India Mahdavi Turns Pink Into Gold Inside Sketch Restaurant: The Gallery

You’ll probably be familiar with what Sketch’s restaurant, the Gallery, looks like, even if you’ve never set foot inside it. It"s David Shrigley-designed baby-pink interior and egg-shaped loos are regular stars of the Instagram feeds of Londoners and beyond. The number of times you see Sketch on your endless scroll each weekend might not be about to change, but some of its decors will look slightly different. 

The Gallery restaurant"s former pink decor

The Gallery restaurant has been given a big, bright, and arty redesign by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE and architect India Mahdavi, featuring all-new artwork and interiors. Next time you visit the iconic restaurant (which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year), you’ll be greeted by new sunshine-yellow furniture in a copper-walled room, courtesy of Mahdavi. 

Shonibare, meanwhile, has created 14 new site-specific artworks that together form an installation called "Modern Magic". The series celebrates African culture and its legacy through different media, including four hand-painted, wood-carved masks and ten framed quilts that replicate the African masks once owned by Pablo Picasso. Other unique pieces will also be added to the display, from the likes of textile designer Aissa Dione, whose work uses Senegalese fabrics. Handmade wall lamps designed by Inès Bressan, who works with weavers in Ghana are also present in the interior.

"The Gallery at Sketch has been linked to the color pink for such a long time that it was very challenging for me to overcome this success," Mahdavi added. "Yinka’s artwork was a real inspiration and enticed me to work differently in this new version of the Gallery. Now textures will transcend colors with metallic copper wallpaper, Aissa Dione’s textured fabric, and Inès Bressand’s woven wall lights. These are elements that have allowed me to extend Yinka’s artistic exploration of culture and identity and bring a warm feel of Africa to the space and furnishings."

India Mahdavi has chosen copper skin for the walls along with solar yellow fabrics to complement the art. It features new custom-made banquets with a pared-back design in copper tones. 

Continuing the tradition of Sketch’s artist-restaurant collaborations, a dish by Pierre Gagnaire, a drink by Luca Fugazza, and a new uniform by Sonia Taouhid have been created to homage the artist to be served in the Gallery.

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