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 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.