St James Court Hotel
The Mural Cycle for Zander Restaurant, in the St James Court Hotel, was painted by Pola Wickham in the winter of 2000, as her part of a collaboration with her architect father, Julyan Wickham.
The paintings were conceived as metaphoric windows in the long skinny space of the restaurant. Each of the landscapes depicted in the seven large paintings is a specific place, a place intimate to the artist's experience. However, by suppressing references to actual places the strong color and the abstracted drawing result in an intentionally generic encounter.
The situation of the pictures in the space mimics the circulation of the restaurant giving the patrons a sense of looking out onto landscapes as they pass through the almost subteranean middle section of the private dining rooms and bar.
Wickham is extremely keen on projects like this, where painting is not only seen as decoration, but plays an important part in how the built space functions. Painted images can be so much more than decoration and can become latitude and longitude, navigational references for locating one in space.