Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last news of 2010

Mark Lutyens:

Inter-studio collaboration

We are proud to present a beautiful collaboration made possible under the single roof of Great Western Studios. Designers, craftsmen and artists from within the building joined forces in a concept lead by Mark Lutyens Associates.

For several years, landscape designers Mark Lutyens and Catherine FitzGerald (Studio 111) have been working on a significant project in Wiltshire. They are creating new gardens around an early 18th century Grade 1 house, which was a near ruin, and is now being extensively restored.

Whilst already collaborating with the Olivia Musgrave (Studio 59) who has been commissioned to make a large sculptural piece for the centre of a formal pool, they are now working with Martha Freud, Sid Dawe and Danny Wootton (Studio 9) who are designing and installing a fantastical black pergola made from the gnarled timbers cut from the stag-head tops of the park's many ancient oak trees.

"Making gardens is all about putting a team together and then working together in a coordinated way" says Mark, "With most other projects, meetings are generally on site, invariably in the wind and rain. With this job we can pop in each other's studios or have a coffee in Steve's cafe. Although these particular clients have only visited us once here at Great Western Studios - and that was before the building was finished - they really liked it, not just the kaleidoscope of colour and ideas that hits you when you walk in but they could appreciate the benefits of having us all under one roof. I hope we do more of this in future"

Mark is very keen on nurturing this type of collaborations which can present a great benefit to both artists in the building and clients.

Honest Entertainment

It’s been party time for Honest Entertainment. In fact, it always is.

Relatively new in our building, Honest are ‘vibe engineers’. They create & design unforgettable environments producing media stunts, product launches, award ceremonies, festivals & sumptuous private parties.

Last few months in the Honest life have been incredibly busy; and rightly so because they had produced some pretty prestigious events: MTV Music Awards or London Fashion Awards to name a couple. And as Christmas are coming celebrities call professional party-makers for help too. Damien Hirst’s and Richard Branson’s private parties or a bash for the De Beers were some of the A-list Xmas parties that Honest vibed-up.


Moxon Architects have won an international design competition to find ‘The Ultimate Drinking Fountain’ for London's eight Royal Parks. The standards were very high and the nine strong judging panel has selected the ‘Trumpet’, the design by Moxon, to be one of the two winners chosen from over 150 entries from 26 countries.

The winning designs were judged on aesthetics, robustness for life in a public park, ease of maintenance and installation, sustainability and environmental impact and affordability. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson launched the competition earlier this year and spoke highly of the project: “I am impressed by the high calibre of designs and delighted that two London designers have emerged winners, from very strong competition across the globe.”

The designs will now be produced as full-size mock-ups. The first working units will be in place in the Royal Parks next year. They could potentially be replicated not only in the Royal Parks, but in other Parks across the UK and worldwide.

The competition is one element of a partnership between the Royal Parks Foundation, the charity for London’s eight Royal Parks and the Tiffany & Co. Foundation. The £1million fountain restoration project called ‘Tiffany - Across the Water’ aims to restore the Royal Parks' historic drinking fountains and to install new ones where old ones are beyond repair.


Not only the studio holders but also the GWS office has been very busy. Not only with the Open Studios but also trying to accommodate the needs of all the vast amount of people who would like to get a studio in the wonderful hub that GWS is. Here are some of our hot newcomers.

Jimmy Turrell

Many have surely noticed that at a certain point of passing through the atrium a splash of colours hits one’s eye. Yes, the neon sign, the snowboard and the posters are all work of illustrator and graphic artist Jimmy Turrell.

He studied at Liverpool School of Art and then at Central St Martin’s and in his work he combines a love of handmade collage, drawing, screenprinting and painting alongside digital mark making.

His clients to date include NIke, Channel 4, Saatchi and Saatchi, MTV, The New York Times, Universal Records, Dazed & Confused, The Wired, TheProdigy and many many more.

More at

Afroditi Krassa

Another Central St Martins College of Art – as well as Royal College of Art – graduate, she worked at some of the world’s largest consultancies, designing strategies and products for international brands, such as Nokia, Jaguar and Casio.

She was the first ever female designer to be employed by the design super-duo SeymourPowell. At the age of 23, her redesign of the humble brassiere was televised by Channel 4 and sold more than 2M units in a year.

In 2002, Afroditi decided to go it alone and founded Afroditikrassa Ltd. The young designer’s work was immediately picked up by leading furniture and retail brands.

In 2004, she met Julian Metcalfe, one of London’s most innovative entrepreneurs, who invited her to conceive his new “baby” brand. Working obsessively for two months, she came back with a masterplan for Itsu - the beloved-by-londonders low fat food company that grew into a hugely successful chain of 25 stores in London and NYC in less than 5 years.

