You may not know that a collection of original, custom-designed artwork can be found in Ziggy Green. Tucked away on Heddon Street, just off Regent Street, Ziggy Green is a light and bright restaurant occupying a stunning atrium space that lets the artwork standout. Now we can reveal the untold story behind the artwork, from the artists themselves...
The David Bowie connection
Heddon Street is often cited as the location of the recording in 1972 of the iconic Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. This, combined with the history of the area, provided much of the inspiration for the artwork, throughout which there are numerous references to Bowie.
Who created the artwork?
The art is all custom designed, created over an 18-month period by leading artists such as 'the female Banksy' GrAzie, Bonnie & Clyde, Shuby x Collagism and Justin Hibbs. We’ve captured their thoughts on what these works mean to them.
I was commissioned to create a large-scale painting for the upstairs wall in Ziggy Green. My approach to painting is to paint famous people with a faceless style easily recognised by the classic looks or fashion that they wear. Heddon Street is famous for the Ziggy Stardust album cover produced in 1972. With that in mind I wanted to create a work that not only championed Bowie's music but the amazing iconic outfits that he wore over time, sourced on neighbouring Saville Row.
I made 2 paintings for Ziggy Green. The first piece was a smaller painting which hangs on the ground floor of the restaurant. I painted a series of heads that highlight different eras in his life, Starman, The Pirate, Golden Years and the Labyrinth. The second painting is the large scale "Ziggy" displayed at the top of the stairs which is a mashup of some of his most distinctive costumes. Bowie was a god like creature so I wanted to evoke that sense as you walk up the stairs.
Collagism (Holly-Anne Buck)
When Prue & Tom (the owners of Ziggy Green) asked Shuby & I to each collage 10 of our favourite album covers it was a dream come true! Going to the best vinyl shop in Soho with Shuby to select our favourite albums... then spending a month or so collaging them made this project one of my most favourite commissions ever - to do them justice was the real challenge! The iconic Velvet Underground & Nico album displaying Warhol's banana is possibly my best...it's being straddled by My Little Pannacotta, one of Collagism's menagerie of surrealist creatures. As an artist I travel loads so the albums being quite small in scale meant I could take them away with me on a trip to Majorca. Some of the albums were collaged using materials I picked up there in newsagents and markets and others imagery from London back in my studio at Studio Voltaire in London.
The Ziggy Green Lightning Bolt makes reference to 1 Heddon St. once being home to David Bowie's offices and takes its inspiration from the cover image of David Bowie’s 1972 Aladdin Sane LP - with the legendary portrait of Bowie in lightning makeup. This piece was such an exciting challenge as a commission for me and totally unlike anything I’ve made before. The piece went through a long process of development to find the right interpretation of the image, but also the right technical solution to make it hang seamlessly over the corian balustrade. In the end the piece was rendered digitally, painstakingly created with hundreds of hand-drawn stars laid over pink and blue gradients of a magical skyscape. The image was then printed on the reverse of thick Perspex to give the finish a glassy richness...
Discover more of our Untold Stories, such as exploring the work taking place in BOTTLETOP's Brazilian atelier here, or discover the unusual claim to foodie fame that Fortnum & Mason has held for hundreds of years here.
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