Bringing Damien into the Dining Room

 

I was sitting in restaurant the other day and my eye was drawn to a very interesting textile hanging from the wall. It was very colourful, but the medium of the textile made it muted and soft at the same time. The whole effect was comforting and homely, perfectly matching the vibe that particular place wanted to project.

For many restauranteurs, proprietors and chefs, simply having food that shines is often not enough. We have all sat in bars, cafes and restaurants, enjoying the food but feeling there’s something lacking about the decoration and vibe.

For diners, the enjoyment of any dish can be immeasurably heightened by the ambience of their environment. Not every restaurant can offer the idyllic setting of a secluded Mediterranean bay to enhance the flavour of the fish, but there is so much than can be done to improve any dining experience.

It will not be a surprise to many that, as a pioneering capital city, London is a leading light in respect of this trend. From high profile restaurants with lots of wall space to smaller-scale boutique venues, there is an opportunity for any proprietor to follow suit and use art to both speak to their clients and temper the dining experience.

Possibly the best examples of this are any of the establishments which make up the Hix restaurant group.

With a handful of venues positioned mostly around the capital, artworks form an integral part of the experience of eating some of the best food the country has to offer. Enjoy a gin Martini or a sizzling steak amidst museum quality artworks by Damien Hirst, Harland Miller or Sarah Lucas (to name but a few…).

Mark Hix has taken the relationship between eating food and appreciating art one step further by creating a fantastic art space beneath one of his restaurants, Tramshed, in Shoreditch, East London.

The Gallery sources new talent and venerates established contemporary masters whilst offering top quality food. To understand more about the space, take a look at HIX ART gallery’s website http://hixart.co.uk/about/ where they summarise this symbiotic relationship perfectly: ‘HIX ART transforms into one of the coolest dining spaces in London. We have hosted wedding receptions, corporate dinners and birthday celebrations. Decorate the room and tables as you wish, sit back and enjoy beautiful art and Tramshed’s fantastic food.’ The food and art truly seem inextricably linked.

This practice, however, is by no means a new phenomenon. In their informative article on restaurants positioning themselves as art galleries, the Independent recall the magnificent works commissioned by New York’s Seagram Building in the middle of last century; ‘the Mark Rothko paintings known as The Seagram Murals, commissioned in 1958 for the Four Seasons restaurant’ were a pioneering force for those extolling the benefits of bringing artworks out of the galleries and into the restaurants.

One of the first prominent restaurants in London to happily embrace the art gallery dining experience was Pied à Terre in 34 Charlotte Street, this Michelin star restaurant developed under the creative force of David Moore quickly attracted a HNW crowd and it was not long before artworks by significant British artists were hanging on the walls.

The Turner Prize-nominated and Fourth Plinth commissioned artist David Shrigley has for some time decorated the entire wall space at Sketch in Conduit Street, as this restaurant looks to a long-term exhibition programme for artists. Shrigley’s first series of 239 drawings, full of witty and satirical messages that are now to be replaced with 91 new colourful works and ceramic tableware emblazoned with the artist’s sharp humoured texts and drawings. This is an example of one artist’s work dominating a restaurant space.

According to WGSN.com the top 5 art inspired restaurants are: the Arts Club in Mayfair, Coya London, Hixter Bankside, Magazine and Pharmacy 2.

Each of these restaurants offer a unique approach to combining art and dining, from the exciting murals commissioned by São Paulo street artist Loro Verz and a rotating series of artists, that include works by Amrita Bilimoria’s at Coya restaurant in 118 Piccadilly to the fully immersive art-food experience of Pharmacy 2 in Pimlico.

For those who loved Damien Hirst’s original Pharmacy, this collaboration between Hirst and Hix within Hirst’s art gallery space takes it to another level by showcasing a range of top artists as well as displaying iconic works by Hirst such as DNA strands in etched glass and hand-crafted pill designs embedded within the floor.

