BEST (art) IN SHOW - Hospitality Design Fair
As we grow Left Bank Art Group’s printing, framing and artist representation services, the team is always on the lookout for new ways to elevate our profile and that of the artists, photographers and designers we collaborate with. Our shared success is a two-way street and if there’s an opportunity to advance a common artistic cause, then we’re onto it like colour to a canvas. One such initiative we jumped on recently was staging a large trade booth at “Australia’s premier hospitality design and experience event” – the 2021 Hospitality Design Fair (HDF); in conjunction with the NoVacancy Hotel Accommodation Industry Expo. It was the perfect platform to spruce our wares to Australian industry decision makers who descend on Sydney’s Darling Harbour Convention Centre over two-days of design fair flair.
What we’re known for is doing things differently, and our presence at the Hospitality Design Fair was no exception. The defining Left Bank difference is that we like our affiliated artists to take the lead by letting their work graciously showcase our custom printing and framing products. In a large 9m X 2m booth, we set up various zones that highlighted our latest industry innovations alongside more traditional printing, framing and artwork services. Case in point. We presented a custom leather bed head digitally printed with a vibrant piece of work by Gold Coast-based artist, Claudio Kirac. Similarly, an original Parker art deco chair drew huge interest with its integrated leather cushions embellishing a Lucy Knox tonal design. A custom leather bench seat featuring beautiful indigenous pieces by Nardurna and Daisy in Dots also shared the custom furniture spotlight attracting the attention of notable interior designers from world-renowned hotel groups. Shoutout to Dog Thumbs Custom Furniture for creating the amazing bed head and bench seat for our all-original Left Bank Art Group exhibit.
We also decided to take it to the wall with uniquely printed tiles mounted onto the front of our booth counter; the uber-contemporary graphic design work of Blacklist’s Nathan Johnson setting the quintessential Left Bank Art Group scene. Playful pastels in nature by the colour-fuelled Georgy Wilson completed the tile installation with the addition of a printed glass shower screen literally stealing the show. Rounding out all things wall creative was a selection of custom murals and wallpapers that are currently hot commodities in progressive commercial spaces – printed acoustic fabric another hit, tailor made for noise sensitive venues that want to look cool on the down low.
So, what sort of crazy, tech-spec contraptions can create all of this “functional art” we hear you ask? Well, it’s simply the ideal combination of two of the world’s best reproduction specialists we recruited into Left Bank’s team of dream machines. Our “Wham Bam” SMA Versa Scan 4870 is the only one of its kind in Australia and boasts an enormous flatbed with the ability to capture ultra-fine artwork detail at an astounding 600 pixels per inch. We then run this premium digital file through “The Beast’ – a revolutionary Hewlett Packard R2000 flatbed printer that can print onto rigid and flexible materials including timber, acrylic, glass, aluminium, rubber, tiles and various other textiles up to 5cm thick. The end result are one-off pieces displaying unprecedented print detail, increased colour vibrancy and durable weather and scratch resistance. Oh, and having the best scanning and print technicians in the business also helps…a lot.
The most satisfying thing we Left Bankers (Toby, Michelle, Jess and Bob) got out of this brilliantly staged design event was the awesome feedback received from some of Australia’s leading hospitality and accommodation design gurus. They recognised our efforts to reimagine commercial spaces in collaboration with contemporary artists – a dynamic fusion of innovative technologies, outstanding art and repurposed artistic mediums. The post show outcome for Left Bank Art Group has been a number of exciting commissions now on the cards over the next couple of months. We’re talking; curated artworks for a hotel foyer and bar, custom bed heads for a boutique, beachside motel, printed bench seats for a contemporary ice creamery and fun acoustic fabrics for a bowling alley that’s about to get a whole lot funkier. Truth be told, this was an exhausting Left Bank exercise to put together, but the proof is in the artistic pudding. Good events, produced well, work wonders – even in the unpredictable shadow of an overwhelming COVID cloud. Onwards and upwards art lovers of Australia!