The Wahaca Southbank Experiment is our new temporary restaurant, opening at Southbank Centre alongside Waterloo Bridge today. It’s not like a Wahaca restaurant that you may have seen before, we’ve challenged ourselves to be more innovative. It’s built from 8 recycled shipping containers and we’ve introduced a new menu with monthly changing specials, the most popular of which will take up residency in all of our restaurants. We like to think it’ll help to keep us on our toes.
Our 8 shipping containers have been modified to create an interlinked open space on 2 levels to include panoramic windows offering some pretty stunning views of the river and the passing parade of people floating by. If you’re after a cocktail, it also has a dedicated tequila bar serving award winning tequilas and single village mezcals.
We’ve enlisted the help of street art curator Tristan Manco who has invited 2 graffiti artists, Saner and Remed, to decorate the space for our opening, bringing some extra colour to the riverside.
Remed and Saner at work
Tommi has been up to her elbows in new recipes specifically for this site following our recent trip to Mexico and LA. We’re starting off with some punchy chilli tacos, salmon ceviche (a Mexico City fusion favourite) and a couple of different ways of eating beautifully slow cooked carnitas.
The Wahaca Southbank Experiment will be our new development kitchen and because the most popular dishes will be added to our regular menu, you are all our new recipe testers. Welcome to the team. We can’t wait to get the experiment started.
The Wahaca Southbank Experiment is located on the terrace under Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX. It will be open daily for the next 18 months from midday – 11pm (10.30pm on Sundays).
We’ve not tried anything like this before. It’s not how restaurants usually get built. But that’s what makes it fun, right?
At the beginning of July, we’re going to be opening a new Wahaca perched next to Southbank Centre alongside Waterloo Bridge. This isn’t the kind of opportunity that comes up every day and we wanted to make sure we do this iconic site justice. So this won’t be like a Wahaca restaurant you’ve seen before.
To start, we’re not building it from bricks and mortar. Wahaca Southbank will be built from 8 recycled shipping containers, which our architects have designed to fit together on 2 storeys with a cantilevered hanging bar space allowing for 130 hungry people.
Raising the bar
Our 8 shipping containers have been modified to create a series of interlinked open spaces and include panoramic windows offering some pretty stunning views of the river and the passing parade of people, boats, royalty etc.
Keeping it fresh. A work in progress
Wahaca Southbank will be a chance for you to try out some new dishes. Tommi has already been up to her elbows in new recipes specifically for this site following our recent trip to Mexico and LA, and she will also be joined by guest chefs, invited to help develop other new dishes for the Southbank menu. We’re thinking of this as a development kitchen. The dishes that you tell us you like the most will be added to our menu in our other restaurants. We like to think it’ll help us to keep things fresh.
We’ve also got a bit more experimental with our decoration. We’ve been working with Tristan Manco, general worldwide authority on all things street art, who’s hooked us up with some amazing artists who will be flying in from Mexico City and around the world to graffiti the space, creating an evolving work of art that will be updated as the mood takes us and the seasons change.
What we'll look like. With a few sketches by graffiti artist Saner.
One thing we always like to know when opening a restaurant is how long it’ll be around for. But that’s also a little up in the air. You see, Southbank Centre have invited us to join them as part of this summer’s Festival of the World, a 3 month-long celebration of art instillations and events. They’ve said we can stay for as long as it takes them to decide what to do with the space next, which could be 18 months, or it could be longer. But that’s the clever bit you see. When we do move on, we just pick these shipping containers up, and set them up somewhere else. The Wahaca experiment will move on, opening up for new people, introducing new art and design and new dishes to a new community. So please come and get involved with our experiment. We hope you’ll like the results.
We had an amazing response to our graffiti competition with over five and a half thousand votes from around the world! Congratulations to everyone who entered. In some heats it was really close and we’re sad that only 10 can go through to the finals – but we’re not going to stop at Canary Wharf, so there’ll be more opportunities to decorate Wahaca soon!
Created with Admarket’sflickrSLiDR.
The finalists are:
It’s now up to the management (feel free to try and influence their decision!) and we hope to announce the overall winner very soon.