The Rosewood Hotel has paid homage to British cartoonist and art world figure Gerald Scarfe in their in-house bar, ‘Scarfes Bar’. On their website they confirm that ‘the collection of amusing and conversation-provoking paintings…adorn the marble walls turning Scarfes Bar into a living canvas’. Visitors to the bar are encouraged to engage with the works while they sit and enjoy the wonderful selection of cocktails this institution boasts.

With so many opportunities to enjoy art and food in unison, it seems this trend has taken force. If you have a restaurant or establishment and you too can see the immediate value art can add to a setting, please contact VEDO.

Our specialist art consultants can help source art that matches your brand and ethos, so the art has an affinity with your company reinforcing your values to your client base and staff. Whether the brand and ambience are designed to appeal to a young professional crowd, an arts and creative crowd or an older more sophisticated clientele, the art you choose can really speak volumes about your company and your creative vision.

We have found that where restaurants have a strategy for their art and a collection plan, the impact can be extremely impressive. For those wishing to generate unique dialogues with their visiting clientele, we can guide you through the myriad of opportunities available to you.

You don’t need to fill the walls with Hirsts and Emins to create a wow factor, there are many different types of artworks and artists whose works sell at varying price points. From talented up and coming emerging artists to established artists, to a cross range of interesting crafts, antiques and collectibles, all of which can be in the affordable price bracket from £100-£500 for prints, ceramics, photographs, drawings and small works up to £1,000 – £5,000 for larger works such as paintings on canvas, any of which can add great interest to the space and transform the overall experience.

Commissioning bespoke art is also another option open to clients, where artists will create a work that meets a client’s specific requirements. We work with a group of very talented contemporary artists, including sculptors, painters, etchers and other visual practitioners, each of whom can create bespoke commissions to suit any kind of space. Please see our website here for more details.

It’s time to provide a more engaging dining experience and VEDO is the company to help you start that process.

 

 

The Healing Power of Art: Why Companies should tap into this.

(c) Artist Bruno Tinucci, Clarendon Fine Art Gallery

A few weeks ago, I was in the waiting area at a hospital in London anxiously awaiting the outcome of an X-ray for a very close relative of mine who was having to investigate some alarming symptoms.

As I fidgeted nervously, and my eyes darted around the deserted waiting room in the early morning hours, my eye caught these beautiful landscape paintings which I simply assumed were reproductions.

As an art consultant and someone who loves art my attention was grabbed. On closer inspection these were in fact original paintings by contemporary artists. The works were curated by Rebecca Marsham, Senior Gallery Manager of Clarendon Fine Art Gallery in Cobham.

The theme was contemporary impressionistic landscapes by two different artists, a Russian artist Maya Eventov and an Italian artist called Bruno Tinucci. Both artists use strong sun light with dramatic effect and have a bold painterly style and their paintings are very uplifting.

I then spent some time looking at the views within the paintings.

I was transported to Tinucci’s lush sunflower field and rustic farm house, with a piercing blue-sky backdrop set in a typical rural Tuscany setting. Through the sway of the flora and strong light, you could feel the cool breeze and intensity of the burning sunshine.

I then stood before two large silver birches within a woodland. Eventov’s use of painting and etching on the canvas to build up the composition layers cleverly creates a sculptural quality to her works.

All of a sudden I felt calmer, my breath had settled, and I had shifted from an anxious state to a more balanced place. My relative came back into the waiting room and I was very fortunate to find that the X-ray revealed nothing sinister.

This is the first time I experienced the potential power of art in a medical setting.

Having spent a good three years in and out of clinics, hospitals and surgeries I was used to seeing many different types of artworks in this type of environment.

Unfortunately more often than not the art was uninteresting, pops of brightly coloured abstracts or great swirls of paint, randomly placed on the walls and designed to simply brighten the space or to merely blend into the interior design scheme but with no more meaning or significance.

However, art that has true synergy with the message the clinic wants to convey has an altogether far greater impact. Art can talk to the viewer, visually stimulating the senses and can convey powerful and challenging messages.

