A heads up for those who love decor, food and art! Next week there’s a dinner and panel talk with Ben Eine and Pure Evil as they celebrate creating new artworks at Artist Residence Brighton.
Big in the art world, Ben Eine’s work is prolific across London. He’s worked with Banksy, exhibited internationally and David Cameron famously gifted one of his works to Barack Obama. Pure Evil has exhibited worldwide and counts local musician Nick Cave as a collector of his work.
Through my work with artrepublic gallery, I got access to the rooms and had a cheeky sneak peak! Keep reading to see for yourself.
First let me tell you a bit about the hotel…
Artist Residence is one of my favourite ‘going out’ places. I’ve enjoyed many a cocktail in their bar and the food at The Set is delicious. Whenever people I know visit Brighton and ask for recommendations, I always suggest they stay here. I love the rustic decor that makes use of every inch of the space and all the gorgeous art. It’s also located opposite the i360, with direct views of the sea and West Pier, but just a few minutes walk from town.
What’s with the art?
Rather unique in approach, the hotel invites artists to create artwork directly onto walls and has several artist-themed rooms in each of its four (soon five) UK hotels. The artists aren’t briefed, instead given free rein to create art in their own signature style. The only stipulation – it isn’t too rude for the discerning clientele!
This all began in 2008, when Justin Salisbury (Artist Residence founder) came to Brighton to look after his mum, who’d suffered a terrible bus accident. Justin knew in order for his mums run-down seafront B&B to make any money, it needed sprucing up. But he didn’t have any cash – so ingeniously advertised on Gumtree inviting artists to paint a room in exchange for food and accommodation.
The plan worked and as Justin’s network grew, he was introduced to gallery owner and founder of artrepublic, Lawrence Alkin. Here began a burgeoning relationship between the Salisbury’s and some of the UK’s hottest artists including The Connor Brothers, Harland Miller, Lucy Sparrow and Dave White.
Sneak peak at the new artworks
While the two new Brighton rooms are quite similar in decor, the artworks are very different and create a unique ambiance in each room.
Room 9 opens onto a wall of blush pink, featuring artwork by Charles Uzzell-Edwards aka Pure Evil. A stencil and spray paint portrait of Audrey Hepburn with Pure Evil’s signature drip of paint under the eye comes into view. Known as ‘Mel Ferrer’s Nightmare’ this image forms part of Pure Evil’s Nightmare Series, where portraits of famous icons look as though they are weeping. Each piece is titled as the nightmare of the depicted’s husband, wife or partner.
The portrait is accompanied by text “I have loved the stars too deeply to be fearful of the night”. It’s a reference to a poem written in 1868 by Sarah Williams titled ‘The Old Astronomer‘. While I was there the sun was shining in through the period sash and cord window. The light picked up on the silver text and Audrey Hepburn’s hair, giving the art an ethereal quality. I imagine the same would happen in the moonlight, encouraging guests to look out over Regency Square and up at the night sky. One for the romantics among us!
One floor up, in Room 1o there are actually two works by Ben Eine. The first you come across is a LOVE print, framed and hanging in direct view from the pillow. Your eyes are then immediately drawn into the room and above the bed where ‘We Are All Dreamers’ is sprayed directly onto the exposed brick wall.
In Eine’s signature carousel style text and bright, bold colours, the words are really impactful. They genuinely look as though they’re jumping out at you. I immediately think of the carousel on the seafront, just a stones throw away, and feel the connection between the artist and my hometown. This room embodies fun and should encourage guests to go out and fully immerse themselves in all Brighton has to offer.
A night dining in with the artists
So how’s this for an idea for a great night out? On Thursday 16th May, Brighton gallery artrepublic will host an evening with both artists at Artist Residence.
Kicking off at 7pm, the event will begin with drinks on arrival followed by a panel talk and a four-course dinner at The Set.
Recorded live for Season Two of the artrepublic podcast ‘Art Related Noise’, the panel will discuss street art versus fine art and art’s influence on society today. But don’t be fooled; Ben Eine and Pure Evil don’t take life too seriously, so I’m expecting plenty of humour too. No doubt the artists will also discuss the artworks in the rooms, tell us about recent work and answer a few questions too.
With great conversation, art, food and decor, it promises to be a real feast for the senses! Let me know if you’re planning on coming along so I can come and say hi 🙂
Tickets are £75 per person and include a four-course dinner by The Set Restaurant. Click here for more information and to book.