Graffiti makes hotel a cool place to spray

1st August 2017

Most designers creating the interior of a new hotel call in a master decorator.

Stylists behind Sheffield's Jonas Hotel called on a hip graffiti artist. He arrived with 25 years of experience and a carload of spray cans to create vivid, Sheffield-centric scenes for the unique venue, which brings students under the same roof as people visiting the city for business, tourism or leisure. The wall art features city icons including the cathedral, a be-spectacled Jarvis Cocker, a bottle of Henderson's Relish - the condiment made in the city for over 100 years - and the Tinsley Cooling Towers, which were toppled in 2008. There's also a penny coin to symbolise the public appeal which funded the creation of the university in 1904. Over £50,000 was raised by penny donations from local residents, steel and factory workers, equivalent to over £15 million today. -I have worked in New York, London and across Europe for huge names who want to bring that cool, street edge to their offices and exhibitions, but this is the first time I've been asked to spray-paint a hotel, said Martin Hayhurst, whose business Graffiti Artists2hire has six artists, one based in Sheffield. -I love the irony of companies paying me to produce what was once seen only as vandalism. Artists like Banksy catapulted street art into the media headlines and people saw the skill and creativity in it. The University of Sheffield has spent £2million transforming its 1990s student residence Jonas Court in the Endcliffe Village. -It's a unique place to stay and the styling is bold and quirky, commented general manager Andy Flowers. -Martin's graffiti was the finishing touch. It gave our lounges the dramatic edge we were looking for. The affordable hybrid described as a vibrant new hub for communal living opens on August 6 and offers affordable stays from one night to six months in its 79 rooms.

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