Whether it’s just to captivate the viewer with the awesome power of Mother Nature through a gorgeous landscape that may remind us of greater things than ourselves, of life’s reassuring cycle or simply the pure beauty there is to be found in our natural world or the art is on some other topic altogether, on a conscious and sub-conscious level art speaks to us all.

There have been studies on the impact of art on the healing process and recovery of patients and many top clinics and hospitals have used art in their wards for this primary purpose and with great effect.

When the clinic gets it right as they did at this hospital, with the installation having been professionally sourced and curated, it can leave a very positive and lasting impression on the viewer, as it had done so for me.

I have since contacted the Gallerist Rebecca Marsham and asked her how she came to select these artworks and Rebecca explained to me the following:

“The Wellington Hospital approached me to buy some permanent artwork for one of their units. I know only too well the power that the right (or wrong) artwork can deliver – the positive mood it can induce which is so important for healing –  so I went on a mission to find artists that painted specifically uplifting, joyous and yet calming artwork. I thought it was important to set the right tone for all visitors to the unit: the patients, the medical staff and the visitors.”

We have found that where the art consultant has a clearly defined brief in mind and understands precisely what the client wants to achieve, this can lead to the best results. In this case creating “the right tone” and ensuring the artworks were uplifting, joyous and calming and were appropriate for all the visitors to the unit were criteria used to find artworks that would meet the client’s requirements. Having specific criteria in mind can also significantly cut down the sourcing time and time taken selecting the artworks for purchase and/or display for both the art consultant and client.

At VEDO, we find art that truly has synergy with your Company’s brand and ethos. We liaise with galleries and independent artists in the UK and internationally to help source art that can have that desired impact for clients, artworks that impart meaning and significance and can have resonance with the appropriate audience whether it is clients, staff or suppliers.

To find out more about our process, please see our services page here.

To find out more and for a free consultation contact us here

Hedgehog is Subject of Artistic Mural in Urban Ipswich

Hedgehogs are quite literally the talk of the town in Ipswich at the moment. In a plea to raise awareness about wildlife welfare in the area, an artist has been commissioned to paint a mural of this shy, often overlooked mammal.

Street Artist, ATM, has painted a vast mural of a hedgehog in profile on the gable end of an Ipswich pub. His work, a mural which can’t be missed, has received much acclaim from both local residents and individuals from further afield (if you’ll excuse the pun).

The mural may look sweet, however the message is strong. The work is meant to signify the importance of these small but significant animals to Ipswich and the UK’s wider wildlife and ecosystems. On their website, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust confirms that the recently unveiled image both honours “Ipswich as a Hedgehog Hotspot” and also publicises “Hedgehog Awareness Week”.

ATM has reportedly developed a name for himself within the art community for depicting images of endangered species in urbanised city or town settings. In their article on the project, the BBC reference ATM’s aspiration that the works encourage individuals to think more about their ever-threatened natural environment and in this instance, the humble hedgehog. He hopes it will urge people to “not use weed killers on their plants, not use slug pellets… think about hedgehogs’ needs,” the BBC article confirms.

The mural is part of a large scale project to help hedgehogs more generally. In 2016, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust created a new role, that of Hedgehog Officer, to be based in Ipswich to respond to the increased numbers of sightings of the animals in and around the area.

According to a BBC article on the subject, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s appointment of the Hedgehog Officer, was no small or easy task. The Trust was apparently inundated with applications from individuals from around the world. They finally settled, however, on Ms Alexandra North who studied Zoology and has been central to Ipswich’s hedgehog mural project.

Commissioning public art, such as this mural can have benefits that go far beyond adding to the artistic and visual landscape within a community, they can pack a serious message and raise awareness about significant issues and also act as a call to action. In the great graffiti art tradition, an important message can conveyed as well as being a fun and interactive medium.

To find out more about commissioning public art works by contemporary artists please contact us at Jessica@vedocorporateart.com.

