Archive for the 'Commissions' Category

08
May
14

Lee Campbell Artist on Eel Pie Island – Visitors Welcome

Video of Artist on Eel Pie Island

 The above video was made for me by David Wood using a series of still images of my oil paintings with original music by Steven Parry of Dazzlesound Productions.

Visitors are welcome at the studio on Eel Pie Island where they can see a selection of original oil paintings or commission a bespoke piece for your home or business.

“I am happy to work from photos of your favourite places to create a customised piece of any size. A paintings can make a unique gift for someone special or to mark a special occasion such as wedding or anniversary gifts.”

To arrange a visit or send photos with size required for a free quote contact Lee:  info@leecampbell.co.uk

 Current and available work can be seen on http://www.leecampbell.co.uk

29th June 2016 Twitter Feed

‘I love Lee Campbell’s art – fantastic miniatures and I already own a couple! Highly recommended!’

Miniature Roses - Lee Campbell

Miniature Roses – Lee Campbell

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15
Nov
11

Commissions and Prints – Updated 2015

Past Commissions

Tribute to Turner - oil on canvas 5' x 3' Lee Campbell

Tribute to Turner – oil on canvas 5′ x 3′ Lee Campbell

Having copied the above painting as closely as possible from Turner’s ‘Fighting Temeraire’ I have so much respect for him. Imprecision when painted so perfectly, is harder to emulate than something precise and specific.

There are many historical inaccuracies in the painting, for example the masts and sails would not have been visible as the old sailing ship was being towed to the wrecker’s yard to be broken down. She had been lying at Sheerness Dock for some time where her splendid masts, 98 cannons , anchors etc. would have been removed. There would have been two steam tugs towing her and because she is being towed westwards up the River Thames to Rotherhide the sunset would not be behind her and the delicate crescent moon on the far left would not have been visible.

Such factual details are insignificant when the power of the image lies in it’s symbolism and nostalgia. The end of the Royal British Navy’s era of fighting sailing ships and the contrast between the dignity, grace and beauty of “Saucy’ (as the sailors used to call her) and the dirty metallic modern steam boat is starkly evident. The ‘Temeraire’ had played a distinguished role in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 but 30 years later has become redundant and is recommissioned.

The fact that Turner had created this painting in his later years, kept it in his studio and referred to it as his ‘darling’ suggests that he may have also identified with something great in it’s twilight years and being past it’s best.

The experience of walking the footsteps of such a master has left me humbled and reassured that my motto ‘Never let reality get in the way of a good painting’ is surely justified.

To see a map of the interior of the ship and the battle damage she sustained – see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245180/HMS-Invincible-Inside-battle-ship-famous-Turner-fighting-Temeraire.html

Orleans House - Lee Campbell

Orleans House – Lee Campbell

White Lodge - Lee Campbell

White Lodge – Lee Campbell

Melinda's Sunset - Lee Campbell

Melinda’s Sunset – Lee Campbell

Sunset Bushy

Bushy Park – Lee Campbell

Emma's Sunrise - Lee Campbell

Emma’s Sunrise – Lee Campbell

Pembrook Wedding - Lee Campbell

Pembrook Wedding – Lee Campbell

Sailing – oil on canvas – Lee Campbell

‘Adrian Rocks’ oil on canvas – Lee Campbell

Petersham Golden Green – oil on canvas – Lee Campbell

Kingston Bridge - Lee Campbell

Kingston Bridge – Lee Campbell

Cardiff Bay - Lee Campbell

Cardiff Bay – Lee Campbell

MG on Embankment - Lee Campbell

MG on Embankment – Lee Campbell

RCA Secret Postcard Roses - Lee Campbell

RCA Secret Roses – Copy- Lee Campbell

Thames Dawn - Lee Campbell

Thames Dawn – Lee Campbell

The Savoy -  - Lee Campbell

The Savoy – – Lee Campbell

To Commission an Original Oil Painting

The above are all commissions – some from photos sent to me and some from my own research – some more intricate than others but all have taken me out of my comfort zone providing exciting challenges.

To commission a piece of original art work from all I need is your photo/s and the dimensions of the finished piece – from this I can give a quote and the approx. time of completion. I ask for a 50% deposit (PayPal or BACS) and the remainder is paid on collection of the finished piece. I work closely with my clients providing regular e mail updates.

In order to work out the best size for your space – tape a sheet of paper to the wall and measure this.

