• Uncategorized

    Transport for London’s ‘Spring into Summer’ free guided walks celebrating National Walking month

    Enjoy spectacular views of London in bloom on one of Transport for London’s (TfL’s) ‘Spring into Summer’ free guided walks, on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May.

    There are 45 free guided walks across the Capital, organised by Walk London and TfL, which explore London’s hidden gems, famous landmarks, parks and canals. There is something to suit all ages and walking abilities, whether you fancy a short stroll or a challenging trek. Many of the walks are family friendly with Animal I-Spy in the City, a gentle stroll searching for dragons, lions and unicorns and Goodnight Mister Tom, inspired by the much loved book, particularly popular with children.

    There’s also a new design themed walk following the Bakerloo line above ground – featuring Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and the Marlboro Man. This is a special walk to celebrate TfL’s ‘Transported by Design’ programme.

    The walks, which have been running since 2007, have grown significantly in popularity as Londoners have embraced walking. To cope with the increased demand there is a new online booking system for the ‘Spring into Summer’ walks. It is quick and simple to book a free place by simply visiting the Walk London website, www.walklondon.org.uk

    The ‘Spring into Summer’ weekend will include walks such as: 

    Saturday 21 May

    • Royal Parks and Palaces – Buckingham Palace to Little Venice at 11.00 (4 miles) this walk goes through three Royal Parks, past royal palaces, over hidden rivers and along lakes, ponds and canals. Discover where Wookey the Witch lives, where Peter Pan was created and where Paddington Bear arrived from ‘darkest Peru.’ Find out where the address ‘Number one, London’ is, where the ‘Crystal Palace’ stood and where the first ever Underground train started its journey.
    • Animal I-Spy in the City at 10:30 (1.5 miles) this family-friendly stroll takes you through the streets of the city, where you’ll discover where dragons, lions and even unicorns may be hiding. Perfect for children aged between four and seven years old, but younger or older children are also welcome.
    • Scenes on Screen – Film and TV in London at 14:00 (1.7 miles) takes in locations used for films, TV series and commercials and offers insights into some of the famous former local residents.
    • Goodnight Mister Tom – London in the Blitz at 14:00 (1.6 miles) this family-focused walk is inspired by Michelle Magorian’s much loved book “Goodnight Mister Tom”, which tells the story of Willy Beech who is evacuated from London during World War II. The walk explores the City of London and hears what life was like for those who remained in the Capital during the Blitz. 

    Sunday 22 May

    • The Bakerloo line – featuring Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and the Marlboro Man at 11:00 (2.2 miles) this is a special new design-led walk above the Bakerloo line, which celebrates TfL’s Transported by Design programme. Discover the beautiful architecture of the Tube stations along the Bakerloo line as well as what happened when Oscar Wilde had dinner with Arthur Conan Doyle, and how the supposedly all-American Marlboro man actually owes his name to Soho.
    • London’s Hidden Treasures – Waterloo to London Bridge at 11:30 (2 miles) this stroll along both sides of the River Thames will reveal some of the secrets that lie beneath the streets and under the river. The walk starts at Waterloo and the iconic London Eye before moving directly on to the river where the history is over 2,000 years old.
    • Gleaming Spires – Architecture and public art in the City of London at 13:00 (1.5 miles) explore the art and architecture in the vibrant City of London and experience its ever-changing skyline.
    • Twin Peaks on the Capital Ring at 13:30 (4.5 miles) come along on this new walk through nature reserves and along the canal to cross Horsenden Hill and then Harrow on the Hill (one of the hilliest sections of the Capital Ring). There are fine views over West London and be ready for some strenuous climbs.

    Ben Plowden, Director of Surface Strategy and Planning at TfL, said: “May is National Walking Month and we hope that our 45 free guided walks will inspire people to walk more around our beautiful and vibrant city. Walking is not only good for your health and wellbeing, but it is also the perfect way to explore new places and we are committed to making London the most walkable city in the world.”

