Exploring This Place: Nine Minutes With Bonnie and Clyde

Until September 30, Dorchester Collection’s contemporary Mayfair hotel, 45 Park Lane, will be showcasing ‘This Place’, the latest show by multi-media artist Bonnie and Clyde. The exhibition features exclusive original works, collage, prints and dioramas as well as never seen before works from the artist created specifically for the hotel.

The exhibition forms part of 45 Park Lane’s 2017 programme of art exhibitions curated around ‘The Uplifting Power of Art’ in association with Ackerman Studios.

Bonnie and Clyde uses photography, paint, collage and print to construct graphic mixed media pieces and limited edition prints. Inspired by everything from signage and iconography to music, film and the lives of other people,emotionally to socio-political occurrences intertwined with personal circumstances. The exhibition will showcase original collages including, ‘In Awe of it All’, a piece that builds upon notions of friendship, community and the thrill of exploration.

How would you describe your work to those unfamiliar with it?

My work centres around scenes of the urban imaginary. It takes the form of screen-prints, large-scale originals on paper and wood, and 3D installation pieces using digital and tactile processes.With a combination of monochrome and highly saturated areas of colour, collaged with photography, textured paint, elements of distressed paper and magazine cuttings. The pieces represent the beautiful, messy, vibrant and chaotic nature of life in the city.

Give us some insight into your artistic background – what factors have informed your practice?

I’m inspired by everything from signage and iconography to music, film and the lives of other people. My work is an emotional response to socio-political occurrences intertwined with personal circumstances.

I love street photography and enjoy traveling and capturing images of the architecture and the general vibe of a place. My background is in 3D design and then I became self employed and worked in graphics for the creative industries and fashion graphics before heading to Brighton and learning how to screen print.

Who have been your biggest influences?

I grew up in Bradford and enjoyed many visits to the amazing Hockney Gallery as a teenager. I lived with my grandma for years who was a great strength and spirit and a massive influence on me.

As well as being inspired by architecture generally, I admire many artists – Jean Michel Basquiat, Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake, Bill Viola, Jenny Holzer as well as photographers Helen Levitt and Martin Parr and the Architect Frank Gehry.

I also love film and music as much as art and love the visual language and cinematography of Robby Müller who worked with Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders and on many of my favourite films.

What themes occur in your work most often?

I tend to work on scenes from my travels based around the city and the sea. . I often use typography, signage, objects and architecture in my work and more recently I work around subjects – personalities and their interests.

The emotional themes are often about freedom and the self inflicted constraints, love and loss intermixed with elements of socio political situations. I also like to use palm trees a lot – these symbolize joy and sunshine to me and crop up all the time.

Tell us about your latest exhibition at 45 Park Lane

The new work consists of large and smaller mixed media collages, limited edition prints and 3D miniature dioramas based around photographs taken during my travels to Cuba, Mexico, USA, Tokyo, Spain and Iceland. It also features models, friends and bystanders in imagined scenes containing them.

Can we read any meaning into the juxtapositions in your work?

Yes I think so, it’s all about the contrast. I think it’s important to have an eye for the blend of hard and soft, cold and hot, joy & sadness, grit and ease – working the contrast of life into a piece, however simply. I tend to like to end on a high.

Tell us about your partnership with Ackerman Studios.

Lily Ackerman saw my work at an exhibition being held by Liberty Gallery. She approached Patsy Dixon from Liberty Gallery and the relationship was born. It’s been a wholly positive experience and an association I’m really pleased and honoured to be a part of.

What has been your favourite project so far?

This one! It’s been a joy having such a wonderful venue to create for and I’ve been able to make large-scale pieces knowing they will make a great impact in the surroundings of 45 Park Lane.

What can we expect to see from you in the remaining months of 2017?

I have exhibitions in the Autumn with Liberty Gallery who will be showing my work in Stockholm and London and I have a solo show at Lilford Gallery in Folkestone and Canterbury in November . On a personal note, I am going to start experimenting with making some electronic music – some kind of collage soundscapes!

In honour of the upcoming exhibition, Bar Manager at BAR 45, Maurizio Palermo, has created a bespoke cocktail in sensory dialogue with ‘This Place’. Inspired by the artist’s love of travel, the cocktail ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ has a Yaguara Cachaça base balanced with grapefruit juice and agave syrup. This refreshing cocktail is served in a martini glass, topped up with champagne and a few drops of absinthe.
The cocktail is priced at £17 and will be available for the duration of the exhibition which is on until Saturday, September 30 at 45 Park Lane.

For more information please visit dorchestercollection.com or call +44 020 7493 4545.

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