Available Prints

The following Giclee Prints are available from ‘Frames’ in Twickenham or from the artist http://www.leecampbell.co.uk

Embankment – Lee Campbell

White Swan Twickenham - Lee Campbell

White Swan Twickenham – Lee Campbell

Twickenham Green – Lee Campbell

Teddington Lock - Lee Campbell

Teddington Lock – Lee Campbell

Rowing Club - Lee Campbell

Twickenham Rowing Club – Lee Campbell

Eel Pie Autumn - Lee Campbell

Eel Pie Autumn – Lee Campbell

Golden DaysPap

Golden Days – Lee Campbell

October Gold

October Gold – Lee Campbell

Frozen Blue - Lee Campbell

Frozen Blue – Lee Campbell

Marble Hill House - Lee Campbell

Marble Hill House – Lee Campbell

‘Twickenham Gold’ –  Lee Campbell

Twickenham Mist – Lee Campbell

‘Twickenham Blue’ – Lee Campbell

Union Jack/Roses - Lee Campbell

Union Jack/Roses – Lee Campbell

The Thames November Draw Off

 This new series of local scenes feature the ‘draw off’ which takes place each November between Richmond and Teddington Locks to allow for the river bank to be cleared of debris. This year the draw off will last until 25th Dec to allow for repairs to Richmond Lock gates, apparently they are waiting on a cable to be sent from Russia.
This can result in some unusual views of the riverbed dotted with feeding birds – swans, ducks, coots, gulls, rooks, crows, cormorants, grebes and herons can all be seen easily from the bridge over to the island.  Whilst these low tides reveal many horrors to be cleaned away by volunteers, they also reveal all sorts of treasures normally hidden beneath the waters. Under the rocks are hundreds of freshwater shrimps, crabs and  eels. These range from 2-inch elvers right up to more mature specimens over a foot long. Marine biologists from the Zoological Society of London have previously recorded he freshwater gastropod, the river snail, pea muscles, zebra muscles, freshwater cockles, swan muscles, leeches and flatworms.

‘Twickenham November’ – oil on paper Lee Campbell

Draw Off – Sunday

17
Jul
11

The Shard & The Savoy – Byrne Bros Project

Last autumn I began a collaboration with Michelle Tilley, Health and Safety Executive of The Byrne Group to produce a body of work based on two of their current projects – one being the state of the art Shard at London Bridge and by way of contrast – the refurbishment of the much loved old Savoy Hotel on The Strand. This project is almost completed now so time to reflect and share some of the artwork produced exclusively for their head office in Teddington.  Due to the nature of the on going work it was impossible to do more on both sites other than take photos and make notes, but as with most of my work a degree of imagination becomes an enormous asset in these circumstances.

The Savoy

Working from photos taken during site visits I produced oil on paper sketches and charcoal studies of each of the sites.

‘Ballroom’ Savoy study Lee Campbell

I was fortunate to be able to visit The Savoy just before the furniture was installed and to see the completed interior beautifully lit and this formed the basis for the completed 4′ x 4′ oil painting that resulted. Using details from the interior and gold figure who stands majestically above The Strand entrance, I designed a composition which I hoped would capture the sense of history and the unique mood created by the presence of so many notorious guests and staff. The variety of different styles proved a challenge – how to incorporate the elaborate decoration of the ballroom with the stylish deco chrome pillars and leopard skin patterned carpet with gothic glamour. I have, of course also included the mysterious ‘white lady’ who has been seen disappearing into walls as recently as last year by the security men.

Study for Savoy – Lee Campbell

I also included Kaspar the shiny black cat in the lower right hand corner  – the story goes that in 1898 a South African diamond magnate by the name of Woolf Joel was visiting London and held a banquet at the famous Savoy before returning home. At the last minute one of his guests had to cancel, leaving thirteen to sit at table, which one guest said was unlucky. After a successful dinner, Joel said his goodbyes and rose to leave; the same guest then said that the first person to leave would also be unlucky and would be the first to die. Joel was not superstitious and thought this remark very amusing — but a few weeks later he was shot dead in his Johannesburg office.

Kaspar

For some years after those events, anxious not to have a similar incident that could damage their reputation, the Savoy provided a member of the hotel staff to sit at tables of thirteen, to avoid the unlucky number, but that idea proved unpopular with guests wanting to talk about personal or private matters; so in 1926 a new solution was found. A British architect and sculptor called Basil Ionides was commissioned to design and carve a three-foot-high model of a black cat, which he produced from a single piece of London plane.