Here’s the last set of artists looking for your votes. The winner of our graffiti contest will be invited to decorate the walls in our new Restaurant in Canary Wharf. Have a look through and cast your vote on which artist you think would be the best with our new place.
I’ve been doing graffiti/street art for 10 years now. I mainly do photorealistic art but I quite often like to combine it with stencil or abstract art. I love new challenges and know loads of techniques to transfer new ideas to large walls. I’ve done loads of airbrush jobs as well. Graffiti came to me as a way of expressing myself on a bigger canvas and is a way to show people that the art doesn’t always need to be inside the gallery. It can be everywhere.
Ria Dastidar aka Uberpup – makes imagery inspired by pop culture, nature, the urban environment, characters and fun. The work is playful, surreal and always uses distinctive intense color. Images take a mixed media approach, collage based, assembled digitally. The illustrations produced are often chaotic in style, unrestrained and contain a feeling of density and unbridled energy. Influences include, satirical comedy, Indian textiles, and day-glo cartoon shows. Contemporary illustrators are also very important to the Uber-style, especially Tado, Vault 49 and Genevieve Gauckler. Japanese art and anime is also an inspiration especially the artist Chiho Aoishima.
I am very inspired by architecture and my environment. When I used to paint in the streets I took certain environmental aspects with me into painting interiors and canvas… The way buildings interact with each other and the offsetting of sky colour against dark concrete and metal edges is integral to the similar structures that lie within my abstracts. Although based strongly on early graffiti paintings and graffiti colour schemes, my paintings rely on structure and form. Negative space is also a big factor in my work and I like to work out in my head what goes on outside of the actual painting as well as inside it.To make the innocent and beautiful dark, to find soul in stark, geometric swashes…
Growing up I was a fan of kids cartoons and comic books. As I got older and growing up in Brixton I became aware of the graffiti and advertisement that surrounded me in my urban environment. These things went on to influence my art, the blocks of solid colour, used in the cartoons, my use of line, like the comics. The more raw scruffier aspect of graffiti and the use of sexy young cool imagery used in advertisement.
Jimi Crayon recently exhibited work alongside Banksy, Rankin and Anthony Gormley in the extremely successful Art against Knives exhibition and was the first of all artist to sell his work raising money for the charity. He has customised shoes for Theirry Henry, and Elle Mcphearson and Immodesty Blaze are both collectors of his work. He is one of only 8 artist ever to paint onto the notoriously clean walls of MC&Saatchi’s London HQ and has also painted live murals at the Tate Modern on two occasions. He has shown work in London, Barcelona, Milan and New York and has featued heavily in the press from The Independent through to Vice magazine. Jimi is signed to Britain’s biggest Illustration agency ‘CIA’ working alonside the likes of Sir Peter Blake and Ian Bilbey. Jimi’s work has an enthuastic edge focussing on the vibrance and fun side of life not commonly found amongst his piers. “Arts in a weird place at present, its seems like everyone wants to immortalise the things they hate, you cant walk the streets without seeing stencils of guns, george bush or altered coca cola signs, It can be very patronising, I prefer thinking about the way I want things to go rather than the way I’d hate them to turn out.”
THE KRAH is a decrepit yet talented young man who has wasted most of his youth scribbling on everything and using any medium he could get his hands on. Brought up in the Mediterranean chaos of Europe’s most ancient city, ironically the one that gave birth to democracy. The KRAH was always fascinated by the urban disorder of his hometown of Athens Greece, where the priests are the richest men and the sunstroke makes the nation think that democracy still exists. As vandalism was the most fun thing to do, THE KRAH started painting the streets and the subway trains of Athens from 1997. But his graffiti and street-art also be seen on the streets of a lot of other citys around the world, all over Europe and cities such as Tokyo and Bangkok. After moving to East London The KRAH is still a very active street-artist and if graffiti is about underground freestyle funky visuals in illegal spots, THE KRAH has plenty of them to offer.
We are Agents Of Change – a group of 4 artists who work together to create artwork that blends and melds each of our individual styles into something unique. Our work is always site specific and we draw inspiration not only from the space to be painted but also it’s past, present and future. The attached piece was created in a gallery under renovation in east Berlin as part of a project to draw attention to the changes – good and bad- that the area and its population have experienced following the destruction of the wall.
