Ever stayed in hotel room on your own and not only felt really far from home, but also lonely and miserable? These are exactly the feelings that architect-turned-artist, Heidi Locher is trying to recreate in her new show ‘Hotel Kalifornia’, suitably named after the famous Eagles’ song. Hotel Kalifornia explores what it feels like to be away from home – feelings of loneliness and disengagement from our creature comforts. These notions of discomfort are examined through installations, projections and super-sized photographs, alongside a short film she made with her son Frederick Paxton, which looks at moments of change that leave ‘mental scars hidden deep within the subconscious’.
Locher worked with the likes of Sir Terence Conran after graduating from the RCA in 1982, and in 1985, she set up shop with her now late husband Richard Paxton, to form award-winning Paxton Locher Architects. Together they worked with a long list long list of prominent clients and designed the Soho Theatre on Greek Street, as well the Jerwood Space in Southwark. Following Paxton’s untimely death, she embarked on a Masters in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins and has more recently she has been dabbling in the world of art. Locher has brought elements of both practises to her new solo show and created her own Air Architecture as she is interested in intensity and atmosphere – themes that run throughout her artworks. It’s a visual feast that also features haunting images of the inside of a hotel room focusing on three stages of a woman’s life. Locher herself was brought up in a hotel, making her artworks ever more personal: “Hotels are like a musical instrument to me, they have a certain kind of rhythm. I can read them and the people in them and hear their inner workings. I feel I can pick up the vibrations, the intensity and the mood. Hotels have a heightened frequency where tensions lurk and rituals are acted out in an extreme atmosphere which is not really like everyday life.” We suggest you go check in for the afternoon.
Hotel Kalifornia is on until 27 November. For more information [click here]