Kaspar in his display case at the Savoy Kaspar awaits a party of diners Named Kaspar, the cat now resides in his own display case in the entrance hall at the hotel, but whenever a party of thirteen requires an extra guest he is brought out to sit at table. He has a napkin tied around his neck and is served every course, just like any other guest. Winston Churchill became very fond of Kaspar, to the extent that he insisted the cat should be present at every meeting of The Other Club, a political dining club he had founded in 1911, and so Kaspar has been at all the fortnightly meetings — always held at the Savoy — since 1927.

During World War 2 Kaspar was catnapped by some mischievous Royal Air Force personnel and flown to Singapore, only to have Churchill himself demand its immediate return!

There are two theories as to the origin of the number thirteen being unlucky. One derives from Norse mythology, in which twelve Gods sat down to a banquet in Valhalla. The evil spirit Loki gate crashed the party as thirteenth member of the party and killed the Gods’ favourite, Balder. Thirteen also has significance to Christians, as there were thirteen people at the Last Supper, and the traitor Judas Iscariot was the thirteenth and last to arrive. As to why a cat — the animals have held an important role in mythology and superstition over the centuries, and black cats in particular are considered by many cultures to be lucky.

The refurbishment began in 2007 and over 1000 craftsmen, artists and builders had been involved in the £100 million re-fit. The whole neo-renaissance limestone facade had to be moved forward by hydraulics 0.75cm – a very complex feat of engineering. The original Edwardian style had previously been updated in the 1930s and these current sumptuous theatrical interior designs are by Pierre Yves Rochon. I was shown the sealed room No 878 where a murder had once been committed and told of the many famous guests who had graced this hotel with their presence; Monet and Whistler (a huge hero of mine) had both painted the splendid view of Thames from the hotels windows, Winston Churchill, The Beatles, Marylin Munro and Richard Harris. I was very gratful to my delightful guide Stuart Harvey, The  Project Manager, who explained that the company enforced strict rules about good behaviour and to facillitate this ran an education programme for the 800 strong workforce. A very impressive opperation.

The completed large oil painting took many months and had many transitions before reaching the final composition:

First study – Savoy – Lee Campbell

Second study -Savoy – Lee Campbell

The Savoy – oil on canvas 48″ x 48″ – Lee Campbell 2011

For additional information see:

Gilt trip: Refurbishing the Savoy hotel 8.10. 2010 – Thomas Lane

The refurbished Savoy hotel looks a million dollars – which is just as well because it cost more than £200m to do up. Happily nobody was to blame for the cost and time overruns – except possibly the owner’s insatiably lavish tastes- see images:
http://www.building.co.uk/buildings/gilt-trip-refurbishing-the-savoy-hotel/5006858.article

For a comprehensive history of the Savoy: Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savoy_Hotel

The Shard

Renzo Piano, the building’s architect, worked together with architectural firm Broadway Malyan during the planning stage of the project. Funder by Qatar the tower will stand 1,017 ft (310 m) tall and have 72 floors, plus 15 further radiator floors in the roof. The building has been designed with an irregular triangular shape from the base to the top. It will be clad entirely in glass. The viewing gallery and open-air observation deck will be on the top (72nd) floor.

Keiren Long of the Evening Standard  has written a piece examining the impact that the Shard will have on the area: http://the-shard.com/shard

Andy Bowden – crane operator has also written a piece about the experience of being at the top of his game://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/architecture/8314250/The-Shard-of-Glass-view-from-atop-the-tallest-skyscraper-in-Europe.html

When I first visited the site last year I wrote a blog about the experience of going up the side of the building to a considerable height in a wire cage and The Shard is now almost finished. In fact it is clearly visible from Richmond Park, the Thames at Hammersmith and probably from most of London. It is already truly magnificent! So what a challenge to complete a painting of an incomplete building. It seemed right to show the exposed core while simultaneously showing how the glass membrane will look. when completed on one side. Because the painting is being commissioned by the people building it, I also decided to use the main construction materials to represent the two Byrne brothers – one who specialises in steel and the other in concrete.

The textures that occur on the pillars of concrete are truly lovely and it seemed such a shame to render then with a smooth concrete over layer. The patterns on the raw steel are equally fascinating golden textures which occur as the metal oxidises.

