Striking art student mural unveiled in Canary Wharf offices – FE News

The vibrant and colorful mural by New City College art student João Destro takes pride of place in the Canary Wharf offices of global law firm Clifford Chance after it was commissioned by a panel of judges.

João, who is studying art and design at the Tower Hamlets campus, was chosen as the winner from a group of 10 students who submitted proposals and concepts for a large mural to bring the fifth floor of the office to life.

The bright and innovative design was unveiled at a launch reception held at the Clifford Chance offices on Wednesday June 15, attended by the likes of Michael Bates, Managing Partner of Clifford Chance UK and Gerry McDonald, Director and CEO of the New City College group.

The striking artwork was commissioned by Nigel Frank, the curator of the international law firm’s art collection, who said he was very pleased with the work.

He told João during the launch and the vernissage: “It’s an absolutely magnificent piece. You have created the most amazing work of art that I still can’t believe you have achieved in such a short time.

The unveiling of the mural coincided with João’s birthday and he received a beautiful cake to celebrate with guests at the launch.

Michael Bates, Managing Partner of Clifford Chance UK, welcomed everyone to the event saying: “This magnificent facility has already garnered excellent reviews. It was a real draw in our fifth floor canteen and we are thrilled with the final piece.

“Art has always played an influential role with Clifford Chance. Every meeting room, office, and hallway is filled with artwork, providing moments of calm, focus, and respite in what can be a high-pressure environment.

“I was surprised that João’s design was painted in just one weekend. The vibrancy, energy and impact of the color was a huge hit with all of our visitors.

Artist João, who is finishing his art and design course at New City College this summer, will study fine art at Middlesex University in September.

He said: “My main inspiration for this mural was the carvings around Canary Wharf. I was inspired by some of the mushroom shaped pieces that fascinated me and I knew I wanted the colors to have a real impact.

“The final color palette wasn’t in my original design, but I adapted them and thought it was appropriate for Pride Month.

“I called the piece ‘genealogica’ which is a Portuguese word, and loosely translated refers to the lines of decent in a family. This piece has a very personal influence on my family and loved ones.

To get the mural done on time, João brought in a team of students and staff. “My friends and teachers were great – the painting was a team effort. I delegated roles and tasked people with different elements of the piece. I think we finished it in just under 10 hours!

The mural will be in place for a year at the Clifford Chance Building, Canary Wharf.

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Kayleen C. Rice