London’s sketch says goodbye to pink with new interiors by India Mahdavi and Yinka Shonibare

Hello sunshine

When it comes to dining experiences, London’s sketch set the bar high when it debuted in 2002 with iconic pink interiors by India Mahdavi, replete with egg-shaped bathroom pods and wry artworks by David Shrigley. To mark the restaurant’s 20th anniversary, Mahdavi and artist Yinka Shonibare have ditched the rosy shade as part of their collaborative redesign of the space.

Says Mahdavi: ‘The Gallery at sketch has been linked to the colour pink for such a long time that it was very challenging for me to overcome this success.’

The designer has daubed sketch’s Gallery restaurant in sunny tones, creating a backdrop for 13 site-specific artworks by British-Nigerian artist Shonibare that celebrate the African diaspora. Walls are dressed in a copper skin that shimmers under handwoven lighting made by Ghanaian artisans to a design by Inès Bressand.

Custom banquettes are upholstered in solar yellow tones, with fabrics by Senagalese textile designer Aissa Dione, while the ceiling is painted in Mahdavi’s very own Mandarine au Lait shade, drawn from the pigment of a flower.

Photography: Edmund Dabney

Mahdavi’s less-is-more approach to dressing the space puts focus on Shobibare’s artworks, made using appliqué, embroidery and batik dyeing techniques. Replicas of masks, used by various indigenous African communities to ‘conjure up new powers and realms’, line the wall.

Says Shonibare: ‘After Matisse showed Picasso African art for the first time, it changed the history of modern art. Picasso was interested in appropriating from another culture, and I also appropriated from European ethnic art. Cultural appropriation can be a two-way street. This collaboration with sketch has given me an opportunity to expand my creative process – creating a different environment to encounter and experience my art in a fun and relaxing setting.’

9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG, United Kingdom

Photography: Edmund Dabney

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