Douglas and Gordons unopened office in South Kensington supports recently graduated artists

Friday, April 18, 2008 by Douglas And Gordon

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First installation in Douglas & Gordon's Harrington Road shop provides snapshot of Kensington history
As many property agents across the capital close their doors, their windows papered over, Douglas & Gordon has transformed a disused South Kensington office into a ‘street gallery’ with the first installation portraying the history of the area.

D&G has launched an initiative to support young talent by commissioning work directly relevant to the surrounding area that will engage with local residents and passers-by. The first installation by Shaz Madani, a twenty-four year old graduate from The London College of Communication, provides a fresh interpretation of the famous blue plaques of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Shaz Madani comments: “Given the blank canvas of a Douglas & Gordon shop window, I wanted to combine the area’s history and its beautiful grand residences into an installation which the existing community could relate to. The result is a celebration of the famous residents of the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea who have left their mark on the area and contributed to its rich heritage.”

The details of almost 200 plaques were laser cut into large individual sheets of paper and then suspended from the ceiling and walls using fishing wire. This created an organic and dynamic structure across the three shop windows, depicting the pages of history being swept by the wind and giving energy and motion to the piece.

D&G acquired Berkeley International estate agents two years ago, and along with the now re-furbished premises on Kensington Church Street, came this prominent site on the corner of Harrington Road and Bute Street near South Kensington tube station, opposite The Lycee. As the site was very small internally, and sandwiched between D&G`s existing offices in Sloane Avenue and Gloucester Road, the leading London Agent decided to give up the space to support young talent in the field of art and design.

Ivor Dickinson, Managing Director at D&G, comments; “When we acquired the quirky, v-shaped office we thought it would make a perfect ‘poster’ site for Douglas & Gordon. We had no intention of opening a sales office but wanted to reflect the mood of the market by doing something unusual with the space. As a company, we have always supported the arts, so we created a `street gallery` to showcase artistic talent. Shaz’s interpretation of Kensington’s history is the first of many installations at the Harrington site to bring young talent into the public eye through producing and exhibiting their work.”

Shaz concludes: “Douglas & Gordon must be commended for their innovative thinking and commitment to supporting young and emerging design talent. I’ve never come across such an ingenious idea from an estate agent, which, I think, really sets them apart from the competition, especially in times like these.”

Supporting the arts is not a new idea for the leading London-based agent. Several years ago, D&G commissioned the renowned artist Kate Maestri, who specialises in working with glass, to create one off pieces for every office depicting the D&G blue linear graphic. The glass was hand made in Germany and the results are spectacular. A welcome relief from the estate agents name in big letters found in every other office in London.

D&G were also the headline sponsors for The Affordable Art Fair for many years and have started commissioning graduates from the leading London art colleges to work on next year`s corporate campaign, but you’ll have to wait until January to see the first results!

For further press information, please contact:
Mark Lucas, Edelman UK
Tel - 020 3047 2352