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Vibrant Artwork by Nicholas Crooks Brings New Life to The Old Mushroom Farm Boutique Apartments

The Boutique Apartments got a re-style this week with the addition of original artwork by Nicholas Crooks. The bold acrylic paintings have brought a playful pop of colour to the modern accommodation units at The Old Mushroom Farm. 

Yes, you can stay at The Old Mushroom Farm, on the Midlands Meander, in the picturesque KZN countryside, in one of our holiday accommodation units. It’s true. But this post is about art- so back to topic!

Owner of the Old Mushroom Farm, Nick, has a broad repertoire of creative talent- from architecture to fine art. 

The Old Mushroom Farm, Howick, Nick Crooks Artist

After selling the mushroom growing business, Nick took a sabbatical to further his studies and completed a Masters in Fine Art at UKZN. Nick re-discovered his love for processing thoughts and ideas through image making. Nick reflects, “I am a problem solver. My creativity in art stems from a deep desire to understand self and the other in self. I am fascinated by the diverse value systems within society and the individual.”

At first glance, Nick's art looks like a random mix of colour and texture. His style has a childlike naivety linked to his non representational approach. Nick references ancient rock art engraving in his intuitive doodle line work, juxtaposing symbols from pop culture with ancient iconography. Nick doesn’t have an end picture in mind when he paints, but rather uses the medium to process thoughts and symbolise concepts.

Nick describes his art making process as a means for freeing up his mind. Our modern lifestyles come with a barrage of sensory stimuli. A never-ceasing stream of change to which we have to adapt. For Nick, painting is a time for daydreaming. A liminal headspace where ideas can be processed without directly thinking about them. Creating art is a way of re-calibrating and processing the noise and distraction of the world.

Spring cleaning his art studio inspired Nick to pull out some work, not yet exhibited. These new pieces now adorn the walls of TOMF’s Boutique Apartments.

The Boutique Apartments are ex-mushroom growing rooms that Nick renovated into modern holiday apartments with spacious living areas, bespoke furnishings, and now original artwork. Nick’s large and brightly coloured paintings suit the structure of his buildings in that they have enough breathing room to be displayed and appreciated. The lofty ceilings and high window placement leave an abundance of hanging space for large pieces.

Placing the pieces was a team effort, with Mandy, Thabo and Pip taking turns to hold pieces in place while the other stepped back to take a look at placement. We love how the spaces are looking with the art hanging in place. Book to stay at the Boutique Apartments at The Old Mushroom Farm for your next Midlands getaway.

Check out our website for more details.

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