Hype Around Hirst’s New Exhibition – But to What End?

Art produced by YBA heavyweight, Damien Hirst, always seems to make the headlines. Whether it is stories about astronomical prices for pieces or tales from the artist’s own life, the newspapers and magazines are always interested in what Damien Hirst is up to.

The current feature for many is Hirst’s newest exhibition, held across two venues, the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in art hotspot, Venice, for this year’s Biennale.

Entitling the show, “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” Hirst has certainly sought to capture media attention it would seem. In an article on the show, the Guardian’s Sarah Hughes, has termed it “one of the most tightly guarded art exhibitions of recent years,”…but how has it been received?

In a fascinating short interview on the BBC’s Arts and Entertainment website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-39534654 ) Arts Editor, Will Gompertz, quizzes Hirst on the exhibition’s main exhibits and themes.

Hirst confirms that the 180 or more artefacts and objects on show are those from an imaginary ship which took place over 2000 years ago.

The items are supposed to have been part of an historic and extensive collection amassed by a great individual. On their website, the Palazzo Grassi confirm that the collector is called “Aulus Calidius Amotan – a freed slave better known as Cif Amotan II”.

Included alongside the objects are photographs showing their underwater discovery. By including these photographs, Hirst really taps into the theme of belief as we really feel we are part of a major, historic discovery of an extraordinary body of work. The exhibition itself covers the whole process from the finding of the artefacts through to displaying of them.

Hirst tells Gompertz in the BBC video that “for me the show is about belief, and you can believe whatever you want to believe.” He continues, “I’ve spent so much time on it that it’s not a lie…I just believe it.”

Back on dry land, Hirst purports of have spent over £50million on this exhibition and when we consider the materials used to create these artworks – gold, crystal and bronze are among those listed – this figure makes more sense.

Not everyone, however, is pleased to see it’s unveiling. Activist group, Animalisti, the Guardian article confirms, have been responsible for depositing over 40 kilos of animal manure outside one of the two exhibition venues, the Palazzo Grassi. Their motivation is believed to stem from Hirst’s use of animal carcasses in a number of his previous works of art.

“Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” runs between 9 April 2017 and 3 December 2017 alongside Venice Biennale’s extensive programme of events and exhibitions.

To see images either visit Hirst’s own website or take a look at the official Palazzo Grassi’s website.
It is one of the most reviewed exhibitions and is nothing short of sensational. Our VEDO art consultants will be paying a visit to see whether we too are captivated by the make believe world of Hirst. Watch this space for more details.

VEDO presents magnificent sculptures at Henley Festival – July 2017

VEDO is very proud to be participating in Henley’s Art and Music Festival this week by showcasing 8 leading sculptors at the Festival from Wednesday 5th July until Sunday 9th July.

We have selected a few exceptional British and International sculptors to represent and have endeavoured to show the wide range of styles and scale you can have in sculpture from small indoor works to the monumental, from abstract to figurative, also providing educational information about various pricing, different mediums of sculptural works and the commissioning process.

About the Sculptors

We are showing a stunning kinetic work by Ivan Black, whose piece has been specifically designed for the festival. Ivan’s work is wondrous, his conception of movement is fascinating and sophisticated incorporation of lighting and colour is nothing short of joyous and magical. This is a sculptor who rightfully deserves his work to sit alongside the great kinetic sculptors found in the museums of the world.

(c) Sculptor Ivan Black

Simon Gudgeon has achieved recognition for his monumental works, such as his stunning giant bronze Swan at the Serpentine close to Princess Diana’s fountain memorial and his reflective bronze heads entitled ‘Search for Enlightenment’ displayed nearby in Knightsbridge. To see his beautiful smooth and paired down depictions from nature one should visit his elegant sculpture park in Dorset where he displays a range of his large scale sculptural works in a breathtaking setting.

