Category Archives: Places

Nobu Shoreditch hotel, London

I recently toured the newly opened Nobu Shoreditch, with interiors by StudioMica and  restaurant & bar by Studio PCH

The guest rooms are obviously a bit less accessible than the public areas so I’ll concentrate on them here.

The rooms share a combination of urban brutalism (concrete ceilings and exposed services such as sprinklers) from the Shoreditch location and Japanese aesthetics of Nobu, giving this place the feel of an oasis in the city centre. 

Judicious use of texture and lighting creates jewel-like points of focus. I confess to having a soft spot for the bathrooms; not only are they visually beautiful but really practical (as several guests have apparently pointed out you can tell they’ve been designed by a woman). The mirrors offer proper lighting with decent magnification and there is plenty of shelving for toiletries.

And who doesn’t love that washbasin?

This view of the courtyard garden from one of the suites gives an idea of the architecture concept by Ron Arad, implemented by Ben Adams

Artists at The Other Art Fair Bristol – 3 of 4

Still feeling inspired by artists I showed with at The Other Art Fair in Bristol. Here are more shots showing the wide variety of art as I whipped round before opening time.

Michelle Loa Kum Cheung’s landscapes,

Olivier Leger’s intricately detailed drawings, and Sara Dare’s suggestive abstract paintings.It’s not just me is it? The last post in this series follows next week.

Artists at The Other Art Fair Bristol – 2 of 4

There really is something for everyone at The Other Art Fair as, I hope, the following images and posts will show. It’s well worth a visit wherever it is.

From oil painted landscapes by Dawn Reader, another stand neighbour in Bristol,

to a new series of paintings by John Hainsworth ;meticulous still lives by Hisham Echafaki and large abstracts by Kate Williams More artists to follow…

The Other Art Fair Bristol – 1 of 4

Writing this as it rains outside, The Other Art Fair Bristol with sunbathers outside the Arnolfini Gallery now feels a long way off.

Every TOAF event has its communal displays with the ones here including The Colours of Bristol, an Instagram project created over 7 weeks with Bristol 247, @porthjess and @joyfulbristol – I saw it before opening time as you can see from the frenzied activity below. Next to my stand was the I,the Poet. You, The Poet project by Biba & Laurie Cole which was consistently busy as visitors drew images and thoughts with outsized pens and brushes.

Artist Joy Gerrard at Kingsgate Workshops

Another artist I discovered at Kingsgate workshops was Joy Gerrard, whose large ink and brush paintings of protest crowds caught my eye.

Again, all photos here are from her website as she was running a workshop when we popped in.

Often taken from rooftops, the original images are pulled from the media; compression, structure and constraint are all adjectives that come to mind when looking at the work which combines representation & abstraction.

All things splinter and collapse (Panel 1), ink on paper, 2015

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Protest Crowd, Yemen (2), ink on paper, 2012

Artist Anne Leigniel at Kingsgate Workshops

There’s nothing quite like visiting another artist’s studio to get an insight into their work so I make the most of open studios whenever I can.

I finally got to visit Kingsgate Workshops , workspace to a range of artists and makers and met  Anne Leigniel there.

The viewpoint of an artist towards their subject and how they explore their particular project always intrigues me. Her work spans drawing, photography, video and installation so please visit her website as there’s too much to cover here. The drawings were the first thing I saw and, before I start , all photos here are from her website as I didn’t take any shots during our conversation.

For her insect drawings she painted four large sheets of plastic in a field and left them overnight.

Upon returning in the morning insects had traced paths in the dew, adding their own marks to hers.

The results remind me of maps and mountain landscapes seen from the air.

Other drawings include pebbles, ochre drawings using an imaginary language

and drawings of journeys – this is of the 52 Bus, Chesterton Road to High St Kensington, London.

I now wish I had taken photos in her studio but am due to send her one of my painting rags for another long-running project  so expect to see her again fairly soon.

Richard Long at M-Shed in Bristol

I’d never been to Bristol before (a few hours passing through decades ago doesn’t really count) so gave myself a few hours to wander around the city before setting up for The Other Art Fair.

The area by the Arnolfini Gallery where we exhibited is really lovely with M-Shed just across the way.

And what should I come across but Richard Long‘s Muddy Water Walk stretching over 3 floors, the full height of the building.

It’s odd that I’d never connected his circular shapes with mine till now – it really is a universal form.

Hornsey Town Hall

This large Art Deco former town hall in Crouch End North London may be turned into a hotel but for now it is a cultural and community centre. 

An imposing building, it was built in 1933 by New Zealand-born Reginald Harold Uren, winning him the RIBA London Architecture Medal for 1935. His portrait below stands in the entrance hall opposite a snake photograph by one of my Victoria House Other Art Fair neighbours Andrew McGibbon

See how a simple recurring motif is developed for decorative use in partitions, flooring and balustrades.

And no visit is ever complete without checking the toilets.
Full of atmosphere and stories this building needs serious investment to survive so I hope the different groups will find a way to co-exist in the future.

Part hotel part community and art centre? I’m sure it could be done.

Young Masters at The Royal Overseas League in London

London Clubland (not the dancing type) is a world that most of us are only vaguely aware of and the Royal Overseas League is a case in point. A magnificent building tucked in a courtyard in St James and overlooking Green Park, it really is hidden away in the centre of London.

I’d heard about it but never actually been till very recently when invited to attend the Young Masters Art Prize exhibition, held there for the first time.

Organised by the Cynthia Corbett Gallery, the Young Masters celebrates artists “who pay homage to  the  skill and techniques of the past; knowing that young artists today are not afraid, unlike their predecessors, to look back at art history and its lessons.” Painting, photography, video and ceramics were all included.

This skylight and the next couple of photos give a small indication of the interior as well as how well the artwork sits within it.

Work by Antoine Schneck and Christoph Steinmeyer below.Isabelle van Zeijl‘s photography is on the left.These 3 photos by Sandro Miller (apologies for the photo quality but it was pretty dark) had me perplexed for a while but I got it by the third one. Can you?Lauren Nauman’s frail porcelain and brass piece below was only one of several ceramic artists shown.  ROSL, as it is commonly known, was the first London club to accept female members from the beginning and has an ongoing programme of art and music. For more information please visit the website.