The Don Restaurant & Bistro

(Photo © Colin Mills)

(Photos © Colin Mills)

In 1999 Hoyland was asked by friends and restauranteurs Robyn and Robert Wilson if he would consider creating some work to decorate the recently gutted interior of their new restaurant, The Don, based in a 200-year-old port warehouse in the City of London.

He agreed and produced seven paintings to hang opposite seven large windows on the ground floor. Robyn recalls how John phoned a week after they’d returned from a particularly bibulous research trip to Oporto in Portugal, to say he’d produced something they might like: ‘He had a totally free hand – and we loved them. Once the paintings were in situ, the very high ceiling beckoned, so John created the template for the massive stainless steel sculpture that hangs above the room. Then the staircase needed some attention. Working with Didier, our glass producer, John created a series of etched glass panels for the banister, followed by etched glass lighting for the bar’ (Lambirth, A., ‘John Hoyland: Scatter the Devils’, Unicorn Press 2009).

The seven canvases were also digitally silk-screened on to a series of roller blinds for the windows opposite. The ceiling sculpture was taken from a black brush drawing and then cut in heavy stainless steel, the entire structure fixed in place by a team of specialist technicians from his old friend Anthony Caro’s studio.

don-restaurant_Ceiling sculpture Photo credit Colin Mills

Photos © Colin Mills