My Dream Dinner Party | Rogano Mural

What I did: Research / Budgetting / Mural design / Idea generation / Mural Painting

What the client needed

While the doors of Rogano; Glasgow’s oldest restaurant may be closed, for now, they wanted to continue the tradition of their elaborate window dressings. Rogano was looking for the first artist to take on the 2.80m x 6.2m boarding covering the iconic restaurant. The artwork was to be on display on the Royal Exchange Square at the centre of town (and very close to GoMA), for eight weeks and then stored safely and auctioned for charity at a later date.

The Rogano was looking for a fun and colourful artwork which nodded to their past but would also make the best of the artist’s individual styles. During my conversations with Claire (business development manager), it stood out to me that guests wanted to share and express their personal memories with the restaurant.

My part of the project

Within my design, I wanted to celebrate the many special occasions from Rogano’s long history. The artwork is inspired by BBC 4’s ‘My Dream Dinner Party’ in which I envisioned some of the Rogano’s past star visitors around the table. As the main star of the artwork, the food is at eye level. Hints within the artwork allude to the famous guests, but I also just wanted viewers to remember their own special occasions; eating oysters, trying lobster for the first time and sipping on fish soup!

While priming the wall, sketching the artwork and painting it, I have been stopped by passers-by. People have told me about their diamond anniversary with tears in their eye, about wearing ball gowns to dine here, meeting their soulmates, graduation parties many years ago and much more. One time a woman walked past and just said: “Oh good something positive is happening” and some young lads on their bikes have given me the thumbs up and told me that they would be back to see the final artwork – which I take as a high compliment! All in all, it has been a nice conversation starter about some good times, which is worth a lot in these strange times.

“In recent days a beautiful, bright and colourful mural has adorned the front of the famous food spot”

Gary Armstrong, glasgowlive.co.uk