Opinion

Our thoughts, reviews and interviews

Wellbeing in the time of COVID-19

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During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to prioritise your wellbeing. Whilst the coronavirus forces us to stay at home, a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and staying connected with friends and family all play a key role in maintaining peak physical and mental health. From taking part in online yoga tutorials videos to hosting a virtual cocktail hour, here are our tips for achieving optimum wellbeing in the time of COVID-19.

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Soane Museum

The Soane Museum: Untouched Since 1837?

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How many of us would go as far as to negotiate an Act of Parliament to preserve our home exactly as it is after we die?

Most likely many of us would not! However, one celebrated British architect did just that, giving London’s cultural connoisseurs another excuse to flock to Holborn that doesn’t involve the usual afternoon at the British Museum.

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The Halloween special: we’ve got treats!

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The witching hour is upon us foolish mortals, and even though most are past the age of trick or treating, London remains one of the most exciting cities to enjoy a frightfully spooky Halloween.

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Lapland plane landing

How the elite plan their fairytale experiences: In conversation with Ask Laura

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Have you ever wondered where the mega-rich turn when they need a last-minute jet? Or what about the occasions when a private island holiday is needed and as soon as possible?

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The Elsworthy Collection interior

Finkernagel Ross: Following in the footsteps of others

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Opinion piece provided by Finkernagel Rossa RIBA chartered, London-based team of architects and interior designers with a distinct quality for design interpretation and architectural excellence.

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The Other Art Fair 2019: Our ‘ones to watch’

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So far, October has brought its rainy spells and “oh-so-sugary” autumnal lattes as we’d expect, but it has also brought along with it a generous helping of exciting art fairs. Only one of these fairs, however, lets its guests hang out with up and coming independent artists, giving them a rare chance to unearth the ‘next big thing’ in contemporary art!

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START Art Fair: An introduction to art collecting

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A Different Kind Of Fair

Those of you still reminiscing over summer probably haven’t even noticed that London’s exhibition season is ON! The Frieze, The Other Art Fair, LAPADA, PAD; the city is practically buzzing with art fairs, leaving Londoner’s spoilt for choice of things to do and more than satisfying the average art lover’s appetite.

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London Design Festival: Take the Plunge & The Void

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This month saw the ever popular London Design Festival return to the city with a jam-packed programme, offering plenty for design fanatics to visit.

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Our Thoughts: Tim Walker, Wonderful Things

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Fashion Week graced London with its presence last week, and its extravagant spirit lives on at one of Chelsea’s most prestigious cultural institutions.

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Why Brexit is bringing in overseas investors

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Money expert Martin Lewis once said, “the only certainty is uncertainty”. This is certainly the case for UK nationals. In November, the Bank of England published a rather unsettling report of the worst-case scenario, stating that a no-deal Brexit could lead to a shrinking economy, falling house prices, unemployment doubling and inflation rising. However, there is a silver lining for London property.

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Art Review: Serpentine Pavilion by Junya Ishigami

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The ever-popular Serpentine Pavilion is back this summer, with Junya Ishigami bringing a ‘levitating cluster of scattered rocks’ to Hyde Park.

Established in 1970, Serpentine Gallery is a world-renowned art institution based in London’s beautiful Hyde Park. The gallery comprises the Serpentine and Sackler Galleries (the latter designed by Zaha Hadid in 2013), based on either side of their namesake the Serpentine Lake.

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Tibits vegan buffet in Bankside

A beginner’s guide to vegan London

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The past few years have seen the vegan bandwagon blossom from a niche corner of the marketplace to a full-blown global phenomenon. Of course, with its throngs of overseas adopters it can be easy to forget that the movement actually had its beginnings right here in the UK.

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Alfresco brunch at Elan Cafe, image courtesy of Elancafe

Insta-Friendly Café Culture in the West End

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London’s West End never disappoints when it comes to fine dining and charming café culture, regularly hosting international socialites and the capital’s high society. However, a recent trend has cropped up on this side of town that is causing quite the stir in the culinary scene.

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Example of biophilic design

A Zero-Carbon City by 2050?

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London – one lengthy history that tells a global story of innovation and resilience! There’s hardly anything this city hasn’t withstood; from invasions, to plagues, to fires, to bombings. Today, it holds the status of one of the world’s foremost economic powerhouses according to the Arcadis’ 2018 Sustainable Cities Index.

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Howard Tangye The Hot Shot

DRAW London: Never Underestimate the Power of Drawing

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Last Wednesday, the Boutique London team had the privilege of attending the VIP preview of DRAW London at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea. DRAW London is the first art fair in the UK dedicated to modern and contemporary drawing, creating an extraordinary platform where the capital’s art lovers and collectors are able to appreciate rare works by highly acclaimed modern artists as well as the more recent works from the 21st century “side by side”.

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Map illustration for Mayor of London city development plan

London Illustrated

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Inspired by the Natural History Museum’s ‘Whales: Beneath the Surface’ exhibition, featuring incredible illustrations from Sarah Maycock, we want to put the spotlight on the artists depicting London scenes.

Illustrator agency Handsome Frank was set up in 2010 by cousins Jon Cockley and Tom Robinson. The agency has grown exponentially over the last eight years and the pair now represent 35 illustrators across the globe. Handsome Frank also produces its own publication, Frank, which we love! Their roster includes some of the finest contemporary artists on the planet, including Maycock, Thibaud Herem, Jan Kallwejt and Emma Kelly.

