If you’ve seen the film, you might recall Withnail bemoaning the quality of his theatrical agent “Four floors up on the Charing Cross Road, and never a job at the top of them.” We have moved in just around the corner (on Great Newport Street), with an equally steep climb. Happily once through the door there seems to be plenty on to be done.
There is something full of magical promise in the word ‘studio’. They come in all shapes and sizes, and all grades of opulence (or lack of). Ours is at the more compact and simple end of things, and of course as a start up that’s part of the romance. It’s also nice to know the building would not be unrecognizable to Joshua Reynolds, who used the first floor for his studio, and the listed staircase to hang his art. The building has also served as a fruit and veg shop and more recently as the Photographers Gallery.
This week I had the pleasure to meet the proprietor of one of the worlds greatest agencies. Like all the truly talented people I have met he was the soul of unpretentious modesty. He shared some great observations on starting out, and noted that for all the churn of fashion and fads one thing remains a constant – we can only think at human speed, and a successful studio can only be built on good work.
A very modest worldview for one who has built a small empire. But perhaps before a studio is moved into, the decent ones already exist in the minds eye? And likewise, a studio is only a vessel for an attitude – what happens in the space is as important as what goes on the walls.