hollinghurst, Nick Knight, Thomas Adès, Fergus Henderson, Ken Loach.

The porcelain makers of the eighteenth century believed that they were creating some of the most beautiful objects in the world. These painted figurines and gilded vases were miracles of craftsmanship in their day but are no longer seen by most people as beautiful objects. In fact some people find them hideous. Artists of today and tomorrow will always reject and react against previous ideals of beauty.  But fashionable or not, we are still surrounded by beauty in the world. We are asking some of the world’s greatest creative minds to show us one object of beauty that can contribute to a bigger picture of today’s ideal.

“With the good, the true and the useful, man is merely in earnest; but with the beautiful he plays.” Schiller