The Pale Blue Door, London 2009-2013

"Behind a pale blue door, in a darkened alley, on a night in the not so distant future.

The magnificent depression laid the surrounding city silent.

If you follow your nose and open your ears and let the breeze carry the waft of cigarette smoke and the whiff of moonshine, the promise of love will drive you on.

With furtive looks you knock three times, a heavily lacquered hand reaches out. Light love and laughter spill out into the night sky before the city falls back into its slumber, only turning slightly in its cold and guilty bed."

The Pale Blue Door was conceived in a moment of sheer desperation. My agent had gone bust and work had dried up entirely. The recession had hit London badly.

I was months behind in the rent and contemplating getting a waiting job again. I wanted to do another installation in the house and came up with idea of putting my chef training and restaurant experience to good use. I wanted to create a little secret place, where you could hide away from the world in another reality, smoke illegally and have a new experience that could touch lots of senses. I was inspired by 1930's Berlin cabaret and the speakeasy's of prohibition America. I asked my friend A Man to Pet to perform. It was the first of its kind in London and was the precedent for the Pop-Up phenomena that was to follow. Originally planned for one weekend it ran successfully for 4 years.

Pictures by Manuel Vazquez