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  • London Taxi PR’s advertising campaign a big success

    Two London cabbies with a combined experience of 40 years – Gary Long from Warlingham, Surrey and Lee Sheppard from Bromley, Kent – have organised the first advertising campaign promoting London Taxis for their safety and trust that’s been funded totally by donations from London Taxi drivers and suppliers.

     

    London cabbies Lee and Gary

    London cabbies Lee and Gary

     

    Over 50 posters appear in London’s West End, highlighting the point that all black cabs are trusted for their safety and are wheelchair accessible. The £6,000 campaign is organised in association with JC Decaux, who assisted with the design of the posters.

    This ‘Trust Safe Taxi’ poster advertising campaign is supplemented by a campaign on 400 digital screens on the roofs of 200 black taxis, kindly donated by Verifone Media.

     

    London Taxi PR digital advertising

    London Taxi PR digital advertising

     

    Lee Sheppard, co-founder with Gary Long of London Taxi PR said, “London Taxis are under pressure and we need to shout from the rooftops the great advantages of black cabs. This is why we set up London Taxi PR to enable us to bring about campaigns such as these, so that we could highlight the benefits of our trade. We coined the phrase, “Take a Ride in London’s Pride” and we’ve received great feedback.

    “We are currently in the process of raising £1,000 for a social media campaign and we will continually be raising funds to follow this campaign up with more poster awareness campaigns.

     

    London Taxi PR poster campaign

    London Taxi PR poster campaign

     

    “We’ve made a positive start and look forward to reminding Londoners and visitors that London Taxis are the safest and most trusted in the world.”

    If you would like to make a donation to support London Taxi PR, visit http://londontaxipr.com/index.html.

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  • Itchy Feet London Getting Set For Hottest April Fool’s Event

    Itchy Feet, the DJ and event collective which tours the UK throwing parties set to an old-school soundtrack has something very special planned for 01 April… or does it?

    The infamous party troupe will take over the Prince of Wales in Brixton for a raucous night of foolish fun dishing out free dance lessons on one floor, and Rum and Reggae on the other.

     

    Itchy Feet1

     

    Known for serving the vintage sounds of Rock’N’Roll, Ska, R’n’B, Swing, Funk and Soul with its patented mix of awesome music and awesome people, Itchy Feet is pulling out all the stops for its next event to encourage revellers City wide to release their inner fool at their very own house of fun.

    “Itchy Feet has always been about uniting the different types of vintage music. And if you don’t like one, you’re bound to like the other” says the night’s creator, Leo Bedford.   “ Dance instructors from Swing Patrol will be laying out the lessons downstairs, while the roof deck will have a decidedly more laid back feel.”

     

    Itchy Feet2

     

    For those who give the dance party a miss and head outside, the Brighton-based Del Gazebo has been drafted in to play a night full of Reggae to the open air deck. The dedicated rum bar will be fully stocked and ready to serve up a special range of delicious cocktails to keep the fun flowing all night long. Once the clock strikes 12, it’s club time – strap on dancing shoes and feel the beat as the Itchy Feet DJs hit the decks and muddle together the very best in tunes from yesteryear.

     

    Itchy Feet3

     

    Starting in a basement in Leeds in 2009, Itchy Feet is founder Leo Bedford’s, idea of a good night out.  The London April Fool’s takeover in Brixton is the latest in a scorching line up of epic events. “I like rooms full of nice people, having a great time, and if possible – listening to R&B and Northern Soul, he says. “ When I couldn’t find such a place, I figured it might be fun to try and make one”.
    Seven years and 500,000 tickets sold later, Itchy Feet has visited nearly every major city in the UK, relieving the boredom of the musically enlightened. The party troupe also its own Motown-themed venue, 2648 which is named after the original Motown building in Detroit.

    Find out more and book tickets for the hottest April Fool’s event on the calendar at www.itchyfeetevents.com/london .

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  • Tourism

    US Royal ‘Super Fan’ Gets VIP Fans of London Tour

    New Campaign Celebrates London Events Including the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations, the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Legacy, and the World’s First Rolling Stones Exhibit

    Christine Meer, a speech therapist from Ohio got the surprise of a lifetime trip to London to be given an exclusive VIP tour of London’s Royal palaces after being identified as a ‘Super Fan’ of the British Monarchy.

