Olivia Boutrou
Biggin Hill Memorial Museum - The Nightingale Café’s Mural

Site Specific

Commissioned | New Talent

Why did you make this work:
The Nightingale Café sat on the Biggin Hill airfield during WWII. My brief was to collect stories of life at the café from Geoff (the son of the café owner) as inspiration for the mural. The client wanted to show the atmosphere of this unique café, part of the military zone but nonetheless a place of camaraderie, where pilots and soldiers could grab a short instant of peace in this time of war.

How was the illustration used:
Mural, merchandising, menus and small explanatory postcards on tables.

How did you make this work:
Geoff told me too many fascinating stories for a simple image, so I created a composition allowing all the different fragments of memories to live together, as they exist in his mind. Photography was banned at the airfield, so I had to do a lot of research on historical images to give his memories an accurate shape. H270 x W360 cm, screen printed.

Commissioner Name :
Lydia Lee, Head of Culture, London Borough of Bromley
Commissioner Company :
London Borough of Bromley
Commissioned for:
Biggin Hill Memorial Museum

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Based in London, Olivia is a graduate of “L’École supérieure des arts décoratifs” in Strasbourg, France (MA). She works in illustration and graphic design for clients in France and the UK. Her recent illustration work includes illustration for museums/exhibitions as well as series of children’s bedtime story books.