As well as branding and design of leading restaurant, office and retail establishments around the world, she has done collaborations with prestigious producers such as lighting for Ligne Roset and Innermost, furniture for E&Y and Bonaldo, packaging for Pret A Manger and WMF and products for British American Tobacco and Phillip Morris.

Constantly restless, Afroditi is currently working on the world’s first energy generating outdoor furniture range for a major European manufacturer.

More at

Studio Fernando Gutierrez

This acclaimed graphic design studio started when, in 2006, Fernando Gutierrez left Pentagram London where he was a partner – and established a studio of his own.

He’s probably most recognized for his work with Spanish National newspaper El Pais and Benetton’s Colors magazine. Also, his work for Argentinean publisher Losada has received wide acclaim (like the one he did in collaboration with Marion Deuchars, for instance).

Melissa Hunt feat. Tommy Penton

Big Tree-Jewllery – collaboration between jeweller Melissa Hunt and designer/illustrator Tommy Penton – gets picked up by The Magma Product shop for the Xmas rush.

It comprises a range of nine individually hand pierced silver charms presented in a countryside scene. The range of the gems, designed by Melissa Hunt, consists of nine separate creatures that are set in an illustrated tree and meadow meticulously drawn by Tommy Penton. A versatile fastener enables the pieces to be worn as a necklace, bracelet, dog tag or button-hole.

The sets are available at:

16 Earlham Street,

Covent Garden,

London, WC2H 9LNT; +44 (0)20 7240 7571

More at:



Karen Hobbs

Getting On is Back and Karen Hobbs from studio 43 is once again the Costume Designer. The series two is now on BBC 4 and BBC iplayer.

Reviewed here.

She was also the Costume Designer for Glitterbug Events at The Royal Fesival Hall on Bellowhedonism, the New Years Eve circus-themed party. Only just managing to keep her feet on the ground, whilst inflating some massive helium balloons, she managed to dodge lions, elephants and a giant cannon before decorating the silent disco .... with yet more balloons. And while having rattled around GWS when everyone was away for the Christmas break, she also came up with a Clown, Burlesque and Victorian dressing up box for the eleven piece party band Bellowhead. The results and their splendid rendition of Baggy Trousers can be seen on YouTube !

Jo Ratcliffe

It has definitely been a busy year for Jo Ratcliffe with numerous exciting commissions added to her portfolio.

Earlier on this year she worked with Capitol and Katy Perry doing all of the artwork for her releases, art directing and creating a new logo for her.

Later on contributed to the Visionaire 59 Fairytale that brought together many of today’s top contemporary artists and photographers to create a collection of books for children. Packaged in the form of an old-fashion-style book strap, this issue ranges in themes from the delightful to the philosophical. The proceeds of a portion of the issues will fund need-based scholarships to Blue School, a not-for-profit elementary school in New York City with an academic curriculum focused on creative learning. Jo’s illustrations accompany the text by Stéphanie Cohen Chaptan. Other contributors include Karen Kilimnik with story by Kirsten Dunst; Ugo Rondinone with musician/writer John Giorno; painter Richard Phillips with “Gossip Girl” writer Cecily von Ziegesar; musician/singer Björk and Sjón with artist Gabríela Fridriksdóttir.

The December’s Vogue is a ‘Star’ issue and stars and sparkles indeed shine from its pages with whirls curling throughout the magazine. This typography was one of Jo’s latest commissions.

And at last, if you happen to shop in H&M this Xmas, notice the new range of holiday gift packaging and the window designs that were created by Jo.

More at Jo's website

Sophie Mollins

In November Sophie Mollins has taken part in two exhibitions. ING Discerning Eye Exhibition at the Mall galleries and the Psychometry exhibition at the Core Gallery. It was an exhibition of works by 12 contemporary artists that channel and manifest the intangible and invisible through their work. It took its title from a practice employed by psychics and mediums whereby past events and personal histories are divined through physical contact with an object. Psychometry included photography, video, installation, sculpture and previously unseen work and considers the parallel between the artistic and psychometric practitioner.

More at Core Gallery

Joy Richardson’s latest exhibition War & Peace, Boys & Girls: Paintings and drawings is on display at the Green Room, National Theatre in South Bank until the 7th of January.

A piece on Liza Campbell appeared in the Lady magazine’s November issue (23/11).

Bicycle Library

The routemaster you may know as the Bicycle library is getting more and more animated. They are now officially open and you can borrow some pretty spectacular bikes from them. Please, check the blog or the website in the new year for more information on opening times, events, etc.

Open Studios

We would like to thank you all again for participating in the Open Studios, it was lovely and we hope you enjoyed it.

Please, give us a little while and then come back to check the pictures on the Great Western Studios website.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

October News

Painter Estelle Thompson has been asked to participate in Richard Bevan's new project 'A is not equal to A' at the Quare space in East London. The show is a part of an anti-project called He invited a dozen artists to take picture of his show what the show consists of has not been disclosed. All the artists have a relationship to the work that will be shown and/or to the process of it being photographed. A selection of the images they take will be shown as an anti-show - at Quare between the 11th and 17th of October.

