Pullman Hotels & Wallpaper* ’Our World = Your Playground’

Having made a careful examination of the contemporary work/play philosophy and the ever-evolving pleasure of doing business, Wallpaper* and upscale international hotel brand Pullman Hotels announce the ‘Our World = Your Playground’ project. The new artist-in-residence programme invites young talent – photographers, illustrators, graphic designers and digital artists – to submit themselves and their work for consideration, with the chance of a prize that offers unique access to a diverse creative environment and a truly global audience

Launched earlier this year, Wallpaper* and Pullman Hotels’ Our World = Your Playground artist-in-residence programme is intended as an opportunity for creative people to take time away from their usual environment and obligations, in order to inspire new possibilities in the production and presentation of their work.

In August 2015, competition winner Louisa Gagliardi, a Zurich-based illustrator, ensconced herself for a week in a penthouse suite at the Pullman London St Pancras. Working from all areas of the building, and observing every detail, large and small, she generated a collection of artworks inspired by the Pullman Hotel’s ambiance, furnishings, textures and surroundings.

‘As soon as arrived, I started collecting images of the hotel’s spaces and whatever objects I could find in the various rooms, including the tiny sewing kits, soaps, slippers, bathrobes, keys or room service trays,’ says Louisa. ‘I decided to produce images of these hotel objects, blowing them up on large-scale prints.’

Some items were digitally juxtaposed in unusual settings – a lobster on a dining table, a giant gemstone in a boardroom – creating impactful and imaginative pop art that brings to mind the work of Michael English, Gerald Murphy and Tom Wesselmann.

Gagliardi found the experience of an intense seven days in an enclosed but comfortable foreign environment ‘extremely productive’. ‘The short period of time forces you to only focus on the work,’ she says. ‘Which in my case meant living and breathing the project, actually occupying the space I was depicting.’

Coloured sketches on paper

Inspired by her stay at the hotel, Louisa Gagliardi’s work begins with a series of rough, marker pen sketches

(Image credit: TBC)

Sketches made into digital art on screen

The sketches are then transformed into Louisa’s distinctively stylized, digital art

(Image credit: TBC)

Artist looking out of window at British landscape

The view from the top floor of the Pullman Hotel takes in the Gothic architecture of St. Pancras station and the British Library

(Image credit: TBC)

Golden colour theme of interior

The Pullman Hotel St. Pancras Business Playground designed by Mathieu Lehanneur

(Image credit: TBC)

Large elongated business room table and chairs

The Business Playground’s boardroom table design is inspired by the poker tables found at luxury casinos

(Image credit: TBC)

Artist working on digital designs

Louisa Gagliardi working at the Pullman Hotel’s Golden Arrow Bar

(Image credit: TBC)

Artist in her office at desk

Louisa at her desk in the Pullman Hotel’s Deluxe Suite 

(Image credit: TBC)

Artist at her desk with wall length shelves behind

The Pullman Hotel’s tranquil Connectivity Lounge provided a quiet but connected space during Louisa’s stay

(Image credit: TBC)

Artist reading a book in lobby on yellow chair

The Pullman Hotel’s bustling Lobby area includes a library of inspirational material

(Image credit: TBC)

Artist sitting at table at lunch

Working lunch; Coffee and inspiration at the Pullman’s Golden Arrow Restaurant

(Image credit: TBC)

Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms