During September and October 2012, the contemporary hotel will host six upcoming visual arts students from both the London and Birmingham branches of The Independent Art School who will create works within the design-led four-star hotel, conveniently located near Victoria Station in London.
Art students Emmie Carson, Monica Chrysostomou, Mandy Eugeniou, Graham Litchfield, Olga Skavysh and Helen Wilson have been selected for the programme after submitting excellent artistic proposals to the hotel. Their concepts range from capturing the jubilance of London in 2012 to illustrating the iconic significance of London’s Pearly Kings and Queens with the help of a volunteer Pearly.
The group will be crafting their artworks in the lobby, bar and other public areas of the hotel, in sight of the guests and visitors – a first for both the artists and hotel guests. The finished works will be displayed throughout the property.
“We’re dedicated supporters of upcoming artists and we’re very happy to be able to give students from The Independent Art School a busy and thriving space to practice their art making. Our contemporary art and floral displays are two of our most commented-upon interior features and we’re excited to add to these by showcasing locally-created artworks within the hotel”, said Ramesh Costa, General Manager of Park Plaza Victoria.
“On average we have approximately 2,100 guests staying at the hotel and there’s always plenty of foot traffic throughout the day, with visitors and business-people popping in for meetings and meals. We hope the programme will be a platform that helps these aspiring professional artists to build their careers, and for some it will be the first opportunity they’ve had to exhibit their works”, he continued.
Artist Profiles Emmie Carson // Residency: 3-5 September Emmie Carson has spent the last two months studying privately with The Independent Art School, returning to the classroom as a student after years spent teaching art at a primary and secondary level. Drawing inspiration from artists such as David Hockney and from the stunning natural landscapes in Scotland and around her home in Dorset, Emmie’s work predominantly focuses on landscapes. Emmie has been creating art seriously since the age of fifteen and hopes that on completion of her course with the school, she will once again be able to pursue a career in teaching art while also focusing on her studio work. Emmie works mostly in oils but has recently branched out to acrylics, allowing her to work faster and more freely.
Artist-in-residence proposal For her residency piece, Emmie will be creating one of her landscape pieces on canvas in oil. She will use a combination of photographs and preliminary sketches to guide her piece.
Mandy Eugeniou // Residency: 26-27 September, 29-30 September A lifelong artist, Mandy has spent the last decade focusing on incorporating performance and creative writing into her work. She has been studying in London at The Independent Art School for the past year and enjoys working with various mediums such as acrylics, oils and charcoal whilst listening to the likes of Pink Floyd and Muse. Drawing from life experiences as the impetus for her art, Mandy also works as a consultant framer and is constantly inspired by the transformative qualities of presentation when it comes to artwork.
Artist-in-residence proposal Mandy is fascinated by the connection between the public reception of art and the private act of creating it, and will explore this link through the creation of her piece for the Victoria Plaza which will be inspired by her surroundings and the people within the hotel. Mandy plans to work with the mediums of paint and print to create a large artwork – either a duet or triptych – all related and connected as one final piece.
Olga Skavysh // Residency: 4-5 October, 6-7 October Olga Skavysh moved to London from her native Estonia to study at The Independent Art School just over a year ago. A fitness trainer by day, Olga found her passion for art at the age of seven, studied design at university and hopes to incorporate art into her long-term lifestyle. While her strengths lie in painting and sculpture, Olga has recently explored working with acrylic, recycling collage, pen and pencil. When working on her pieces Olga occasionally enjoys the odd glass of pinot grigio and piece of dark chocolate to keep her going. Olga finds inspiration for her art from everyday life, nature and history.
Artist-in-residence proposal For her residency piece, Olga will use a number of mediums such as acrylic, oil, and collage to explore the notion of the beauty of the English rose, history up to the present day, and Victorian style. She aims to create something that is more than just a pretty picture.
Helen Wilson // Residency: 14-16 October Helen Wilson has spent the last 18 months studying at The Independent Art School in Birmingham whilst simultaneously teaching at the establishment. Helen has previously worked as a graphic artist and illustrator but now aims to complete a teaching qualification in order to become a full time art teacher so she can cement her career and life path within art. Helen loves to work with mixed mediums, water colours, gouache, and pastels, and occasionally uses photography to work up her initial ideas. Based in Warwickshire between the bustle of Birmingham and the calm of the countryside, Helen hopes to be living on a narrow boat within the next year so that she can teach anywhere and take her art with her.
Artist-in-residence proposal For her residency piece, Helen will be creating a multimedia portrait of one of London’s iconic Pearly Kings or Queens. As well as creating her portrait, Helen hopes to create a spectacle by holding a live drawing session with a Pearly volunteer at the Victoria Plaza to develop a series of sketches.
Graham Litchfield // Residency: 18-20 October Currently half-way through a foundation course in art and design at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Graham gained the confidence to break away from his engineering background as a draughtsman and hang up his ‘technical pencil’ to pursue his love of painting and visual arts. Hoping to complete a degree in fine art once his foundation course is complete, Graham enjoys working in a number of mediums such as soft pastels in his portrait work and acrylic.
Artist-in-residence proposal Graham has chosen to use acrylic paints to create his abstract painting of London to hang on the walls of the Victoria Plaza for his first ever exhibit. He hopes to be able to capture the vivacious and vibrant nature of the city, as well as the celebratory atmosphere surrounding recent events such as the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and the London Olympic Games.
Monica Chrysostomou // Residency: 26-27 October, 31 October-1 November Monica Chrysostomou has been a tutor at The Independent Art School for 18 months, teaching students on a one-to-one basis while running life-drawing and painting classes. Art-making has been a major part of Monica’s life from a young age. She enjoys listening to classical music to get into ‘the zone’ while she creates pieces using mediums such as charcoal, oils, acrylic and photography. Monica also draws on her 18 years of graphic design experience to create bespoke typographic-influenced silver jewellery.
Artist-in-residence proposal Monica is basing her residency pieces on the semi-precious stone ‘Picasso Jasper’ – the properties of which are supposed to increase energy and remind us to ‘celebrate life’. Monica will be creating two pieces during the residency - an abstract painting based on the colours of the ‘Picasso Jasper’ stone and a simple necklace made with the stone so that part of her work can be worn on a ‘living canvas’. Her philosophy behind her work is that all areas of art develop from the corner stones of creative thinking and the concept will highlight contrary themes – natural vs. man-made, hotel environment vs. outside, rest vs. living in the moment.