A' is not equal to 'A'

Richard Bevan


12th - 17th October (12 - 6pm and by appointment)

Opening Monday 11th 6 - 9pm

Featuring photographs by

Danjie Hu

Estelle Thompson

Faith Edwards

Gary Bevan

Hiromi Kawasaki

Ian Whittlesea

JT Lowen

Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq

Pernille Leggat Ramfelt

Rebecca Birch

Sean Edwards

Sophie Michael

Tamsin Clark

William West


21 Folgate Street


E1 6BX

Costume Boutique, the truly boutique costume hire service, were invited once again to take part in Covent Garden's annual Fashion Fete which occurs in conjunction with London Fashion Week. It is a tongue-in-cheek version of a typical village fete, featuring activities such as Hunter Welly Wanging. This year's theme was modern-retro with an 80’s twist. Costume Boutique provided a dressing up area and style guidance for people to transform themselves into 80s icons. These lovely girls won the Most Stylishly 80s Award!

Tamar Zaig, costume designer and the artist behind Costume Boutique, has also recently worked as Costume Designer on the new commercial for Dell now being shown on Channel 4.

Sophie Mollins has a web based interactive piece, as part of the Brighton Photography Fringe. Please visit

Sarah Neale, Laura Jacobs and Natalie Loher all have pieces included in The Westminster Open Exhibition. The exhibition is taking place at the SW1 gallery in Victoria and runs from 2nd to the 22nd October.

Sarah Neale

Laura Jacobs

Natalie Loher

Moxon Architects have been shortlisted for a competition to design a kiosk for Meridian Square , Stratford, during and after the Olympics in 2012. This competition has been reviewed in the latest Architects Journal magazine.

Alex Uxbridge has work in the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea Park, on Nicholas Bowlby's stand. the fair runs from the 21st - 24th October.

BA5H have created an image which is being used as the banner of the website for the Wooster Collective. The Wooster Collective run a leading American street art website.

Positive Design Works have a new look website. Phil from Positive would welcome any feedback on the website which he made using Wordpress. To have a look visit

Great news for former Great Westerner Justin Hibbs, who has been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September News

20th - 26th September Great Western Studios will take part in the London Design Festival for the first time - presenting the work of fifteen designers and design collectives throughout the building. The exhibition includes work by Ana Thompson & Tom Higgs, Bethan Wood, Creative [SIN]ergy, Edward Cotterill, Emilie Voirin, Gareth Neal, Jody Leach, Joe Earley, Martha Freud, Mike Moran, Naomi McIntosh, Tamasine Osher, Ulrika Jarl and Venice 2132 and will cover the various design disciplines: furniture to jewellery, ceramics to lighting, as well as looking into the wider subject of city-wide design and architecture.

We are also collaborating with Tom Dixon's Shop and The Dock, to create a London Design Festival canal-side trail between the two venues.

The private view of Liza Campbell's The Dark Boxes on Tuesday evening was a resounding success. Some of London's cultural and social elite were here to see Liza's naughty lego which will be exhibited in the project space at GWS until tomorrow Friday so please hurry if you haven't seen it yet. See below for review from the Evening Standard.

Melissa Hunt will be launching a new collection of jewellery at Origin this year. Using textures, patterns and her own photographs Melissa photo-etches, rollerprints and hand pierces the images on to precious metals to produce wearable pictures. You can visit her on stand G15 23rd - 28th September at Old Spitalfields Market.

Last week Totality UK won "Most Effective Marketing Campaign" of the year at the 2010 Affordable Home Ownership Awards. The campaign was created on behalf of the Hyde Group, who are a major UK housing association leading the regeneration of Bermondsey Spa in South London. The advertising which ran in the latter part of last year in the London Evening Standard and Metro amongst other, promoted the shared ownership apartments for sale.

Martha Freud is launching her collection of lighting and furniture 'Focus' at the Hospital Club in Convent Garden as part of London Design Festival. Pieces are viewable in the lobby at the Hospital Club from 22ns September until mid October.

Darren Almond's exhibition at White Cube's Mason's Yard is on until 2nd October for those of you who hasn't seen it yet.

Costume Boutique will once again be particitpatin in the Covent Garden Fashion Fete this weekend. It's an 80's theme this year and Tamar Zaig will be dressing people up as their favourite 80's icons.

New to GWS, leather bag and accessories designer Nivaldo de Lima is getting ready to reveal their new studio. While they've been setting up we've been able to read about the fabulous bags in Wallpaper* August issue.

Our friendly neighbourhood digital design studio, We Are Float, launched a couple of websites this month including (their very own company website) and Sargent-Disc are a premier supplier of production and accounting services to the UK movie industry. They now have a brand new website courtesy of Float Pictures.

