The Wild Wild Wes – Gladstone Hotel

Shahmurad Lodhi

In late 2014, Terence Dick directed me to an exhibition being held by the Gladstone Hotel  called The Wild Wild Wes. The installation was a collection of pieces from over 40 animation specialists, all influenced in some way by the wonderful world of Wes Anderson. Ever since the release of his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009, I have been a massive Wes Anderson fan. He is undoubtedly my favourite director, so I was fairly excited to be in a room full of art inspired by his movies.


Now, if you haven’t ever actually watched a Wes Anderson film, I suggest that you do so immediately for two reasons. Firstly, Anderson has the rare ability to convey the simplicity of happiness and interaction through his films. He directs uncomplicated but incredibly rich and powerful movies, whose stories will make you exceedingly happy. Secondly, (and more relevantly in terms of the exhibition) his films are the most aesthetically pleasing things that I can imagine. With Anderson, each frame is a carefully planned picture where the detail and colour is mesmerizing.  You can pause any Wes Anderson movie at any time, and every time, the picture on your screen will be worthy of a place over any mantlepiece. Here are some examples of these unbelievable frames, taken from a few of his movies. 

The Darjeeling LimitedThe Darjeeling Limited (2007)        

Moonrise KingdomMoonrise Kingdom (2012)      

The Grand Budapest HotelThe Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) 

So, with high expectations, I made my way over the Gladstone Hotel (a beautiful Victorian building that has  been converted into a boutique art hotel) and headed up to the second floor where the exhibition was being held. The walls were lined with these small, mostly computer animated pieces, all with Wes Anderson Themes. Each artist had put their own interpretation of a specific movie into the pieces. As a big Anderson fan, the exhibition really was heaven for me, and I’m sure Wes would have enjoyed it as well.