(c) Sculptor Simon Gudgeon

Sally Fawkes and Richard Jackson are exceptional British glass sculptors. They have been represented by the best of British art dealers and similarly their works have found themselves into major collectors homes internationally. Having mastered their unique technique over decades they remain leaders in using the glass medium. Excitingly they have taken their works to monumental scale over the last few years and have produced magnificent pieces, such as their most recent commission of a monumental work shown at Salisbury Cathedral and a stunning commissioned work for the Shard.

(c) Sculptors Sally Fawkes and Richard Jackson

Mel Fraser’s beautiful abstract alabaster works are perfect for any elegant garden setting or luxurious home. She is represented by a gallerist and has become a recognised name for the interior design sector for her elegant abstract works that compliment a wide variety of settings. There is a stunning purity to her forms that provide endless joy and contemplation and her skill is apparent from her ability to work large pieces of stone or alabaster into paper like winged forms that are sometimes worked so finely that they become almost translucent.

(c) Sculptor Mel Fraser

For smaller scale interior works we are showing pieces by Philip Hearsey. Philip’s works are timeless and elegant and hark back to the best forms in ancient times, in particular ancient Egypt or Cycladic times. From beautiful arcs or circles or baton like shapes, his sophisticated use of form creates a strong sense of order and his works have a reassuringly calm and restful feel to them. Hearsey works in a variety of mediums and also adds a stunning creative touch that is highly distinctive, usually playing with the patina of the bronze to create an other-worldly feel.

(c) Sculptor Philip Hearsey

 

Johannes von Stumm has produced a range of stunning corporate commissions and public works from his winged angel for Nike to his Big Mother and Child stainless steel series that cuts the landscape like a knife leaving you to contemplate the essence of human nature set within the landscape. We are showing his very clever smaller geometric works that are a sophisticated combination of media often glass, bronze and stone. These works are highly distinctive works and are extremely contemporary in feel and work exceedingly well in corporate and luxury spaces.

(c) Sculptor Johannes von Stumm

Last but by no means least, a star of the event is Paul Day. He is representing himself at the Festival but we have the great pleasure of hosting his works on our stand and supporting this huge talent.
He needs no introduction having done several famous Royal monuments, from the Queen Mother’s memorial, Battle of Britain to the Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial.

His highly detailed figurative work is hugely accessible, fiendishly clever and demonstrates his extraordinary skill in rendering such great detail that translates so lucidly and perfectly in bronze form. His work demands attention and for that reason his works will stand the test of time in monumental form. We are pleased to announce that at the fair guests can see a range of works, demonstrating that his work is affordable and achievable for many collectors too.

(c) Sculptor Paul Day

VEDO see this event as a truly wonderful opportunity for us to show some larger monumental works in a stunning setting and also showcase some smaller indoor works that would look wonderful in any home. Our goal is to bring to great many people beautiful and accessible sculpture.

Sculpture is often an overlooked medium in preference to 2D forms such as painting, photography and prints. It is perceived to be expensive and difficult to place. We feel that sculpture can add tremendous value and make a wonderful statement in a wide range of environments from the home, the office or to a public space.

Commissioning bespoke sculptures for public works or for corporate spaces is our forte at VEDO and we understand that it can be an extremely challenging and complex project to manage. However our skilled art advisers take the stress out of the process, make it highly enjoyable and help clients achieve their creative vision by working effectively with the sculptors, designers and clients.

For more details about how we can help your company in such a project please do visit our website www.vedocorporateart.com and contact us through the contact page.

For a copy of our new sculpture brochure to see the different sculptors we represent and the types of work we can help commission for your clients or your projects please contact us.

Ceramic artist spotlight: Desa Philippi’s biomorphic wall sculptures

VEDO Corporate Art Service is delighted to present some captivating new sculptural work by ceramic artist Desa Philippi.

Desa’s wall sculptures are beautiful fluid porcelain shapes with a strong graphic element.