Charcoal studies – The Shard – Lee Campbell

Oil study – Shard – Lee Campbell

Top Floor – oil study Shard – Lee CampbellGround Floor – Shard -Lee Campbell

Below – Shard oil study – Lee Campbell

The Shard oil on canvas 48″ x 48″ – Lee Campbell 2011

Finding a go

18
Jan
11

Battersea Peace Monk

Peace Pagoda - Lee Campbell

Peace Pagoda – Lee Campbell

Peace Pagoda – Battersea Park

Last weekend we were visited by Reverend Nagase the Buddhist Monk who is the guardian of the Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park. I first met him when he visited my shop on Ebury Bridge Road in 1998 and despite not speaking English very well his delight in art was obvious and we have been friends since then. He welcomes visitors and can be contacted on 0207 2289620.

The Rev. Nagase spends his day in Buddhist meditation, ‘other works’ and in maintaining the pagoda, a job not made easy by the fact that people climb up it and make a mess on the second floor, an area forbidden to the public. He relies on donations to live and is grateful to the bread he gets from a local Caribbean bakery and vegetables from a Chinese vegetable shop. Any help is welcome, not least with his heartfelt pleas for assistance in cleaning the pagoda.

The idea of Battersea Park being home to one of Japan’s foremost Buddhist sects may strike the casual visitor as incongruous – to say the least. But to early morning joggers and dog-walkers it will not be a surprise. A saffron-robe clad Buddhist monk, gently beating a drum as he does a daily perambulation at sunrise from his temple to the Peace Pagoda, is a familiar sight.

The Reverend Gyoro Nagase first arrived in England in 1978 from Aichi prefecture, near Nagoya, in Japan, to assist in the construction of the first Peace Pagoda in the UK in Milton Keynes. In 1984 he moved to London, as part of a team of 50 volunteers and Buddhist monks and nuns of the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order, to construct the Peace Pagoda in the park, which was completed the following year. They were living in what is now the Children’s Zoo but, as the site was expanded, the Buddhist order was offered a storeroom, in the trees near the Old English Garden, by Wandsworth Council, on the understanding they carried out all renovations and the conversion into a temple. Gratefully the offer was accepted, the work was carried out by volunteers and today, with just one remaining monk, that temple has developed into a successful centre for the sect, attracting Buddhist followers from not just London and Japan, but also people from China, Sri Lanka, India, Burma and Taiwan who are now living in the UK.

The Peace Pagoda stands about 33.5m high, and is made of concrete and wood. It has four large gilded statues of the Buddha, one facing North, one facing South, one facing East and one facing West. A small temple has also been built nearby, with just one monk of the Nipponzan Myohoji order as permanent resident. The monk currently occupying this position is Rev Gyoro Nagase, who came to England in 1978 from Aichi prefecture in Japan. Each morning at sunrise Rev Nagase makes the short journey from the temple to the pagoda, beating his drum and chanting the Daimoku. He spends his day in Buddhist meditation and maintaining the pagoda, among other tasks. Rev Nagase is a regular participant in the annual London Peace Pilgrimage, organised by Westminster Interfaith, under the auspices of the Catholic Church.

Gathering Battersea Park

Each year in June a ceremony for peace is held at the Peace Pagoda. Monks and nuns of the Nipponzan Myohoji sangha are joined by monks and nuns from other Buddhist traditions, in chanting and offering prayers in front of a temporary shrine set up in the environs of the pagoda. Representatives of other faiths and of secular peaceseeking organisations also offer prayers for peace. The ceremony finishes with traditional dances from India and Sri Lanka, and music of various kinds.

Peace Pagoda, Battersea Park

Nasty Scam – Artists Beware

This scam is currently targeting artists and people selling goods on line and from web sites.

It was quite a convoluted scam that took place over 5 weeks from the initial contact from a chap in Denmark asking about the artwork on my web site. This is quite normal  I get a lot of genuine enquiries, and after many e mails he finally selected paintings to the value of £6,000 and said he was also buying some furniture from Manchester and asked if the paintings could be transported there.

He then sent a cheque despite being asked to use Pay Pal or BACs transfer but alarm bells rang when I saw it was a UK company cheque – with someone else’s name.
Then he requested that I send him £2000 to cover transport – by Western Union – and this is where he came unstuck as I’d not agreed to pay for that.
I notified the bank and despite the cheque clearing initially it proved eventually to be stolen.   Easy come  – easy go!   It seems that this scam is being used worldwide and they are particularly targeting artists at the moment.  Such a waste of time but good lesson.

