ART OF BUSINESS: Celebrating the unveiling of commissioned artwork by illustrator Lydia Fee at BASE Bordon Innovation Centre in Bordon, East Hampshire, are, from left, Oxford Innovation’s managing director Jo Willett, Lydia Fee, Geoff Swatridge, Oxford Innovation’s centre development director, and Myf Plunkett, centre manager. 

Her illustrations grace banknotes and the passports of millions of people around the world.

Now, closer to home, illustrator Lydia Fee has her latest work on permanent display at a new innovation centre for start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses in Bordon, East Hampshire.

Nine multi-media pictures were commissioned by Oxford Innovation, an UKSPA member which manages BASE Bordon Innovation Centre on behalf of Homes England.

Opened nine months ago, the Edwardian building was sympathetically converted from an officers’ mess linked to the local British Army training camps that dated back to 1899.

Hampshire-based Lydia was given free rein by Oxford Innovation to use local sepia postcards, discovered during the property transformation, as creative inspiration.

She integrated the fading snapshots of the military past with digital flourishes to reflect the centre’s new life as an energetic hub for ambitious entrepreneurs.

The artwork showcase at BASE Bordon, which already has 70% occupancy, with 18 firms and 58 people on site, was attended by centre customers and guests from the local business community.

Oxford Innovation runs the centre on behalf of Homes England and is the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, with 24 currently under management.

BASE Bordon has 31 offices on flexible rental terms, along with co-working space, business lounge memberships, meeting rooms and virtual office packages.

On-site advice and support for growing businesses is provided by Richard May, Oxford Innovation’s innovation director for Hampshire. 

Jo Willett, Oxford Innovation’s managing director, said: “Today’s event is about showcasing Lydia’s art here at BASE Bordon’s stylish office spaces and co-working areas.

“By way of the background story, we found old sepia postcards of the former military camp in all sorts of different places during the fit-out and this inspired us to do something special with them.

“In our research we were fortunate to find a great local artist, Lydia Fee, who had done a project in Basingstoke which merged old images with digital technology and digital art processes to create modern convergent pieces.

“We commissioned Lydia to take our postcards and see what she could do with them – the results are amazing and we absolutely love her pictures.”

Lydia said: “This is a wonderful commission and I’d like to thank Oxford Innovation for sourcing the postcards and local history about the building and area.

“This is about paying homage to the military heritage and local land use whilst celebrating the building’s new use as a flourishing hub for ambitious entrepreneurs through bright, vibrant colours and themes.”

Other recent commissions by industry for Lydia include illustrations on passports and Scottish banknotes, such as the £5.

BASE Bordon is one of four innovation centres run in Hampshire by Oxford Innovation – the others are Portsmouth Technopole, Fareham Innovation Centre and Ocean Village Innovation Centre in Southampton.

Submitted on 03/09/2018