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The magazine of the John Lewis Partnership,16 November 2007.


Artist Philip Mount, whose 16ft triptych of Cambridge street scenes fills one entrance.


John Lewis Cambridge features work by five different artists (including two with Cambridge links) and ranges from a stainless steel mesh sculpture to a detailed street scene.

Its aim is to contribute to the quality image of the John Lewis brand as well as enhance the atmosphere - and therefore the shopping experience - in the branch.

Mark Rawlings, Manager, Retail Design Concepts, said: 'The building lends itself to civic art with several spaces - such as the wall in beauty - that are perfect for artwork and not practical as selling space.

'This has given us the opportunity to have more art than we normally do in a new department store. Our commitment to art is a real point of difference from our competitors.

'By using local themes and artists it will help build a relationship with the Cambridge customer. We are proud to be able to promote local artists and to give something back to the community that shops with us.'

Beautiful buildings

The vibrant lines and strong colours of artist Philip Mount's Cambridge street scenes fills the ground-floor entrance at the shop. The 16ft triptych is full of movement and life, with bustling figures suggested by just a few sure lines and sweeps of blue and green contrasting with the detail of the building. In the centre is St Andrew's Street with its mix of listed buildings, shops and one of the main entrances to John Lewis Cambridge - while the Fitzwilliam Museum and King's College sit either side. Philip, who lives in Cambridgeshire, said: 'There is a wealth of beautiful buildings I could have chosen but two of Cambridge's biggest landmarks, the Fitzwilliam Museum and King's College, are close to John Lewis so they were the obvious choice. 'I felt that the three scenes I chose represented the different sides of Cambridge - town, college and culture.'

Street art

His illustrative work has appeared in the London Evening Standard, The Guardian and The Independent. His detailed cityscapes produced with acrylic applied to canvas with pen and brush are a marked contrast to his large, bold and colourful abstracts.

Philip always sketches the location first before going back to his studio to prepare the final version. 'Being out on the street is always interesting,' he said. 'People love to watch what I’m doing – sometimes they start looking for a hat to put money in – and dogs like to say hello…'

With a commission Philip always discusses his ideas with the client. 'I knew John Lewis wanted something that would add to the building but also be subtle and sophisticated. I was also aware that John Lewis Cambridge is more than just a department store and I wanted to communicate the sense of being a Partnership and being involved with the community.'