(c) Red porcelain wall sculpture by artist Desa Philippi

She has developed a range of abstract, biomorphic shapes, which are layered in open and closed forms and can be combined in different dimensions. They are therefore uniquely adaptable to different spaces.

(c) Vertical midnight blue porcelain wall sculpture by artist Desa Philippi

She uses bold primary colours that heightens the graphic element and gives a strong contemporary art feel, as well as being very joyous artworks.

(c) Yellow porcelain wall sculprure & alphabet ceramic vessels by artist Desa Philippi 

We think of graffiti art when we look at these wonderful shapes, as well as comic strips and the great American pop artists of the 1960s, such as Roy Lichenstein.

In her own words Desa’s says she is

..“influenced by modernist sculpture and the urban environment within which the work is produced, I spent a lot of time looking at and photographing the reflections of buildings, graffiti walls, cranes and other urban structures on the nearby Regents Canal, observing changes of the water’s surface when disturbed by wind, moving canal boats, water birds, or floating debris. This direct observation helped me to rethink the continuous forms of my porcelain vessels in terms of open and animated surfaces.”

Desa is currently showing some of her stunning flat matt grey ceramic vessels at Gallery DIFFERENT in London in an exhibition called ‘The Art and Politics of Eating’. To read about this exhibition click here.

(c) Alphabet Vessels by artist Desa Philippi

Desa works from her studio in Camden in London. Her background as an art historian is eminently clear from the strong sense of design and aesthetics that permeates her work as an artist.

Her ceramics are effortlessly chic and would look great in any contemporary designed living space, bringing in a sophisticated design element.

To see more please do not hesitate to contact us at Jessica@vedocorporateart.com

The Art and Politics of Eating – an art exhibition & event that celebrates food

VEDO Corporate Art Service is proud to support Gallery DIFFERENT’S forthcoming exhibition: ‘The Art and Politics of Eating’.

(c) Artist Zev Robinson

Zev Robinson, a Canadian and British artist and film-maker is showcasing his large beautiful dream-like pastel paintings at the Gallery, 14 Percy Street, London W1 this week.

Zev an experienced artist has coordinated this exhibition of his pastels with the release of his film ‘The Art of Politics of Eating’ – Pied à Terre documentary, shown this evening at the Gallery.

His film examines the restaurant’s passionate interest in supporting the sustainable food system and how their relationship with their forty suppliers makes an important contribution to the small independent British food sector.

There will also be a moderated discussion about quality food producers and the role of quality restaurants in sustaining those producers and the rural environment.

From the Corporate Art perspective, Pied à Terre restaurant is well known and highly regarded as an amazing champion of the arts.

Apart from hanging artworks by emerging and established artists in this elegant and very fashionable restaurant and allowing an important showcasing venue for artists to be enjoyed by their clientele, they are true patrons of the arts and this echoes through a film like this, made by a visual artist who has turned the spotlight on their core passion, supporting sustainable food systems and making sure the best of British food is served in their restaurant.

Zev’s work is elegant, accessible and blends the boundaries between art and food and the point at which these two creative endeavours meet.

(c) Artist Zev Robinson

The pastel medium creates a haze to the subject-matter that feels dream-like and surreal and with his closely studied blue camphor jugs and succulent Queen olives in terracotta dishes you are instantly transported to the Mediterranean.

To see the film, the screening is tonight 6th June 2017, please book tickets through the Gallery.

To read a further review about Zev’s work please see the Artlyst article here.

VEDO Ceramicists at Gallery Different

VEDO Corporate Art looks for the best independent artists for the commercial sectors, such as interior design and hotel design.

Also showing this week at Gallery DIFFERENT, 14 Percy Street, W1, VEDO is very proud to announce that two exceptional ceramicists are showing their works too.

French ceramic artist Isabelle Poupinel will be showcasing three of her stunning works, all quite different and show the unique range of styles in her repertoire.

