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Hindsight and hotel bedroom design-wtf!

I was reading an article by Cristina Villalón (dated December 9, 2019) in the Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón blog entitled 15 Innovative Hotel Design Trends to Watch for in 2020,

(click the image for a link to the article)














Hotel Verde by Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón

While I enjoyed reading about designing hotels for ‘the Millennial factor’ i.e. Instagramable experiences and perks, ‘ Feeling Good’ ,’Going Green’ and ‘Tech savvy hotels’ I became ecstatic by noticing the omission of a trend that we’ve all come across many times recently: the 'feature' bath and in particular the open bath as a bedroom feature!.














The essence of a hotel break is to experience a bit of luxury, to disassociate one’s self from the normal daily grind of living and to reconnect with what important in your life, not having your partner listening to you thundering on an open w/c just behind the bedhead or inside a non-sound proofed glass wall or being watched undertaking basic ablutions.


It’s hard to imagine to how the discussion goes ‘I know, everyone loves a freestanding bath, everyone wants to rekindle the romance in their relationship, so lets abandon any sense of dignity, put the bath in the middle of the bedroom and save the cost of a decent sofa!’


A freestanding bath and other innovative bathroom arrangements are, to my way of thinking, a sure-fire way of ensuring that romance dies so thank feck a leader in the field of hotel design also considers it old hat and hopefully these abominations are removed.


Hoteliers, you know what people want so don’t be swayed by fashionable ‘trends’ proposed by those whose existence depends on fashion churn: fashion is essentially ephemeral and most of it looks just terrible in hindsight. 


Contemporary Art Practice; Messy vitality.

2020: Contemporary Painters Show in Centrespace gallery Bristol/Spike Island





















In January a few artists involved in the painter’s network southwest met in Spike Island to plan a show of painters working in the Southwest to help define ‘contemporary art practice’, partly in response to Spike Islands new practice of curating the studios based on the ability of the studio -holders to outline how their work engages with ’contemporary Art Practice’ and partly to help raise the profile of painting in general.

A recent preoccupation in the southwest has been Spike islands new management teams’ definition of what contemporary practice is and their proposed expulsion of Howard Silverman, one of the original founder artists of Spike Island along with many other respected practicing artists; the definition used seemed more geared to creating and curating a studio of like-minded artists for funding purposes rather developing the existing messy vitality of supportive artists actually involved in creating contemporary practice. Spikes international reputation as a centre of progressive art is precisely because of this organic growth.

It was agreed that the show would present the work of 20 emerging painters in an uncurated manner rather than prepare a show based on a preconception of what contemporary practice is: the common ground being painting itself, incorporating two and three-dimensional interpretations.

Within three weeks the show was ready, publicised and hung ready for the opening night/private view in Centrespace gallery, Bristol.

The variety of approaches to painting was inspiring, ranging from the silicone painted plastic sheets of Emily Snell to the precise atmospheric marks of Ruth Piper, illuminated wax, resin and tar paintings by Angel Greenham to the 3d work by Ally McGinn. The quality of all paintings was high showing a vitality and cohesiveness unusual for a group who had only met formally two months earlier















The private view was really well attended by Artists, Students, Gallery owners, Collectors and a mix of Bristol professionals with barely room to move at one time and attendance during the week of the show was high. If this is indicative of contemporary art practice in the southwest by painters then the show should be rolled out across the country as a reminder to the art industry that painting is alive and thriving.

There was no conclusion to the matter of defining contemporary practice. It is many things and is as broad and disordered as literature and poetry, alchemy and philosophy, involving marks and abstract thought that often take you to a place  deep inside, but what is clear is that contemporary practice is as a result of working in an environment of support and dialogue, responding to others with different mindsets and cannot be curated to order. The management team at Spike Island should learn from this. I doubt they will but one can hope that with the Guardian newspaper taking in interest in the case they may come to realise that  rather like the growth of a favourite city, those parts that don’t work renew themselves in response to the parts that do work and eventually both messy vitality and cohesion is achieved; rarely does one person’s imposed masterplan have enough subtlety to achieve anything other than a monument to arrogance.

Spike Island has shown that it has a life and should be left to renew itself.   


2020 Artists : Helen Acklam, Vivienne Baker, Steve Burden, Niamh Collins, Sally Couldon, Sarah Gibbels, Angel Greenham, Greg Harris, Alison McGinn, Vicky Mackay, Ruth Piper, Maggie Royle, Judy Rodrigues, Ronnie Rennoldson, Emily Snell, James Thornton, Joe Tymkow, Caroline Watson, Joe Warrior Walker, Will Willford.








The pig near bath.jpg
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