One of Heather Wallace's pieces could be seen on the Business & Finance pages of Metro on 9th September. The painting Footsie One Hundred, shows bankers and their partners dancing freely while their hands and feet bleed. Heather's take on the financial crisis can be seen among 100 pieces in the London Lives exhibition a the Bankside Gallery.

Charlie Barton is exhibiting in a group show at One Alfred Place curated by Lisa Sharpe. The show runs until 22nd December by appointment only.


Karen Hobbs is currently working alongside PAC, formerly The Post Adoption Centre, to develop her Costume Art Project on Attachment. Attachment disorders can develop as a result of neglect or trauma in early life and can have a lasting impact on babies, children, teenagers and adults. Karen will exhibit her work at PAC to launch their new therapy rooms in November.

Cristina Rodriguez is exhibiting at the Butler Goode Gallery in Sydney, Australia and Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York during October.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August News

Great Western Studios are very exited to be signed up for London Design Festival, 20th-26th September. Linked with Tom Dixon and the Portobello Dock we will host design talks, showcases of new products and designs by internal and external exhibitors and studios open to the public. Please write to office@greatwesternstudios for more information or if you'd like to exhibit or create an event for the week.

Tommy Penton Sketches Franz West at the MOMA is currently exhibiting in the Project Space, Great Western Studios. The work was done at the Sculpture Gardens at MOMA, New York and is printed over 25 panels, stretching the full length of three walls. The fast fluid sketch work was an exercise in drawing - without questioning what was being drawn. The show will run until 10th September, with a private view 2nd September. The Project Space is open to the public weekdays 9.30am to 6pm.

The next exhibition in the Project Space will be Liza Campbell's Dark Boxes. These dioramas contain small figures and each tell a story in a single line of text, creating small worlds that are dark, funny and wistful. The exhibition runs from 15th September to 6th October, open to the public weekdays between 9.30am and 6pm.

A visit to Tempo restaurant and bar on Curzon Street, Mayfair, is well worth a visit, not only because of its delicious food but also as it's recently been designed and refurbished under the careful eye of interior designer Daniel Hopwood. The restaurant has been owned by the same Italian family for over fifty years. The main restaurant has been designed to have a feel of a traditional trattoria, simple with the use of bright turquoise chairs and soft sienna coloured walls, lit with vintage lighting. Upstairs is a private dining room which is rather plush and more English and the bar where Dan's team discovered the original rococo paneling and which was restored.

Darren Almond is exhibiting at White Cube Mason's Yard from 3rd September to 2nd of October. The exhibition brings together the themes; notion of time, landscape and travel as well as political and historical memory in two bodies of work: a series of time-lapse photographs taken in the Faroe Islands, between the coast of Norway and Iceland, and a film installation shot in Siberia, at the extreme edge of the northern hemisphere. The title of the exhibition, The Principle of Moments, refers to a moment of balance between emotion and concept; moments being a term used in physics to express a force that rotates an object about an axis.

Kathrine Campbell Pedersen has had a busy summer. She's been in two different exhibitions, Art at Mind at the Brick Lane Gallery, and she also took part in the Notting Hill Visual Art Festival exhibiting at both the Tabernacle Gallery and Gallery 118. Her brand new piece, United Jack, is a quadtych based on the Union Jack, but incorporates a multitude of colours, shapes and angles to depict a nation flavoured by multicultural diversity, which encourages a sense of pride for Britishness.

Mole Browne is holding classes in Verre églomisé, gilding on glass, in September and October. The classes will take place at Reyntiens Glass Studio, N1, and the students will produce their own panel and gilded pieces to take home following the workshop. To sign up for the workshop, please contact John Reyntiens, or 0207 729 8718.

Elvan Erdin has been invited to take part in the second Canakkale Biennial in northwest Turkey under the conceptual framework of “Kurgusal Gerçekler, Dönüşümler,” or “Fictional Realities, Transformations.” The biennial will showcase works of art by 70 contemporary artists and art groups from around the world. Elvan will also be showing her work as part of The Koridor Contemporary Art Program, the largest art fair in Istanbul, at the end of October.

Karen Hobbs is the costume designer for Series One of Getting On, which started Thursday 5th August 10pm on BBC 2, with great reviews from both The Guardian and The Times. Written by and starring Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan, and directed by Peter Capaldi, it is a pitch-black hospital comedy emerging from the mire of the mundanity, bureaucracy and absurdity of health care with warmth, wit and laughter. If you missed the first episodes they are still available on iPlayer here.

Keep an eye out for BA5H artwork as you walk around the city. BA5H as been giving some of his work away by sticking it on the streets, pavements and walls of London.

Hand bag designer Love Nicole Fahrendorf has launched a new website where you can find fabulous hand bags for all evenings.