     

    fans of london

     

    London’s official tourism body, London & Partners (VisitLondon.com) created the special experience for the person they felt was the Royal Family’s most avid supporter, as part of the new Fans of London tourism campaign.

    Fans of London is a celebration of the spectacular events taking place throughout the British capital in the months to come, including: the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s legacy, and the world’s first exhibition of the Rolling Stones.

     

     

    The focus of the campaign centers on ‘super fans’ – individuals who are the most authentic, passionate and deserving supporters of the Royal Family, Harry Potter and Shakespeare.

    London & Partners searched for the most worthy fans and invited them to London to experience a series of amazing and unforgettable moments, which will be captured on film to a worldwide audience.

    Christine Meer is a huge fan of Kate Middleton and had never been to London before. Christine’s Royal itinerary included:

    – A day at Hampton Court Palace, once the home to Henry VIII, where she was given a behind the scenes tour of the castle by as Henry VIII himself. A tour of the Tudor kitchens, followed by a guide to the portrait galleries and palace gardens and the famous Hampton Court Maze.

    – A day at Kensington Palace, where, after a greeting from Royal Wardens, she was given a private tour of the Royal Fashion collection, including dresses worn by Princess Diana, Princess Margaret and Her Majesty the Queen.

    – A Princess-for-a-day experience that included a chauffeur driven tour of London followed by a pamper and makeover session to give Christine the ‘Royal Look’ at the London Hilton on Park Lane and ending with dinner in Galvin at Windows, the rooftop restaurant with views over Buckingham Palace

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  • General

    DestinationsRus’ new travel booking concept

    The concept is simple; as a member of DestinationsRus you have access to their booking platform, where their prices are regularly up to 30% lower than traditional booking/travel companies, but can be up to 70% lower.
    How is this possible? It’s quite a clever idea. They get the same prices as all the other providers, but then pay a subsidy to get a discount from their supplier, this is the final price you pay, nothing else!
    Unlike traditional booking companies, who get the price from their suppliers and then mark-up the prices. The only real difference in the price to the end user is the amount of margin the booking companies put on the wholesale price.
    DestinationsRus Ltd, Chief Executive Sean Quick explains, “The concept of a club is to look after its member’s interests and to give members benefits that non-members don’t have. This doesn’t only apply to price; with us it includes everything travel related.
    dru
    Our objective is to grow our member base, to give us even more leverage to get better prices and facilities for our members. Our guiding principle is never to ‘mark-up’ the prices we negotiate, passing the full saving on to our members. We derive our margin from a small percentage of the annual membership fee, we never make any margin on the booking, that is the fundamental difference between us & all of the others!”
    At the moment there are two levels of membership, Club is designed for people that holiday for one or two weeks per year, while Club+ is for the more frequent traveller, who takes holidays and also use hotels on a more regular basis.
    The annual membership fees are only €99 for Club, & €299 for Club+. They are so confident their prices for resorts and hotels are much cheaper than their competitors, they offer a guarantee. “If you don’t save at least double your membership fee”, they will give you your next year free.
    They also offer a no obligation ‘Try before you buy’. You can become a guest member completely free of charge (no credit card details required), for 14 days to compare their prices, choice and availability with your usual booking provider.
    To join as a guest member just visit: DRU guest and check out why DestinationsRus is becoming the fastest growing travel phenomena in Europe. Their logo sums it up, ‘Join! Book! Save! ‘

    For more information visit: destinationsrus.co.uk

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  • General

    JMW Turner’s Twickenham villa crowdfunding campaign

    Today Turner’s House Trust announces a four-week crowdfunding campaign to bridge the funding gap required to fully restore Sandycombe Lodge, the Twickenham villa designed and built by JMW Turner.

    Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Architectural Heritage Fund and many other generous funders and private supporters, the Trust is now only £125,000 away from its fundraising target of £2.4 million.

    A loan offer from the Architectural Heritage Fund has enabled the Trust to appoint contractors and urgent restoration works will begin in early April, with the house scheduled to reopen to the public in 2017.

