Tag Archives: Creativity

Looking at the Launderette

29 Jun

IMG_1552

In exploring how creative interventions — what we’re all about here at New X ING —can change the feel of a high street or improve a rundown urban park, we thought we would investigate some local spots where creativity has made a difference.

One such space is Angelo Savoia’s Launderette on New Cross Road. We recently spoke with Angelo to hear how introducing artwork changed how people respond to what would normally be an overlooked spot.

When Angelo Savoia agreed to let Artmongers and New X-ING’s Patricio Forrester introduce some artistic flair to the Launderette on New Cross Road, he wasn’t expecting to turn the shop front into a local attraction. “It’s been brilliant; it’s a focal point. People come in and give us compliments about it. We get people even now taking photographs,” Savoia says.

The focal point is arguably just that. Employing the centuries-old trompe l’oeil (“deceive the eye”) technique in a modern way, Patricio photographed the shop’s gleaming washing machines and then transferred those images to the Launderette’s shop windows. The effect often makes passers-by do a double-take: are the washing machines of that launderette inside or out?

“He came along and looked at it from a completely different angle,” Savoia says, adding that originally he had imagined some simple signage to bring in additional customers and ended up with a landmark. The Launderette’s new frontage came after Patricio unified that particular strip of shops along New Cross Road with waving lines of colour in a project he called the Harmoniser.

IMG_1543

The artist returned to the shop this past winter to build on the windows’ success. In keeping with what Patricio call

s the “otherworldly” effect of the washing machines on the windows, he painted a space scene scattered by flying saucers, or rather, flying tumble dryers. Again, Savoia had originally agreed to an improvement on the faded magnolia walls with a paint colour with the unlikely name of “Pineapple Twist” but then gamely went along with the flying saucers idea. “People come in saying its just a like an 80’s disco,” chimed in the Launderette’s sparky employee Linda. “I don’t know if that’s an insult or a compliment”.

Regardless, Angelo loves the changes and Patricio’s enthusiasm. “Sometimes when you believe in an artist you just have to go with it,” he says. “Patricio’s good…. He takes an interest in the whole community.”

What do you think of the Launderette? Any other spots of successful intervention come to mind? Or spots that could use a shot of creativity?