Great Portland Estates plc (GPE) has installed artwork by leading British contemporary artist LUAP in the windows of its retail space on 95 New Bond Street, a landmark asset in the heart of the world’s most famous shopping destination.

The installation entitled Nature and Nurture feature LUAP’s signature motif: The Pink Bear. This life-size teddy bear with magenta-pink fur is a recurring feature in his work. In this bespoke installation for GPE, LUAP has put an innovative spin on the traditional shop window display, placing the whimsical bear within wild settings, surrounded by flowers, and set within a jungle. 

The artwork aims to get passers-by to reflect, encouraging change by looking at problems from a different perspective. The dynamic poses of the bear suggest positive movement and personal growth as the world emerges from the pandemic. 

The installation also serves as a visual representation of GPE’s development. It is increasingly working together with artists, committing to creating spaces and places that enrich their surroundings and using creative means to enliven New Bond Street. 

GPE has used this space to support the arts, which have been heavily hit by coronavirus. Art is increasingly being used to enliven retail spaces – an industry that has been affected by the pandemic and has to evolve. 

Experiences remain essential to the future of retail, and GPE is aligning its approach with its tenants – creating places and destinations. 

Leasing Director Marc Wilder said:

“We want to create destinations and experiences, places which people want to visit and linger in. Retail is evolving – to compete with online, high streets and shopping destinations are having to offer a true experience so that people feel they are part of a bigger narrative. 

As a landlord, we have a responsibility to support the communities in which we work, and so we are committed to looking for more creative ways and finding uses for our retail space that creates genuine value.”

Paul Robinson, aka LUAP, said:

“Art has started to transform the high streets and fill the voids, both visually and emotionally, as the world begins to recover. Instead of looking at windows and feeling the FOMO of not having the latest buzz item, art is replenishing us with much-needed vitality on the streets. It is helping us to make sense of this new world.” 

95 New Bond Street is a flagship retail space of 6,000 sq ft, available to let on a new 24-month lease, ideal for pop-up, concept, and experiential stores.

GPE is also installing new public art to enliven its recently completed Hanover development in Hanover Square, due to be unveiled later this year. This, too, is part of its commitment to breathing new life into the Bond Street area via creative collaborations. 

This is GPE’s third permanent public art commission in Westminster and its first in Mayfair. 

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