From her stunning North African inspired earthen dish, with a beautiful turquoise glaze, perfect as a central piece for a kitchen table or dining al fresco and serving delicious nibbles, such as pistachio nuts, to her beautiful woven looking ceramic basket – an object that is both minimalist and in our view seems to echo great tribal art, namely Tutsi or Hutu woven baskets.

(c) Artist Isabelle Poupinel

Lastly Isabelle is showing a chic pinched white porcelain vase with a gold tie that would look elegant in any luxurious room and reminds us of the great finesse you find in gorgeous homes in the South of France.

German born Desa Philippi, who works from her studio in Camden in London, will be showing her impressive and elegant pots. Her vessels look fabulous in a group and make an effortless and chic artistic display.

These works are artistic too and are for display rather than use. Desa produces clean lines and her works have an extremely pleasing symmetry, often combined with interesting decoration such as her sophisticated on-glaze patterns that use steel or tungsten to create fine lines. In Desa’s work there are gorgeous industrial matt grey or sensitive cream tones or a flat pure white that demands attention and echoes Bauhaus and great design.

(c) Artist Desa Philippi

Desa, like Isabelle, has a diverse repertoire but is consistently elegant in her style and approach and works by either of these artists would look fabulous in any home.

For more details about these three artists please contact VEDO.

The exhibition is on until Wednesday 14th June 2017, Gallery Different 14 Percy Street, London W1.

BP Portrait’s Best Announced

The BP Portrait prize has built itself a reputation for honouring some of the very best contemporary portrait artists around. Every year, we are shown works employing a wide variety of styles, mediums and materials. The exhibition is almost like an assorted chocolate box.

The names of this year’s finalists have now been released. These are individuals who have been, according to The National Portrait Gallery’s (NPG) website, “selected from 2,580 entries by artists from 87 countries”.

Shortlisted portraitists Thomas Ehretsmann, Benjamin Sullivan and Antony Williams have each chosen female subject matters, yet the effects and styles of works are completely different.

Ehretsmann’s work, ‘Double Portrait’ includes an image of his wife, Caroline, as they are out walking through the park on an evening stroll. The side-on view lends the work an intimate aspect, as though the sitter has not seen the artist. On their website, the NPG confirms “The title, Double Portrait, suggest the passage from one state of being to another as Caroline was eight months pregnant at the time.”

Sullivan and Williams also capture images of women and in positions which do not directly engage with the artist or viewer. ‘Emma’, the contribution by artist Antony Williams, shows a three quarter view of a nude woman covering her breasts. She gazes out beyond the canvas giving the impression of pensive reflection. Benjamin Sullivan’s ‘Breech!’ shows the painter’s wife and child in a naturalistic, living room setting. Sullivan chooses an unusual, elevated angel which gives this work an extra, intriguing dimension.

Last year the crown went to a portrait artist who was by no means unfamiliar with the competition. Clara Drummond took first prize for her enigmatic portrayal of fellow artist and friend, Kirsty Buchanan. Drummond entered the competition in 2013 and then again in 2014, however it was to be another few years before she was able to claim this prestigious title in 2016.

The exhibition itself will run from 22nd June 2017 to 24th September 2017.

At VEDO we help our clients commission contemporary artists and work with several extremely talented British and international portrait artists. Our artists work in the medium of painting, sculpture and photography. For more details please contact us.

Photographic Award Honours Haunting Landscape Photographer

The 2017 Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr Exhibition brings together a spectacular array of photographic masterpieces from rarely seen African wildlife, to areas of untouched natural beauty to poignant political scenes, and infinitely more.

This annual exhibition, now in it’s tenth year, has come to be a regular must see in any keen photographer or enthusiast’s exhibition calendar.

The 2017 show opened its doors to the public on Friday 28 April 2017 and has proven to be among the best exhibitions yet, with a huge variety of works contributed by individuals from across the globe. This year, as attested on the official World Photographic Organisation (WPO) website, categories included “a variety of genres from Architecture, Daily life, Documentary, Landscape, Portraiture, Sports, Street Photography, Wildlife and many more …” With such an array, there really is something to catch the eye of every viewer.

