London-inspired, animal-laden illustrated wrap for Foyles

Angel chimps, dragon buses, pipe smoking crows, roses the size of buildings and a regal penguin.

All Paths Lead to Foyles by Rebecca Hendin commissioned by Saint Martins Lofts and Foyles


All Paths Lead to Foyles by Rebecca Hendin

While wonderful, these aren’t images you’d typically associate with London. Unless, that is, you’re illustrator Rebecca Hendin.

Hendin has designed this gorgeous wrap for the new Foyles bookstore building, which is to be housed in the former Central St Martin’s art college site.

The beautifully busy, surreal collaged image was inspired by Heinz Edelmann’s design for the 1968 animated Beatles film Yellow Submarine and the ‘Lego-like build-over-build-over-build quality of the London cityscape’, according to the artist.

Hendin says, ‘I decided to create a surreal London cityscape, composed of London-like buildings and including a smattering of its landmarks, as well as flowers, oversized animals, trees, musical instruments, vehicles, teacups, bottles, ships, the river, the Underground, and more.’

She adds, ‘There is not one thing that makes London what it is; rather, there are a huge number of pieces that, when joined together, make one very interesting, and complete, puzzle’.

The artwork won a competition curated by consultancy Futurecity. Ten recent graduates from Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design were selected to develop artwork proposals that would ‘celebrate the character of both Central Saint Martins and Foyles, exploring the status of the two buildings as cultural icons and bringing their heritage to life’, says Futurecity.

The 29m-long, 8.5m-high wrap coats the outside of the new bookshop, which will be moving from its current location next door, and the Saint Martins Lofts apartment development housed in the top four floors of the building. The building is set to open April next year.

The animal imagery reflects Foyles founder Christina Foyle’s love of animals, with a few playful visual references to her charming – if peculiar – childhood fondness for putting candles on her tortoises’ shells in the family garden.

The wrap can be seen at 107-109 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H until 30 September

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