Along with hotels, street art is my other love. I started buying pieces by different artists a couple of years ago and have amassed a collection I’m pretty proud of. At the beginning of the month I attended the press party of Room with a View; Andaz Liverpool Street’s collaboration with East London street artists who were each given a room to hand paint with their own interpretation of East London’s past, present or future. Hotel + street art + cocktails = massive win in my books.
The artists in question were Chris Price, Patrick Vale, ILoveDust and Patrick Morgan, and the rooms were Andaz’s Large Kings.
The first room unveiled was The Pearly Room by Chris Price and his wife. This room portrays a piece of East London’s past with a really beautiful take on the Pearly Kings and Queens of the East End. It also shows their national costume dating back to the 19th Century when a Japanese ship is said to have sank in the Thames, shedding its cargo of millions of pearl buttons. From afar it’s difficult to see the incredible detail in the art and when you get up close it’s hard to believe this mural was actually done by hand. This is one of my faves.
The second instalment of Room with a View was that of Patrick Vale and Paul Davies. The One Day Walk room was inspired by a 9 hour stroll the artists took in East London over the course of a day documenting their journey, starting with a bacon sandwich in the morning then moving on to Hawksmoor Church, St Paul’s Cathedral, Brick Lane, the Thames and Columbia Road. I love the observational drawings and overheard conversations they’ve included in the piece, especially the “slightly bizarre man in bank” comment.
East my Dust by ILoveDust represents East London’s life and heritage. This mural does exactly what it says on the tin and is a combination of bold blue letters and references to the culture and people of East London. There’s a nod to Cockney rhyming slang, Columbia Road Flower Market, Brick Lane and the 24 hour bagel bakery (I must go here). ILoveDust also managed to include a Black Cab (Hackney Carriage), pie and mash (yum) and the recently revived Old Truman’s Bakery. As every Londoner knows the East of the capital is a haven for street artists, every time I go there something new has popped up, and on the far right of this piece is the hooded character painting over graffiti.
And last but no means least, The Day the Flower Rose by Patrick Morgan. Drawing upon East London and British celebrities the artist optimises British modern culture. Whitechapel Public Library can be seen through the window as can Twiggy, and what’s interesting about this piece is that it’s multidimensional; flowers, frames and a face add a sculptural element to it taking the art out of the wall.
When hotels take inspiration from their surroundings it not only differentiates them from other properties in the same chain but it also creates an interesting story and encourages locals to drop by. It’s fascinating to see different interpretations on the same area and I hope this series continues to grow and add more art to the hotel’s walls because sometimes white walls need a little colour and when the colour represents the people and the area it makes it all the more real and enticing.