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The Distillery at Hilton London Bankside celebrates London Design Festival

The Distillery at Hilton London Bankside

The Distillery partners with Ghostsigns and 3D artist Craig Winslow for exclusive exhibition

This September The Distillery at Hilton London Bankside is getting creative, all in the aid of London Design Festival, from 17-25 September 2016. This year the buzzing bankside area will be a hub of activity for the festival and none more so than at The Distillery which is partnering with celebrated American 3D artist Craig Winslow, and “ghostsigns” expert Sam Roberts. An exclusive event with Craig and Sam, on Wednesday 21 September 8-10pm, will deliver a visual feast of light and lettering illuminating the history and importance behind ghostsigns.

A passion for both Sam and Craig, ghostsigns are the typically fading remains of hand painted advertising signage on brick walls frequently found in the Bankside area. A replica sign can be found on the walls of the OXBO restaurant – which much like the rest of the hotel, is inspired by the feel of its location. London Hilton Bankside has always had an extremely strong focus on design combining Bankside’s authentic urban grittiness with polished contemporary interiors. This sense of place, with each part of the property carefully created to reflect the fascinating history and ambiance of the surrounding area, is complemented by one-of-a-kind art pieces - a gentle nod to the Tate Modern only moments from the hotel.  

The event on 21 September at The Distillery will take place once night falls with Craig showcasing a series of ghostsign projections through his light capsule process onto the walls of Prices Street – opposite the bar. Currently one of four Adobe Creative Residents, Craig aims to bring ghostsigns back to life through the medium of projection mapping – a sort of “type archaeology”. His work offers a unique approach to engaging with the design heritage present in these historic signs, through typographic analysis and reinterpretation of the letter forms. The projections will be complimented by Sam’s local historical knowledge of ghostsigns in the area. This fascinating insight into this art form will be accompanied by a delicious ‘Light Capsule’ cocktail from The Distillery, sipped on the outdoor bar terrace facing Prices Street.   

Speaking about the partnership Craig Winslow said “Having applied my techniques to many ghostsigns in Portalnd, Oregon USA, I’m thrilled to be coming to London to explore the variety of ghostsigns that the city has to offer, and bring them to life through my light capsule process. There’s an immense amount of stories behind these mostly defunct businesses – an entire medium that pre-dated billboards and advertisements as we know them today.” Commenting on the collaboration with Craig, Sam Roberts said “Craig’s work inspired me the very first time I saw it and offers a way of exploring how ghostsigns would once have looked without interfering with the paint that has stood the test of time. I’m excited to see where the creative process takes us during The Distillery evening, with a blank wall as canvas, and inspiration from the ghostsigns of London.”  

For those wanting to learn more about signwriting, globetrotting sign painter Mike Meyer will be hosting a live lettering demonstrations inside The Distillery. These will allow visitors to engage with some of the skills used to paint signs, as well as having something to take home as a memento of the evening.  

In addition to the evening event at The Distillery, Craig and Sam will be producing a series of site-specific installations across the wider Bankside Design District of the London Design Festival. These will illuminate actual local ghostsigns, many of which feature on Sam’s Bankside Ghostsigns Walk – a guided tour through the area and the stories told by its fading signs.

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