I’ve been painting many years now.Both commercially and on the street. My recent work involves pylons and vegetation under the rough title of ‘urban nature’. I also recently painted the decor at the latitude festival. I’ve been described as bringing colour back to the streets and anything else I can get my paints, stickers and paste-ups on.
My artwork is brightly coloured and humourous, inspired by 1920’s art deco, 60’s psycadelia ,art noveau. My pieces always have a story to tell and I like the idea that the viewer can see something different in the picture each time they look and come away from the picture with a smile on their face (I know that sounds cheesy!). I often include organic elements, animals (and cakes!) in my pieces. My pieces are a mixture of hand made paper/ fabric collages cut up with a stanley knife and scissors before being scanned into Photoshop to reproduce as a print. I have recently added paintings to my portfolio too and these are large scale acrylics or household paints canvas and also as wall murals.
Now you’ve ssen the artists. Cast your vote. And don’t forget to check back soon to see who’s the winner of all 5 heats.
We’ve been delighted with the amount of votes so far. Please keep up the good work! Here’s the 4th heat in the contest, so please have a look and let us know who you think would be best to decorate our new restaurant in Canary Wharf. There will be a final set of artists uploaded tomorrow, so keep checking back to have your say on who goes into the final 10, from which 1 lucky winner will be chosen by the Wahaca Team.
25. Brian Masters
As a boy, I said to my father I want to be a painter. What I meant was an artist, but father got me a job as a painter/decorator. My true passion though is to create art. I am inspired to capture the essences of people’s souls and have developed my own style which some might describe as flamboyant. I am completely self-taught. My vision for the walls of Wahaca would be to showcase the passionate people of Mexico – eating, dancing, cooking in the markets and the streets – all thoroughly enjoying life to create a feeling of warmth and wellbeing.
I was basically sick to death of walking around and seeing so many boarded up houses which i felt were an eye sore and in some ways depressing so i decided to tackle this by bringing life back to those houses with a mix of street art and photography. I would describe my work as environmental activism!
27. Miss Bonnita
I believe that my art is perfect for Wahaca!!
I am a experienced street artist and I also have the skills and experience as i have worked with interior decorators on massive hand painted wall installations.. No space is too big.
I am also passionate about colour and design. I believe that public art has a responsibility to lift the soul and create a sense of happiness and in return vibrate that energy towards the viewer so that they can feeling positively enhanced.
I’m a qualified French artist from Paris and i’ve been painting on the wall since 90’s. My style is a mixture of street art, aerosol bombs, stencils and collages. I also paint canvases for a gallery in Paris. My influcenes are the fashion, electronic music, contemporay art and a lot of streets artists and graphists (Blek, Futura, José Parla, Kaws, Brainwash, Faile, Beejoir, Invader, Obey, M/M, Mode 2, Frost, Jr, Micallef and Banksy). I am the creator of the french brand MS Wear (graphic tee shirts, www.mswear.fr <blocked::http://www.mswear.fr/> ) and i’m the artisitic director of the shop Ministry Of Design Paris. I like to mix the pastels colours with the flashy. I think art is a color in the life. The Street art is The Life !
I work as a textile visual artist in London, basically I draw words and images with different materials and textile fabrics, sometimes I embroider on my art. I am very much influenced by pop art, street art and equally traditional craft art in the world, and also poetry writing is a huge part in my creative process.
Claroscuro is a duo of two artists. One coming from a background of fine arts and the other with a background in Graffiti. The symbiosis of these two mediums is created with the objective of using art as a social and communicative tool. Claroscuro has left murals and posters around Europe as well as participating in gallery shows and exhibiting in Barcelona London and New York. Claroscuro would be honored to get busy on the commission for wahaca and would prepare something freeessshhh.”
I like the idea of a square comprising lots of rectangles and a circle where people put their clothes in. I also like the idea of a woman swimming in purple, jelly-like liquid that could smell of flowers and sugar, and that is just another product on the shelf of the off license. One thing becomes another that refers to something else that had nothing to do with it. This big play with reality is what I’m interested in.
