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One Spirit Showcase London

Urban Art Gallery at One Grafton Street, England, UK: Design Competition

19 Mar 2009

One Spirit Showcase

One Grafton Street Urban Gallery

An exciting, new contemporary artwork by up-and-coming artist, Alex Knell, has polled thousands of votes from the public to win an innovative online art competition run jointly by the Royal Academy Schools and international real estate company, Hines.

One Grafton Street Urban Gallery Alex Knell art

Knell’s winning piece We Are Our Future is being unveiled today, Thursday 19 March, as part of the launch of the One Grafton Street Urban Gallery ‘a super-sized canvas measuring 19m x 43m. The canvas stretches across the face of One Grafton Street, a building currently being developed by Hines in London’s Mayfair.

The street exhibition, currently the largest in London, includes the work of the 12 other talented Royal Academy Schools students and former students who were finalists in the online competition. It provides an unusual and very prominent platform for the Royal Academy Schools students to profile their work in central London.

The Urban Gallery is the first expression of Hines’ One Spirit Showcase project, which is intended as a series of collaborations with arts and cultural organisations. One Spirit Showcase continues Hines’ long-standing commitment to art in general, and to the principle of public art as a key feature of property development

One Grafton Street Urban Gallery images / information received 190309

Alex Knell’s winning work We Are Our Only Future is a digital print on archival fine art paper. In this work Knell examines the notions of hope and meaning, which the artist finds lacking in modern society. The work provides a platform to explore the unexplainable, creating a ‘black hole’, to see beyond the vast ocean of scientific data and information that subsumes us.

Alex Knell is a MA Fine Art student at the Royal Academy Schools in London, having graduated with first class honours in Fine Art and Art History from
Goldsmiths College, London in 2000. In 2001, he was chosen by iD Magazine to appear in a feature Six of the Best Young Artists. His solo show, Guided By Heroes, curated by Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons was held at Z33 Museum in Belgium, 2003. Subsequently, Alex has participated in a number of group shows, more recently in Twilight Suite at the Louise T Blouin Institute in London in September 2008.



8 Jan 2009

London’s largest urban gallery to be unveiled in Spring 2009

The Royal Academy Schools and the international real estate company Hines, launch an online competition inviting members of the public to vote for their favourite work of art from a raft of talented Royal Academy Schools’ students.

John Lawrence:
John Lawrence

The competition can be found on a dedicated website

The artworks will be exhibited on London’s biggest urban gallery, which takes the form of a super-sized canvas stretched across the southern façade of One Grafton Street – a corner building currently under construction in Central London.

The winning artist will have his or her work displayed on a 14m x 24m canvas positioned on the building and visible all the way from Piccadilly.

This street exhibition is the first One Spirit Showcase project – a series of collaborations between Hines’ and cultural organisations. This collaboration continues Hines’ long-standing commitment to the arts and provides an unusual platform for the Royal Academy Schools students to profile their work in Central London.

Nicky Carvel:
Nicky Carvel

Visitors to the One Spirit Showcase website can vote for their preferred image. Once the public have cast their vote, a distinguished selection panel of highly regarded contemporary art critics including Maurice Cockrill, RA; Michael Petry, Curator, Royal Academy Schools Gallery; Gerald Hines; Kay Saatchi; JJ Charlesworth; John Hoyland, RA; Mark Davy, Futurecity and Eliza Bonham-Carter, Curator, RA Schools will endorse the decision.

The works of art range from figurative to abstract in a wide range of different media including paintings, photography, ceramics, prints and computer-generated pieces.

Peter Holden, Director, Hines UK, commented, “Hines has a legacy of working with both established and up and coming artists and architects all over the world. This exciting project enables us to support the exceptional talent of the Royal Academy Schools’ students and use our development at One Grafton Street to showcase this work. It is the first in a series of projects in our UK portfolio that we look forward to developing under the One Spirit Showcase banner.”

Professor Maurice Cockrill RA, The Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts, commented, “My students and I are grateful to Hines for taking such a creative initiative and offering this chance to collaborate on this huge public project, that will display their work in a quite spectacular way, fronting a wrap on One Grafton Street, a corner site in a prestigious area of Mayfair, Central London. These are remarkable students with the highest standards of creative energy and diversity, whose imagery will enhance and enliven this location and become an exciting landmark at this busy junction.”

Royal Academy Schools students submitted artwork to be part of the Urban Gallery – coordinated by Michael Petry, Curator, Royal Academy Schools Gallery and managed by cultural consultants Futurecity and brand developers Sectorlight.

19 Dec 2008 – online public competition starts –
8 Feb2009 – online public competition closes
Spring 2009 – unveiling of street exhibition, the Urban Gallery, One Grafton Street, London

The One Spirit Showcase is a platform for Hines to support the arts and other cultural activities connected to its development projects. The Showcase will help Hines to continue its long-standing commitment to the arts, supporting both artists and architects. Through its website, the One Spirit Showcase provides a window for a variety of different art projects including “The Hines Photographic Scholarship” and the commissioning of a permanent piece of public art at One Grafton Street. More information about these will be available as the projects progress –

Royal Academy Schools is an independent establishment that offers the only three-year, full-time postgraduate course in the UK. As the country’s oldest art school, it has a strong sense of identity, tradition and community, having developed continuously since its foundation with the Royal Academy in 1768. It is regarded throughout the world as a centre of excellence –

Hines is an international real estate organisation with a presence in more than 100 cities worldwide. The firm was incepted in the US in 1958 by Gerald Hines. In half a century at the forefront of developments in design and the built environment, the company has consistently shown the depth of its commitment to the highest aesthetic standards. It has been a strong proponent of the arts, championing a roster of world-class artists and architects, from Joan Miro to Frank Gehry and working with institutions including MOMA –

One Grafton Street is a period building currently undergoing redevelopment behind an historic retained façade. Designed by architects Hamilton Associates it will provide modern office, residential and retail accommodation under the skin of an exquisite Victorian exterior. The building will be ready for occupation in the Spring of 2010.

Futurecity is a leading cultural consultancy interested in notions of urbanism and place-making. Its work is embedded in the city and involves collaborations between artists and other disciplines, including architecture. Its project managers, curators and policy makers believe successful cultural masterplanning uses culture to unlock the seductive potential of place within the built environment –

Sectorlight covers branding, design and strategic marketing, exhibitions and interiors, online marketing and digital imaging. The company has a range of clients from the professional services sector, corporate, property and urban regeneration, retail and luxury consumer markets and is consistently delivering award-winning creative solutions across all of these sectors –

Location: One Grafton Street, London, England, UK

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