    “Until all the money is raised our work is not done,” said Catherine Parry-Wingfield, chairman, Turner’s House Trust. “We do not want to take up a loan we have no funds to repay. Meeting the funding gap is now urgent.”

    “Sandycombe Lodge is a rare three-dimensional work of art by Turner, England’s internationally renowned landscape painter. We must save it for future generations.”

    It is now 200 years since Turner built the house, listed Grade II*, which is still almost totally intact with some unsightly additions. Now it is threatened by damp and decay, is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register and in need of urgent major conservation.

    Crowdfunding rewards include private tours with personal guests and the opportunity to view the restoration ahead of public opening. To donate and for more details visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/turnershouse

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  • Panzerotto Pugliese, London’s New Italian Street Food Craze

    An Italian street vendor is making waves on London’s already-vibrant food scene, with an exciting new concept – the Panzerotto Pugliese.

    The Panzerotto Pugliese is a circle of pizza dough, formed into a crescent and stuffed with mouth-watering tomato and mozzarella as a flavourful base. The crescent dough is then fried in abundant seed oil, for a tantalizing and authentic Italian flavour. The dish can also be enjoyed with a multitude of variants, from minced beef and peppers to chicken, pulled pork or fresh vegetables. Enjoyed all over Italy, this delicious street food is now taking London’s food market by storm.

     

    Panzerotto Pugliese2

     

    The Panzerotto, aside from being the inspiration for the stall name – Panzerotto Blues – is reminiscent of the calzone , a twist on the conventional pizza which also takes that crescent shape. But while the calzone is made with regular bread dough, the Panzerotto is made from traditional pizza dough, which lighter and crispier when it’s been fried or baked.

    Gianni Perillo is the man bringing the Panzerotto Pugliese to the streets of London. His Italian street food stall is located at Greenwich Market on Thursdays and Fridays, and word is quickly spreading about the delightful Italian delicacy he’s serving up, freshly baked every day.

     

    Panzerotto Pugliese

     

    Gianni says, “When you think of the Italian street food market, you think of the conventional pizzas and pasta dishes that have been a staple in UK diets for years. But being a street trader has taught me that English palates are ready for something new! The Panzerotto Pugliese is a brand new concept for the UK, packed with real Italian ingredients and made fresh right in front of every customer’s eyes – get ready for an Italian taste sensation like nothing you’ve ever experienced!”

    Gianni hails from Altamura – the tiny town in Puglia, which famously forced the closure of a McDonald’s branch in 2002. This fight against the flattening of tastes was deeply ingrained in Gianni’s psyche, and good, authentic food has been a staple of his life since then.

     

    Panzerotto Pugliese3

     

    As well as seeking the please the palates of UK food fans, Gianni wishes to inspire every customer visiting his stall. He firmly believes that anyone can achieve their dreams – Gianni himself went from working in the sales department of an international petrol company to running his own street food stall. He now indulges his passion for food every day, and wants to encourage others to protect and pursue their dreams in the same way.

    For more information about Panzerotto Blues, visit: www.facebook.com/panzerottoblues

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  • Food

    Best Restaurants in London for Food Lovers

    London indeed stands tall when it comes to palaces, monuments and libraries. Apart from the rich cultural heritage that the city boasts of, it also offers culinary delights people totally swear by. From elegant fine dining restaurants to small and lovely eateries, London suits diverse tastes and preferences.

    Read on to explore some of the favourite places to eat in London.

    Burger and Lobster

    Serving American and seafood, this classic restaurant offers a warm and lovely environment. With a delectable variety on the food menu and an exhaustive drinks menu, Burger and Lobster is a good choice to indulge in seafood.

    The restaurant is located in Farringdon and is well connected to various parts of London via Farringdon Tube Station.

    Pachamama

    Serving Peruvian cuisine, Pachamama is a recent addition to London’s impressive dining scene. Dishes made with British ingredients served with cocktails and mocktails in colonial-style environs is the reason why Pachamama is popular with people.

    Nestled in Marylebone, Pachmama is close to Bond Street Tube Station.