Thanks to everyone who’s voted already, we’ve had a great response to our first two heats. Here’s the third set of entries that we’ve had for our graffiti competition. Have a look through and let us know whose work you think would be best for our new Canary Wharf restaurant. Don’t forget to keep checking back every day this week, as we’ll be posting another set of artists work each day for you to chose from.
Irony has a true talent for creeping around in the dark putting up pictures where people didn’t expect them. For him this is a good enough reason to dedicate every waking hour to that end. Embracing traditional letter graffiti concepts as well as stencil art Irony’s work is a mish-mash of visual ideas boiled down into something small enough to carry on the night bus without looking suspicious. Most notable are his beautiful paintings of woman and angels in gothic dresses and television creatures which while very pretty, have a strong anti-authoritarian air about them.
letters, colours, stamps, food, music, women, markers, spaces, walls, rough surfaces, the see, good weather, spraypaint, coffee, beer, travelling, singing, whistling, hanging out tuff, rough or just easy, laughing, working, paddeling, salat making, meet roasting, television, spitting, rap, whitest boy alive, notorious big, falling asleep, being loud, dreaming, fence climbing, whale watching, photography, ocean, annapurna, dogs n’ cats, ghosts, heavy metal, fishing, surfing, reading books, riding horses, painting trains, sleeping in trains, subways, pattern, buildings, trees, wind, forms, darth vader, instant soups, ants, flies to feed the ants, beat street, hands, lips, words, fonts, stealing ideas from the internet, listening to people in the subway, talking, tequila, well curated exhibitions, a good nap, the right ingredients for a meal, spontaneousness…
My work is inspired by energy, colour, punk, traveling, old wood cuts, aboriginal art, unity, countryside, collaboration, bold, crowds, upbeat, flow, graffiti, nature, cultures, outsider art and development.
FifteenFrames is the shared paths of street artists Crack15 and Frame. Different origins and stories in over 15 years in business up against the wall. Name a style, we master it: photorealism, abstract, 2D, 3D, throw it at us.
I like experiment with my art work and doodles often drawing things that take my current interest rather than sticking to one theme. I find myself lately creating very organic illustrations using a few colours and clean lines. I love skateboard and surf board graphics and am currently working on designs for skateboards in the near future. I do love painting and think being able to work on a large wall sounds like great fun.
Everyday life inspires me… I prefer to put my own twist on social situations, this makes daily life alot more interesting, it makes life simpler and it helps me grasp subjects I don’t usually like to confront.
The things that inspire me as an artist are the little things in every day life, from a crack in the wall that to anybody else is “a crack in the wall” but I can see a whole world of other things, to seing a child drawing from his mind,and not thinking about the meaning behind it. This is still how I like to paint/draw and not thinking about consequences , as this holds people back too much. Without these things for me there is no point in drawing.
Now you’ve seen all the entries, cast your vote on which you think would look best in Wahaca Canary Wharf. You can only vote once on each heat, so be careful who you chose and look out for the next set of entries over the next few days.
Here’s the second set of entries that we’ve had for our graffiti competition. Have a look through and cast your vote for which artist’s work you think will look best in our new Canary Wharf restaurant. Don’t forget to keep checking back every day this week, as we’ll be posting another set of artists work each day for you to chose from.
I’m based in London, and have been painting for last 15 years. I’ve been involved in Kevin Spacy’s exibition ”tunnel 228” , and organizing events like ”art against crime” and an up-comming event ” splashart session ”. I’ve exhibited work in Rarekind Gallery and many others. I’m well known for my amaizing 3d style. I’ve been inspired by 3 dimentional effects/letters and colourful background.
I am inspired by anything that is new and interesting but that still holds on to its roots and heritage in its genre artistically. My drive to paint comes from a simplistic love of spraypaint as a medium and seeing my name in big letters.
I am neither a street nor a graffitti artist. I only work with dulux paint and brushes… But i love to paint as big as possible in public spaces. The credit for most of my paintings over the last year goes out to the latino lands of Brasil and Argentina who welcomed me and my paintbrushes over the winter months. South america and its vibrancy will always influence my work…i owe it big time.. it has helped me find my creative path!! This is the main reason i feel i would be able to come up with something fantastic for Wahaca.