Points to look out for:

The amount offered not same as price of goods

Offer to send cheque only – they are stolen and will bounce

Poor English that becomes increasingly worse

Requests for money

Please pass this on

07
Jul
10

Shrubs with Attitude – Clanfield to Chester

At last – a holiday! Short but very sweet. Started with a visit to my cousins who run Silver Pear Weddings at historic Friars Court, Clanfield.  Seriously old building:


The first recording of buildings on the site of Friars Court dates back to 1142 and the establishment of the first ‘Hospitaller’ in Oxfordshire by the charitable, religious order of the Knights Templar Order of St. John of Jerusalem. An ‘Hospitaller’ was a place of rest for travellers and from it are believed to derive the words ‘hospital’ and ‘hostel’.

In a chronicle of 1338, Friars Court is mentioned as being “… a small house with gardens, dovecote and adjacent crofts worth 30s a year”. This accommodated the preceptor (the only serving brother), a chaplain, a steward, two servants and three pensioners.  A few years later after the building of a bridge over the River Thames at nearby Radcot (now the oldest surviving crossing to remain standing), the increase in passing traffic must have had a strong influence in making Friars Court a more important stopping point.

By the middle of the 15th century the “small house” had become a stone-built hall with a ‘great chamber’; a separate kitchen, with an adjoining building; latrines to the east; a bake-house and a stone-built chapel with a walled garden to the north.

The house remained under auspices of the Order of St John until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s after which it became a private residence. From 1558 until the turn of the 19th century Friars Court had a varied succession of owners, often joint owners, most of whom let the house and land to tenants. During this period the most significant change to the house, before the alterations of the 19th century, was the addition of an attic storey and the remodelling of the façade in the 1650s.

We stayed in the sumptuous ‘Brides Room’ which is apparently haunted and overlooks the water meadow where I joined a family of  coots for a spot of morning yoga beside their water lily pond.

Later, a lovely summers evening walk along the upper reaches of the Thames to Radcot Lock as the sun was setting – took loads of reference photos including these amazing ‘hedge faces’ – perfect reflections of the hazy Oxfordshire sunset with swans, reeds and wildflowers as we made our way past the cows and wheat fields to the local pub.

On to Symonds Yat (Yat means gate in Welsh I think) on the Wye where we visited the red stone Goodrich Castle that we could see from our hotel window. Later with rain threatening we climbed up to the lookout for spectacular views down the valley and made it down to the pub just as the heavens opened.

Next day we took the tiny roads across beautiful Herefordshire countryside to Hay on Wye, up to Ludlow for lunch (renown as being a town to delight gourmets) then Shropshire and on to Meole Brace Hall in Shrewsbury – a historic house full of exquisite antiques and artwork tucked away next to a church. I’d never been to this part of England before and was delighted to discover what an interesting town Shrewsbury was. Our host was the charming Charles Hathaway who directed us to a hidden walking route into the town and made us an excellent breakfast next morning. Just wonderful!

Then on to the Cheshire border to visit Welsh relatives Alan and  Joy Parry who took us on a grand tour of Chester, up the Moelfamau Hill,  then to The Wirrel for ice creams on the edge of a sea of grass, complete with gulls and holiday makers at Parkgate where water had once been.

Alan spent his working life at Shotton steelworks on Deeside.  The plant opened gradually in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was huge concern employing thousands by the time of World War One.  Nationalised in 1967, by 1979 the plant and the whole industry was struggling under the pressure of foreign competition and industrial unrest. In 1980, British Steel took the decision to close the furnaces at the plant, making 6,500 workers redundant and leaving only the finishing operations such as rolling and plating.  However, Alan worked down the line from the furnaces in logistics where he pioneered the use of computer systems to track the loads of metal travelling through the plant.  Shotton was ahead of the times in this way, having first installed a computer system in 1976.  Alan retired in the 1990s and Shotton is now a much smaller private concern owned by Corus.

Home on Monday and a production team from ITV arrived in my studio to film someone buying one of my paintings for a programme with Lawrence Llewlyn Bowen – House Gift. Sadly she only had a limited budget but it will be great to see the studio on tv.

‘Pulse’ oil on panel -Lee Campbell

That evening was also the Bridgeman Art Library’s annual summer garden party at the Chelsea Art Club – very exclusive, no mobile phones allowed and just great to meet all the people who help sell the rights to my images which are held in the library.  Always a thrill to see a long lost painting appear on a book or CD cover. Lots of well know artists there and I also spotted Antonio Carluccio – whom I usually associate with networking breakfasts.

Pearls & Bubbles – Lee Campbell

Above is the large 6′ x 4′ commission that I’ve completed for Joseph’s Hairdressing Salon in St Margarets. So many bubbles! I did get a bit carried away but they were such fun to do. Pearls and bubbles a theme in keeping with the previous ‘Orb’ series and the bubble paintings that I did at the NPL last year.

