Shaftesbury has today announced that it’s West End village, Seven Dials, has joined forces with globally renowned artist and fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes to bring a splash of colour in her signature style to the area’s iconic streets.
The vibrant installations celebrate the community and safe return of visitors to the area as COVID- 19 lockdown lifts, encouraging shoppers and restaurant-goers to revisit the area under new social distancing measures.
Zandra Rhodes’ first studio with Sylvia Ayton in 1965 was situated on the corner of Neal Street in Seven Dials. With this in mind, the vibrant designs created for Seven Dials are synonymous with the swinging 60’s aesthetic, giving a proud nod to Seven Dials culture and the surrounding areas – a place which inspired Zandra in the early stages of her career, in particular her garment design.
This iconic art installation follows the implementation, in partnership with Camden Council, of timed road closures throughout Seven Dials which are in operation from 10am – 6pm to ensure safe social distancing for pedestrians. World-famous Neal’s Yard has also adopted a one-way foot traffic system, and additional cyclist parking spaces will also be available for the public.
Dame Zandra Rhodes, commented: “I am really excited to have had the opportunity to create some of my artwork for Seven Dials to celebrate everything the area has to offer. I myself had my very first studio on the corner of Neal Street in Seven Dials and there are so many good memories from my time there. In fact, I’d regularly see actor Quentin Crisp frequent a cafe directly opposite my studio whilst I worked! The artwork I’ve created incorporates my signature pink colourways, a nod to the swinging 60s which reflects my time in the area and some fantastic quotes from the Seven Dials community. I can’t wait for it to be unveiled and for everyone to see it!”
Karen Baines, Head of Group Marketing & Communication at Shaftesbury, added: “We are excited to be working with the talented Dame Zandra Rhodes to create vibrant and colourful artwork for our iconic streets. Given Zandra’s history with Seven Dials, she was the perfect fit for this project that celebrates the community and craftsmanship the area is known for. With the atmospheric open-air streets, and new road closure measures allowing for wider streets, this installation adds even more reason for people to safely and enjoyable return to Seven Dials.”
The installation launch follows the announcement that, throughout summer and autumn, visitors to Seven Dials will also be treated to impromptu live music performances every Saturday for seven weeks. The ‘Seven Dials Unplugged’ program of acoustic performances has been launched to support a number of UK performers who’ve been heavily affected by COVID-19, whilst giving Londoners a taste of live music. Every Saturday between 1pm – 5pm from 29 August to 3 October, seven performances will take place simultaneously covering an eclectic mix of genres, sound and live music.