I am mainly inspired to paint portraits of those that inspire me, mainly in the field of music. I aim to for my art to be uplifting and celebrate culture in the world that enriches life and inspires people to take in interest in how people live in other parts of the world and help protect diversity in all its forms. I like to use both spraycans and traditional painting techniques to produce a striking design.
I began painting graffiti in 1987, i have developed my own surreal landscape mural style, I have a lot of experience working on interiors and exteriors. I live and work as an artist in east london recently spent 2 weeks in mexico i am inspired by birds in particular those of the Yucatan Peninsula.
My influences range from traditional 80s style subway graffiti to movements such as pop art and expressionism, enabling me to combine the vibrance of street graffiti with the aesthetics of more traditional contemporary art. Born in Latin America I have an affinity with the culture and would hope to use the theme of Latin music as an inspiration for the piece.
Wow – we’ve had so many fantastic entries to our graffiti competition that we’re going to have to spread voting over an entire week! Each day we will post 10 entries and at the end of the week the top 2 from each post will go through to the final judgment by our management team.
Here are the first 10 entries, but remember to keep looking back and voting every day this week.
I am a Mexican who has been living here for 6 years, creating cross-cultural multi-disciplinary art. I am always drawn to the images that our cities hold and the stories behind them; from finding an old woman sewing a hat for Semana Santa while taking the sun in a small street in Seville, to the cherry blossoms on Hackney Road during the arrival of Springtime, or the busy commuters in Euston train station struggling with each other on the hottest day of London’s summer.
Artistic mark making and its creation is the most natural and intuitive instinct that I have at my disposal. Drawing inspirations from both rural & urban environments, I attempt to project into spaces, the techno-organic free flowing formations of curvaceous-linear marks that are prominent within nature.
I then endeavour to offset this with the surrounding metropolitan/industrial landscape. This is conveyed by a format of biomechanical, angle-poised geometric shapes.
My aim is to balance these contrasting factions showing the intricate qualities both environments have to offer, colliding into
a free-style colourfull abstract final outcome. Hopefully unaffected by any preconceived notions the viewer may have.
Influential Artists Include: H.R Geiger, M.C Escher, Salvador Dali, Roger Dean, Francis Bacon, Wes Wilson, Mucha & Andy Warhol.
+Graffiti Artists: Craola, 0ly Bleach, 0.Two, Seak, Seen, D*Face, Jeremy Fish, Alexone, Fybeone and Das Mudwig.”
i much prefer painting large spaces. big is best :] i like the idea of my characters invading, populating and taking over spaces. i am inspired by comics, cartoons and toys. by the 80s, bright colours and kitch. by tattoo art and by everyday life. i try to not let life get in the way of drawing daily..
Last year I painted a large wall piece. Moving away from the canvas was very liberating and now that my big show is over I plan on painting much more on walls and getting away from the comfort of my studio. I actually spent a year in Oaxaca after graduating from university. It was there that I began painting full-time, studying in the La Universidad de Bellas Artes.
I have been going to Mexico all my life because two of my siblings were brought up there. I also have a Mexican uncle and Mexican cousins on my mother’s side. I feel a very strong connection to that country, specifically Oaxaca of course, the arts capital of Mexico. I think the Latino influence is quite obvious in my paintings and South American people always comment on it.
His work is a mixture of organic images / patterns , art influences , graffiti / street art and computer design where the name comes from .(#c0defc is code for a colour in hexadecimal cyfers coming from his tag “ code “ and his initials FC )
The painting often escapes the usual square boundary of a canvass to be applied on to everyday objects found in skips sometimes left abandoned using concrete / silicon , installed in places as ” illegal public art “/ “performances” as if the whole process was more an activity to transform society’s waste into art using public spaces as galleries.
His graffiti / street art work is now mostly based on specific projects usually carried out in different countries mixing the site specific characteristic with recurrent subjects mostly based on cinematic symbols describing the artist background.
After a decade of active graffiti writing and global exploration my work has become strongly site specific.
