We should like to congratulate Robert Dawson, for his success at the Surface Design Awards, held on Thursday 12th February during the Surface Design Show in London. His ceramic tile wall mural, “For Eloise”, won the category of “Commercial Exterior Surface” and was up against Vita Manchester (a student residential high rise) and Grandioso, a gate in London.
“For Eloise” was named after Robert’s mum, who regularly enjoyed visits to Croydon before her death in 2014. The commission came about after Robert was asked by Axiom Architects to create a work of public art for the exterior of the Premier Inn, which was built on the town’s Lansdowne Road in 2013. The artwork, comprising of a blue tiled wall, was based on his 1999 project: “Tiled Room” and covers the entire façade of the three storey structure, which measures 12.5 feet wide and 35 feet high.
It took two months to create the mural. The tiles were produced by firing screen-printed dark blue glaze on light blue Villeroy and Boch ceramic tiles. We created the ceramic decal transfers for these tiles and this has been another successful collaboration with Robert, which we are proud to be involved with. The finished wall, in Dawson’s words, responds playfully to the surrounding cityscape; a response to the predominance of post- war and most recent architecture in Croydon’s commercial centre.
The illusory nature of the finished design has great impact for a relatively small wedge of space and plays tricks on the mind when it is seen in its entirety. It has been met with a mixed response from the general public but to great acclaim from art critics, where the mural has the linear elegance suggestive of the ceramic designs of Josef Hoffman and Koloman Moser of the Viennese Secession movement. This is evident in the way that Robert Dawson uses line with the same spaciousness and precision to create the visual impact in his work.