It was Belgian freelance photographer, Frederick Buyckx, who was crowned winner of the competition, reports the British Journal of Photography (BJP). His emblematic and haunting collection of images of wintery settings, often deeply clad in snow, was selected by a panel of preeminent judges from a pool of over “227,00 entries by photographers from 183 countries”.

Buyckx takes as his subject very secluded landscapes, mostly untouched by human activity. According to the BJP, the “remote areas of the Balkans, Scandinavia and Central Asia, where people often live in isolation and in close contact with nature” make up the core focus of Buyckx’s winning wintery series, entitled ‘Whiteout’. There is something remarkably haunting about these works and for any lover of landscape photography, they are a real must see.

In their article on the competition and its various awards, finalists and photographs, the BJP highlight the pertinence of this year’s exhibition and how, after 10 years, it continues to be an important landmark for the medium.

Part of this is the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize, a huge honour for any practitioner. This year it awarded to British photographer Martin Parr. Parr, the BJP confirms “was recognised for his unique visual language and for pushing the boundaries of the medium”. In accepting the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize, the BJP confirm, Parr “joins a roster of previous winners that includes Mary Ellen Mark, William Eggleston, Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson, Marc Riboud, William Klein, and Elliott Erwitt.”

On Parr’s professional website are a list of the numerous important accolades which he has received throughout his long career. Included is the recent 2016 Royal Academy Award, which he received on account of his prolific and vital “Contribution to the Arts”. Parr received the award following a nomination by prominent contemporary British artist, Grayson Perry, his website indicates.

The exhibition is staged at London’s Somerset House and closed on 7th May 2017.

Hull Serves as Setting for Significant New Photography Project

2017 is the year Hull will be celebrated as the United Kingdom’s City of Culture. There are numerous ways artists and supporters are marking the occasion, however some appear to be pushing the boundaries more than others.

Spencer Tunick is one of those extraordinary artists whose contribution to this celebration of art and culture has featured prominently across the media.

Tunick is an American born photographer who creates complex socio-political images often depicting the naked human form. The works he has created for display in Hull this year extend on this theme and will appear in Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery under the exhibition title, ‘SKIN’. The works were commissioned by the Art Gallery specifically for this prestigious event and are on display in the flagship exhibition.

To call them eye-catching would not do them justice. His works are captivating.Tunick has worked with 3,200 people, each nude, and photographed them in iconic local settings. The piece entitled ‘Sea of Hull’ shows the nude individuals painted in a palette of blues. When viewed together as a group, the nudes transform into a body water, wrapped around magnificent architectural monuments and settings.

In an article dated 21st April 2017, the BBC recalled comments made by Spencer Tunick from 2016 as he discussed the works: “The Sea of Hull installation was one of the most fantastic projects I’ve ever done, and it was inspiring to be able to intertwine the City’s maritime heritage against an urban backdrop throughout the whole piece.”

The works are, therefore, a fascinating mix of a thoroughly modern installation with strong symbolic ties to the City’s important history.

Producing works of this kind, however, is not without it’s complications. On Spencer Tunick’s own professional website the photographer indicates the issues associated with creating this type of artwork, particularly within America. “In order to make his work without the threat of arrest” the website confirms, “the artist took his work abroad. He has not undertaken a group installation on the streets of New York in over fifteen years,” as a result of a series of police led arrests. In light of these difficulties, we might view this new body of work, shot in and around the public areas of Hull city centre, with an additional admiration and respect.

Shown alongside Tunick’s works in the exhibition that runs from 22nd April until 13th August 2017, are other works that concentrate on the nude form, works by Lucian Freud and sculptor Ron Mueck. There will also be on display a preparatory study for Edouard Manet’s controversial Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe.

VEDO will keep eyes on Hull’s arts and cultural festivities as it continues to enjoy and celebrate its tenure as the United Kingdom’s City of Culture 2017.