I treat each location differently. I choose a design that harnesses the potential I see in each space. I enjoy tongue in cheek transformation. Turning things upside down, I put them on their head. By breaking down barriers through simply iconography I am accessible to the masses. I change peoples perception of the world around them. My humour is sophisticated, yet playful. There is lots to absorb, while being bold and simply pleasing to the eye. Lets make sweet music.
To understand a bit about Pure Evil it is illuminating to know that he is a descendant of Sir Thomas More, the Lord Chancellor who wrote the controversial work Utopia and who was later beheaded by King Henry VIII. With this busy background (Sir Thomas was later canonised) it is only natural that Pure Evil should explore the darker side of the wreckage of Utopian dreams and the myth of the Apocalypse, a belief in the life-changing event that brings history with all its conflicts to an end.
In 1990 PURE EVIL left the Poll Tax Riots of London behind and went to live in California where he spent 10 years ingesting weapons grade psychedelics , thinking about stuff , making electronic music and printing t-shirts . Inspired by skateboard culture and the west coast character graffiti of Twist he returned to London and picked up a spraycan and started painting weird fanged vampire bunnies everywhere.
8. Infected By Design
Because of my OCD and an over-active imagination, my artwork comes out in many different forms, but is always the result of having to get every line painstakingly neat! I take inspiration from everything around me, yet at the same time, it’s almost like sometimes I don’t want to take in anything from the world outside, lest it should influence my art, which I try to create purely from my mind. I would love this opportunity to show the world what it means to be ‘Infected By Design’.
To be the best ‘me’ I can be is what causes my inspiration as an artist because it keeps my eyes and mind open, aware of myself, aware of others, aware of the possibility of art, and aware of the essential combination which is life itself. Life and art are inseparable and I’d like to share my experience of this cohesion with the world in a positive and unifying way.
10. Emiliano Mendieta-Band
I’m what we call a brit-mex, that is half british half mexican, and my work goes around this mixed identity, my life experiences and the places I’ve lived in. I was born close to the day of the death and this has been one of the main subjects of my work, death as a source of life and a connection with your past, the story that makes you who you are. I look forward using the space as something that creates an atmosphere rather than just using the wall as a flat surface, floors and roofs can be used as well as the use of papel picado to create something more interesting, something that embraces you rather than something flat on the wall.
Now you’ve seen all the entries, cast your vote on which you think would look best in Wahaca Canary Wharf. You can only vote once on each heat, so be careful who you chose and look out for the next set of entries over the next few days.
We think that having all 50 submissions in one post would be too much, so we’re going to split them into 5 groups and post a new group up every day next week, starting on Bank Holiday Mondy. On Monday 7th September we will take the two submissions that recorded the most votes from each group and put it to the team.
We want to know what you think, so remember to come back and vote for all of the groups!
Calling all Street Artists: Enter our competition for your chance to leave your mark at Canary Wharf, and win £4000 in the process.
Wall art by Oliver Shaw
We’re looking for a Graffiti/ Street artist to fill a huge space (over 28m2) in our new site in Canary Wharf, opening October 2009. Both street artists Oliver Shaw and Nuria, whose work was exhibited at the Tate Modern last year have worked with Wahaca in the past and we are looking for an equally exciting artist to take over our site and leave their mark.
Wahaca commissions site-specific pieces focusing on street and environmental art and is willing to pay up to £4,000 for this next commission (excluding materials).
How do I get involved??
We need to see a piece of your work that shows how you think your style would fit with Wahaca. If you want to see the previous commissions, visit our site in Covent Garden (66 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HG) or White City (Westfield, Southern Terrace, W12 7GB) to get a feel for what Wahaca is about.
We will post all the entries onto the blog and ask readers to judge their favourite. All entries must be submitted by the 23rd August and a winner will be announced at the beginning of September. Site visits of the new Canary Wharf Wahaca can then be arranged with installation expected mid October. The artists work will also feature in our Wahaca paper OLA London of which 30,000 are printed and distributed as well as appear in materials/ websites associated with the competition and Wahaca.
To enter email firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture of your work that best describes your style and please attach in no more than a 100 words an overview of what inspires you as well as any website or further useful information about you. If you have further questions please call Mark on 07748148323.