These four illustrators have represented London in their work in various ways, be that a map, drawings of famous landmarks, or commissions from London galleries and museums in Maycock’s case.

About the Illustrators

Jan Kallwejt

Map illustration for Mayor of London city development plan

Map illustration for Mayor of London city development plan

Jan Kallwejt is a Polish illustrator and designer. Before working as a freelance illustrator, Kallwejt studied advertising and worked as a graphic designer and art director for agencies in Warsaw and Hamburg. Following this, he was based in Barcelona for five years before settling in Warsaw once again. Here he runs a studio and takes commissions for illustrations from clients all over the world.

What makes Kallwejt’s works distinctive are his incredibly detailed graphics, completed in a vibrant juicy, palette. He says that his ‘meticulous finish and cheerful vibe’ makes his work universal.

“I’m inspired by naive art and pop culture. Over the years, magazines such as Newsweek, Forbes or Financial Times share place on my client list with brands like Honda, Sony or Nike.”

Take a look at more of Kallwejt’s work on Handsome Frank

Emma Kelly

Chelsea Hotel illustration by Emma Kelly

Chelsea Hotel illustration by Emma Kelly

Kelly says her artistic career started when she drew things onto a wall behind her parents’ sofa, aged two years old.  She is now one of the most popular illustrators on Handsome Frank’s books and was also one of the agency’s first signings.

Kelly uses watercolour-like brush strokes and palettes to create a nice balance of precision and softness. Her depictions of London architecture and landscapes are instantly recognisable.

Focusing greatly on the tiny details, Emma can capture the realism of whatever it is she turns her eye to, be it buildings, electronics or even characterful portraits. These qualities make her ideal for clients working with luxury brands and editorial commissions.

View Kelly’s portfolio here.

Thibaud Herem

Liberty illustration by Thibaud Herem

Liberty illustration by Thibaud Herem

Big Ben illustration by Thibaud Herem

Big Ben illustration by Thibaud Herem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With his distinctive monochrome line drawings of London landmarks in minutiae detail, French-born Thibaud Herem’s work is easy to lose yourself in. After working in graphic design in France for five years, he arrived in the UK in 2006 to learn English and work as a freelance artist, drawing insects, birds and buildings.

Herem is well-known for his work with Liberty, depicting its iconic façade, and for his work with NoBrow, which commissioned Herem for a book of London’s buildings. He claims that London’s architecture was one of the most appealing aspects of the city and the main reason he wanted to work here, rather than in France. Herem has never trained as an architect but loves studying and drawing buildings in great detail – each piece of his work is hand-drawn and can take weeks to complete.

“Everything about London was attractive to me before I moved here and its architecture was one of the most appealing aspects… after 10 years here, I still discover hidden gems every week. There is a very distinctive aspect to architecture in London; it is [messier] and less united than cities like Paris or Rome, but its heritage is cherished with pride.”

Sarah Maycock

Hastings-based illustrator Sarah Maycock has become one of the most popular illustrators on Handsome Frank’s roster. After studying Illustration Animation at Kingston University and having been an It’s Nice That Graduate in 2011, she has carved a career out of painting animals, landscapes and still life.

Maycock, like Herem, was also commissioned by Liberty London and was the creative mind behind their hugely popular advent calendar 2018.

Liberty London Advent Calendar illustrated by Sarah Maycock

Liberty London Advent Calendar illustrated by Sarah Maycock

Maycock has also worked intensely with animal, since being inspired by nature documentaries such as Frozen Planet by David Attenborough.

Her unique ability to capture a creature’s characteristics or the forces of nature in simple swoops of ink has made her work a sensation. So much so that her famous image of a sitting bear was the best-selling print at Somerset House’s Pick Me Up in 2012.

Blue Whale illustration by Sarah Maycock for Natural History Museum

Blue Whale illustration by Sarah Maycock for the Natural History Museum

In the winter of 2016, Sarah was commissioned by London’s Natural History Museum to illustrate a long list of whales, ranging from the Blue Whale to species that are now extinct. Each painting had to go through a complex sign-off process involving specialist scientists to make sure they were anatomically correct. Maycock’s artwork was approved and could be seen in adverts all over London for the exhibition.

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Victoria Miro - Yayoi Kusama - infinity net

Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro

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THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE – Yayoi Kusama 2018

We were lucky enough to bag tickets for Yayoi Kusama’s much-anticipated exhibition at the Victoria Miro Warf Road galleries and waterside garden, and it did not disappoint.

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1-54-London-Contemporary-African-Art-Fair

Our Thoughts – 1-54 London Contemporary African Art Fair

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More than 130 artists hand-picked from Africa’s vibrant arts scene, 43 of the world’s leading international galleries, and 18,000 wide-eyed visitors. Over five days, they were all brought together under one roof for 1-54 London’s Contemporary African Art Fair – a well-deserved homage to one of the world’s cultural capitals that marked the company’s sixth edition at Somerset House.

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Pinks Mews - double height reception

In Conversation with Cocovara Interior Designers

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We spoke to Rylie Fitzgerald, Head of Design, and Lucy Powell, Director at Cocovara about what makes a show apartment. The brains behind the beautifully dressed interiors at a selection of boutique homes across London, Rylie & Lucy explain their team’s process and the inspiration behind the unique aesthetic at Pinks Mews, Holborn.

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