Last week I visited Holly Frean’s DOG exhibition at my favourite Chelsea art shop, Green & Stone.
We were building Ham Yard Hotel when I discovered Holly’s art, with her fabulous paintings of chicken heads catching my attention. Painted on paper party plates, this work is packed with wit and humour, depicting a personality for each chicken. Everyone has their favourite!
Standing back and looking at the entire composition, you appreciate Holly’s choice of colour and brush strokes. I admire the way she brings animal portraits to life without adding too much detail and yet her work is far from simplistic. There’s no doubt Holly’s formal training as an architect and draughtsman has transferred to her art work. You’ll find Holly’s chicken composition in apartment 24 at One Denman Place. Which chicken do you love the most?
It’s no secret that we love dogs! As companions of mine, they are a source of inspiration, from art to interiors and even my fabric designs. At Crosby Street Hotel my own Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the reason why we have Holly’s ’64 Spaniels’ displayed in the elevators. They always make me smile when travelling up and down the floors.
In the Terrace Suite at Ham Yard Hotel we hope these ’49 Dogs’ will make you smile.
Also in the Terrace Suite is ‘A Pack of Artists’ which features portraits of celebrated artists on handmade paper. Just like traditional playing cards, Holly has made each of the artists symmetrical, so the piece could theoretically be hung either way up.
Holly’s latest exhibition was an excuse to enjoy even more paintings and discover the new directions her work is taking. I enjoyed the variation of techniques from large scale oil paintings to more delicate watercolour lino prints as well as these miniature dog portraits in tiny elaborate frames. One had its own miniature light!
Always making you smile, Holly’s work is meticulously executed and this particular exhibition makes you appreciate the little traits and details that make each dog, animal or person, unique. These paintings celebrate differences and are a testament that we are better together.