72 hours in Australia sounds like a bonkers idea, but that’s what I ended up doing earlier this year.
In the first week of 2018 I received a flattering email from Prue Freeman, one of the founders of ‘The Daisy Green Collection’, an Australian inspired group of restaurants in central London. Prue wanted to discuss the possibility of a Pink Bear commission for their new flagship restaurant they were opening in the heart of SoHo.
I was excited to read in her email that they had over 4000 square feet of space to play with at their new venue and I would have the freedom to incorporate some significant pieces of scale as part of the commission. I love creating large works, so this really excited me. My attention then peaked when Prue name dropped a few artists she had worked with in the past, Sir Peter Blake happened to be on the list. Excited, I knew this was a project to be taken seriously and not one to be thrown on the junk pile with some of the other proposals.
A few emails bounced around, then the following week we met up to discuss the project further over some yummy food at their Victoria branch. We shared a few ideas around the table, pulling inspiration from my recent trip to South America, talking about palm trees, beaches, pools of water and other images I may already have which fitted with the Australian theme. At the end of the evening I left feeling positive about the commission and loved the vibe of Prue and Tom (the second founder of Daisy Green).
A week later we all met up again, this time at the site of their new branch on Noel Street in Soho. I was given a tour of the 2 floored building site to get a sense of the scale and the possible locations for my work to hang. At the end of the tour Tom invited me to an Australia Day wine tasting extravaganza they were having with around 50 of their close friends, so it felt really nice to be invited to this. Unbeknown to me that it would be that night that the commission would take an interesting turn.
So at the Australia Day extravaganza after many, many, many, many, many, many drinks, at least 10 too many… we headed to Home House for even more drinks, @london also joined us. The main reason we were heading to Home House was to look at the giant Pink Bear mural I had created there. Now it was at this point the commission took and exciting change, and if I am honest I can not remember any of the details as I was well and truly drunk…but the next day I got a message from Prue saying it was a great idea I had about flying to Australia to do a new shoot with The Pink Bear…and how does the 15th February work for me in two weeks time…
And that was that! I’d drunkly sold the idea of a shoot in Australia.
However, it wasn’t your usual 3 week trip in Australia after a 24 hour flight I’d sold in…it was 72 hours in Australia doing photoshoots around the clock…then back to London. It really was a whirlwind tour of Sydney with The Pink Bear, I landed at 6am and had the first location shoot at 8am. Every day I was up for sunrise and would shoot till just after sunset. It was really was a challenge to capture so many locations in such a short amount of time. By the end of the 3 days I was so grateful to be sleeping on the upper deck on a fully flat bed as I’d had no time for jet lag whilst I was there.
The trip was super intense but I produced some great work which I am really proud of. Please check it out below, or better yet pop into Scarlett Green in Soho London and have a look at the work whilst enjoying a few drinks.
Waiting for waves
Up for sunrise at 5am in Bondi
The ultimate Pink Bear prop - luxury speed boating in Sydney Harbour
The Pink Bear enjoying a break on the beach
Resin coated panels for ouside art piece
Large 7.5ft x 5ft prints handing in Daisy Green in Soho