Today (14 November 2017) one of the world’s most prestigious artists launched his latest commission. This happens to be a pair of barges on the Grand Union Canal at Paddington.
Sir Peter Blake is the guy and many will know him as the artist who created the famous cover for the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album in 1967.
Lovely boat colours on May Green – by Sir Peter Blake
Without a doubt these are probably the most colourful business barges in recent months to grace the canals of Little Venice/Paddington.
As the tweet below shows, the event was organised by Ackerman Studios.
Absolutely wonderful day finally seeing the amazing barges that #PeterBlake has been working on for @DaisyGreenFood it's been the most fabulous project to be involved in 💥💥💥 pic.twitter.com/AvIxRZToYz
— Ackerman Studios (@AckermanStudio1) November 14, 2017
The boats belong to Daisy Green Foods, an Australian venture with a cafe just a short walk from Little Venice, and near their new boats.
May Green at night with the fitters still going at it! Actually its about 5.30pm on the 14th.
There’s been very little on today’s event, and even less on Sir Peter Blake’s involvement with these colourful new boats. The local business/tourist magazine, Explore Paddington 2017/18 said: “Details are hush hush prior to the launch in October 2017 but rumour has it the exterior will feature bold Pop Art illustrations by a household name.”
Daisy Green’s boss says of the venture: “The prominent water top position at the heart of the Paddington regeneration together with artwork from the godfather of British pop art, Peter Blake, make Darcle and May Green two very special vessels that we can’t wait to introduce to Paddington Central.”
May Green’s name in neon lights.
There will be a bar, cafe, meeting spaces, and roof top gardens in the day time. May Green will be the vessel that hosts the cafe plus an exhibition centre showcasing the area’s history with both interactive displays and anecdotes.
The exhibition will include people with local connections and the Metropolitan Line of 1863.
Notables who have local connections will include Emmeline Pankhurst, Joe Strummer and Sir Richard Branson. Also the world’s first underground railway’s opening ceremony train departed from its terminus station at 1.30pm on 9th January 1863, right by where the boats are moored. The train was pulled by locomotives Locust and Bey, and the exhibition will have details of the first trips made on the line.
Darcle Green’s lovely colours by Sir Peter Blake
Both boats will be in use every day, however at night the barges will offer a restaurant service with Darcle Green being the main host boat as it has more seating space. The barges are due to be opened sometime later in November.
If I have got it right, it seems there’s going to be a feature in London’s media later this week, perhaps the ES magazine or Time Out, I’m not entirely sure though. However whichever its published should feature a write up about Sir Peter Blake and today’s launch ceremony, maybe even announce opening dates for the two barges.
Update 12 December 2017:
21 November – The ES published a short article
23 November – GQ published an article
23 November – The boats opened for business