    Lobster Kitchen

    Lobster Kitchen offers American and Seafood in a casual New England-inspired seafood setting. A must-go place for lobster lovers, Lobster Kitchen is located in Bloomsbury close to Tottenham Court Road Tube Station.

    Social Eating House

    Social Eating House is a low lit and diverse bar with leather booths and a copper bar. The Social Eating House offers an excellent range of cocktails and smart food and is located on Poland Street.

    Dinings

    Nestled on Harcourt Street, Dinings is the place to go to indulge in a unique mix of sushi and Japanese tapas-style dishes. The surroundings are simple yet beautiful.

    Sushi Tetsu

    A small and traditional Japanese Sushi Bar, Sushi Tetsu is run by husband and wife duo. The restaurant specialises in Sushi and Sashimi. Chef Toru offers a relaxed Sushi experience to the passages of Clerkenwell.

    Chiltern Firehouse

    Located beside a luxury bespoke 26-room hotel, the Chiltern Firehouse is famous for glamour-chic dining. Come here and enjoy your meal at the beautiful open kitchen counter. The designer’s restaurant’s chef Nuno Mendes ensures high quality meal with his original delicacies.

    You might just spot a celebrity here.

    Lemonia

    Always packed with locals and hungry families, Lemonia offers a delicious supply of Hellenic small-dish meze dips, starters and hot breads. The rustic mains like slow-baked kleftiko lamb in lemon, Greek yogurt–and–potato moussaka, herb-stuffed tomatoes, classic eggplant and grilled prawns to name some are the most popular dishes.

    You’ll certainly love the friendly Greek service and hospitality here.

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  • General

    Santander Cycles now at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

    London’s flagship cycle hire scheme, Santander Cycles, has been expanded to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

    Eight new docking stations and 310 docking points have been installed at the Park, furthering the reach of the popular scheme and contributing to the Mayor’s vision of making cycling more accessible for everyone.

    London’s Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, and Jessica Ennis-Hill, Santander ambassador, were at the Park today to launch the new docking stations, including some special edition gold Santander Cycles to reflect the link to the London 2012 cycling legacy.

    The newest docking stations are located at iconic venues at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, including at the London Aquatics Centre, Lee Valley VeloPark, the ArcelorMittal Orbit and East Village, the former 2012 Athlete’s Village. Locals and visitors are now able to hire a bike and cycle around the Park, docking and re-hiring at various points, allowing them to enjoy all that the area has to offer, and cycle on into the city using Cycle Superhighway 2.

    Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “It is fantastic to see our iconic cycle hire scheme spread its wings to the glorious setting of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The scheme has developed beyond recognition since it first started, with millions of miles ridden by cyclists of all ages and abilities. By successfully expanding further east, TfL is giving even more people the chance to get around on our trusty red bikes. It’s a real boost for commuters, shoppers and tourists, and another shot in the arm for booming east London.”

    Keith Moor, Chief Marketing Officer, Santander, said: “We’re absolutely committed to growing and developing Santander Cycles together with TfL by making more cycles available, providing more docking stations and offering extra benefits in future to give Londoners and visitors to the Capital the best possible experience. Expanding the cycle scheme to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will allow more people to see just how fun, rewarding and easy it is to use a Santander Cycle.”

    David Goldstone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “We’re delighted that Santander Cycles is here. What a better way to explore all 560 acres of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park than on two wheels? We welcome Londoners and visitors to come and make a day of it and experience all that the Park has to offer, including a variety of great cycling routes, docking and re-hiring as you go.”

    Jessica Ennis-Hill, Santander ambassador and Olympic gold medallist, said: “I am really happy to see that the Santander Cycles scheme has been extended to include Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The venue is so iconic and holds lots of great memories for me, but above all there is so much to do and see around the park. New ways to encourage people to be more active and explore their city are always so welcome and here you can cycle and take in all the iconic Olympic venues – it’s brilliant.”

    The latest expansion of Santander Cycles brings the total number of docking stations within the scheme up to 761. Plans are also in place to introduce two docking stations at Here East, the new digital quarter at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in the spring, as well as in Kings Cross, Stockwell and Vauxhall.

