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Estate agent converts disused office into pop art installation

When London-based agency, Douglas & Gordon, acquired a smaller agency at the end of 2007, the start of the recession, the company was faced with a dilemma. Because the Harrington Road site in South Kensington was close to both Douglas & Gordon’s existing South Kensington and Chelsea offices it was decided that instead of subletting it, we would turn it into a street gallery to allow graduate artists and designers to produce and show their own work in this key location.

Harrington Rd Estate agent pop art installation

First they commissioned 24-year old graduate from The London College of Communication, Shaz Madani, to create an installation that will engage with the local community. The result is something quite special. The details of all the blue plaques in Kensington & Chelsea laser cut into sheets of paper and suspended from the walls and ceilings, as if the pages of history are sweeping across the three windows.

The next artist they commissioned was Jake Blanchard who graduated from Brighton University in 2008, he has already accrued commissions from some notable clients including the Guardian, Random House, the BBC and Nike. His work is typified by bold colours and simple shapes afforded by the screen printing process, with ideas of nature and mythology often forming a thematic focus as in this piece for D&G arts.

Pop art installation - Kill All Negative People

The new installation sees the entire premises painted in D&G blue from top to bottom and thousands of metallic circles have been stuck to the outside. On close examination, they don’t really make sense, apart from being rather intriguing. However, viewed from a distance, suddenly it all makes sense. The silver spell out the slightly inflammatory words “Kill All Negative People”!

Ivor Dickinson, Douglas & Gordon’s Managing Director, states: “At this year’s D&G Spring Conference, our guest speaker was Tim Smit OBE who masterminded the Eden Project. Tim’s talk was incredibly inspiring but there were four words which all of us at D&G really took to our hearts and that is when Tim said that his mantra at the Eden Project was “Kill All Negative People”.

“I so empathised with this statement because let’s face it, there is no room for negativity in this world that we live in, that I decided to adopt it at D&G. I thought what better place to spread the word than one of London’s busiest junctions, opposite South Kensington tube station. I went to watch the installation being installed and was thrilled by the public’s reaction. As I first envisaged, their immediate response is to try and work out what is going on with all the silver discs. They then realise that perhaps it’s spelling out a phrase but can’t quite work out what it is. I watched people stepping back and eventually crossing the road and voila, all is revealed. This is normally followed by a snigger or cries of ‘right on!’ Perfect – a message which seems to strike a chord and an intriguing piece of art to amuse the people of South Kensington.”

Estate agents window - Pop art

Sadly, this might be Douglas & Gordon’s last installation at the now famous South Kensington landmark as they plan to open a letting office there in the New Year – perhaps, a sign of the property market improving?

posted by Zane in Estate Agents and have Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Estate agent converts disused office into pop art installation”

  1. Jo says:

    What a great idea
    I love these way of thinking

    Really makes me want to move to London when i see this freedom in thought

  2. Zanet says:

    I agree Jo

    I found the story quite inspiring, while researching it

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