A very big THANK YOU to all who braved a hot sticky night at the Portland Gallery on Richmond Hill last night- the show continues till 26th August – contact gallery for opening times Tel: 0208332 1200

01
May
10

Blasted slag and Dr Feelgood at London Bridge

Q. What grows at 3m per day and has roots 50m deep?
A. The Shard – destined to be 72 floors high it will be the tallest building in Europe when completed in 2012.

This magnificent building designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano had already climbed to 21 storeys high when I was invited on a site visit with the architect Cathy Stewart by Michelle Tilley of Byrne Bros who has commissioned me to design and produce artwork for the foyer of the Byrne Group who are the concrete sub contractors who are building the core structure.

 

What an amazing experience it proved to be – after penetrating the tight security we were kitted up with glasses, gloves, boots and high vis. jackets by Rob Moore who gave us an in-depth tour of the site. Rob shared my love of rock music and had been the tour manager of Dr. Feelgood when they had played Melbourne where – by coincidence – I had seen them play in the 1970’s – people have such multi-faceted interesting lives these days. Quite bizarre to be discussing this in a wire cage as we were pulled the side of the building, past the crane driver reading his paper, to the 21st floor with London sprawling  below on a glorious sunny spring day.

With the 2 Robs

The tour started with the 3 levels of basements we clambered down the narrow stairs into a noisy hive of activity and witnessed the rendering of the huge pillars of concrete textured with spirals and ridges (like ancient Romanesque) by the earth and clay walls of the bore holes that the concrete was forced into.

The scene was reminiscent of a Piranesi drawing – with activity deep below and high above, glimpses of glowing welding sparks, gigantic metal tubes, sheets of metal – some steely grey others golden with corrosion. It is the sheer scale of everything reminiscent of the lair of one of James Bond’s villains and the noise of all the activity – felt quite  relieved when it was time to return to ground level and ascend.

There had been an enormous ‘pour’ the previous week which had been organised along the lines of an army manoeuvre: over a gruelling 36-hour operation, 700 truckloads of concrete were deposited at the London Bridge site. The 5,500m3 single concrete pour ranks among the largest ever undertaken on a building in the capital, with trucks arriving on site at 2 min intervals from Battersea and Greenwich it marked the first major milestone in the construction.

This culmination of the building’s groundworks package has created the huge raft foundation that will support the tower. The build is a ‘top-down’ construction which involves casting the ground floor slab and excavating the ground below while work on the superstructure above continues.  Fascinating process with concerns for safety due to the busy location and the heat generated as concrete cures. A ‘secret formula’ was used and described by Don Houston (the snr. project manager of Byrne Bros, ground granulated blast furnace slag to replace 75% of the cement. Plasticisers and retardants are also added to increase the flow.    At last  – the language of artists! Which reminds me why I am there… my brief is to complete 2 pieces – one about the Shard and the other based on the Savoy Hotel re-fit which Byrne Bros. are also working on. I am off to visit the Savoy next week and can’t wait to see how things are looking there – what a contrast to a spanking new build where, as Renzo Piano so beautifully put it – one is ‘taking from the city – the air – but you give back the land.  He is referring to the angle of the design which allows the sky to continually reflected down to the street.

Following the visit Cathy and I crossed Borough High St to the café in Southwark Cathedral where I was astounded how similar the oldest part of the walls were to the most recent parts of the Shard. I have so many images, sounds and ideas buzzing around in my head, can’t wait to begin.

Who says concrete ain’t sexy!

20
Mar
10

Elton plays Patriotic Piano

Lee & piano

Lee & piano

Busy couple of weeks getting the dear old piano up and running again for her re-launch in the Plaza on Oxford St. Meeting up with my old friend John – the piano puner and John Ellis (aka Elton John) who did his tribute act bringing the mall to life last Wednesday. The piano had been languishing in the basement of the arcade since last summer and has finally been re-assembled, cleaned and had the paint work re-touched ready to go to a new home which will be decided by popular vote. The choices are between Nordoff Robbins, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and The Brit Trust.

What a delight to see the piano being played with such gusto and attracting lunch-time crowds – many taking photos – wonder how many will end up on Youtube etc?

More lunch time ‘tributes’ will take place Weds 17th (Sinatra) and Weds 31st March (Stevie Wonder).

There has been more international exposure in an Istanbul Art Gallery who saw my work at the Florence Biennale and I am delighted to allow them to represent me. They are able to accept the paintings unstretched which makes transport so much easier for me and means I can re-use the stretchers.