    Since launching in 2010, the cycles have been hired more than 47 million times. The partnership between TfL and Santander UK is enhancing the Santander Cycles scheme and delivering more benefits to users, making cycling more easy, fun and rewarding.

    In December it was announced that all Santander Cycles would be fitted with Blaze Laserlights to project a symbol of a bicycle onto the ground, improving safety by giving the cyclist a larger footprint on the road. And the Santander Cycles App, launched in May 2015, has now been downloaded by more than 150,000 people and makes hiring a cycle much easier.

    Santander Cycles is the second largest cycle hire scheme in Europe, with 11,5000 bikes for hire from as little as £2 per day for casual users or 25p per day on an annual membership.

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  • Christian Furr’s art collection to be displayed in London

    Talented artist Christian Furr’s stunning art collection “Hidden Treasures” is being displayed at Campbell’s Master Framers and Art Gallery in South Kensington, London.

    Amongst the collection includes the painting ‘Flesh and Blood’ – a superb example of contemporary figurative art. The artwork is the last in Christian’s Men and Women series, painted between 2007 and 2011.

    The “Hidden Treasures” collection, which must be seen in the flesh to be fully appreciated, is being exhibited until Monday February 15 2016.

    Christian features the Game of Thrones star Esmé Bianco in his ‘Flesh and Blood’ painting. Esmé was spotted by Christian, prior to her role in the hit TV series, ten years ago at Terry de Havilland’s 2005/06 London Fashion Week show, where she was modelling.

    Speaking about why he chose Esmé to sit for his paintings, Christian Furr said “Esmé, with her red hair, had a twenty-first century edgy look combining the future and the past.”

    “Esme’s look is reminiscent of 1940’s screen icons such as Deborah Kerr, who featured as the muse in the film The Life and Times of Colonel Blimp. The model on the right is a friend of Esme’s that has a different type of look that contrasts well.”

     

    Flesh and Blood by Christian Furr 2011

    Flesh and Blood by Christian Furr 2011

     

    The actress, who shot to fame in 2011 playing Ros in Game of Thrones, was not featured in George R. R. Martin’s original book series, and in fact was only meant to feature in the pilot episode of the TV series. In an interview with HBO, Esmé explained that the show’s creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, enjoyed her performance so much they decided to write her in as a recurring character.

    Esmé Bianco said, “Sitting for Christian was an absolute pleasure. He is not only an extraordinarily gifted painter, but a very kind and charming gentleman. I feel very honoured to have been featured in several of his beautiful paintings.”

    Christian continues, “I chose to feature two women in this work with different types of poses and attitudes to reflect how most relationships are not static. Esmé gazes out of a window at life outside, unconcerned and intrepid in her pose where the girl on the right looks more introspective and protective.”

    “The image of the lion on the wall is vulnerable too. The three of them set up a pyramid-like composition like the Karpman Drama triangle.”

     

    Artist Christian Furr

    Artist Christian Furr

     

    The settings for the paintings in the series were largely high end hotels and include various themes about life and the relationships between men, women and love. Paintings within paintings or mirrors and windows that appear in Furr’s artwork are designed to represent alternate realities.

    Christian, who was notably the youngest artist to be commissioned to paint an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, also commented on the method in his artwork. “I am conscious of balance and dynamics in all my works and for this reason I apply a method of making this work that is based on an aspect of the golden ratio. This means that in theory the painting should work upside down and in every position. I create the paintings, turning them every way whilst working.”

    “I don’t like to put specific meaning on any of my works. I just like to give clues, signifiers and let the viewer do the rest. Although they may be influenced by my own sub conscious ideas, the works must exist in their own right and have their own life for whoever is viewing them.”

    Christian’s Hidden Treasures collection will be on display until February 15 2016 at Campbell’s Master Framers and Art Gallery, 35 Thurloe Street, London, SW7 2LQ.

    The 2011 painting Flesh & Blood by Christian Furr featuring Esmé Bianco is oil on canvas, measuring 914 x 914 mm, is priced at £8,400.

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