A QUIET corner of Dumfries and Galloway is taking root in the heart of Manhattan, after a Wigtown artist was commissioned to recreate the scene around her Scottish country garden in the lobby of a New York hotel.

Painter and musician Hope London has been chosen to produce an impression of the plants and animals around her country home in south west Scotland in the lobby of the Carlton Arms Hotel in mid-town Manhattan.

The pastoral depiction is the Scottish-based artist’s second piece in the quirky hotel in which rooms are given over to artists to design, often with dramatic results.

London’s previous work saw a striking graphic novel-style depiction of a former long-term resident’s life played out across the walls of Room 1c on the hotel’s top floor.

The work was unveiled last year, leading to the art hotel’s project curator Alex Wolkowicz asking her to return to create a Scottish garden along the first floor corridor.

London, who was born in New York but has lived in Scotland for 16 years, said: “When I came back after my first work they asked me to do more and I didn’t really have a grand conceptual idea this time. So I decided to keep it simple.”

The mural shows a wild and tangled bloom of wildflowers common to Scottish countryside during spring and summer.

“It’s all rosebay, willowherb, foxglove, gorse, buttercups, Granny’s Bonnet and snowdrops," London says, "all the things I have in my garden and also the plants you see as you walk along the path to the harbour in Wigtown, picking berries.

“When I went back it felt like the Carlton Arms was sucking me in and becoming a home away from home, so I wanted to bring some of my own home to it.”

The Carlton Arms Hotel – also known as Ye Olde Carlton Arms – was established in the 1980s, when it began morphing from its previous incarnation as a flophouse populated by prostitutes, drug dealers and bums into the sort of place attracting work by names like artist Banksy and celebrity patrons including supermodel Heidi Klum.

Situated in the island’s Flatiron District at East 23rd Street and 3rd Avenue, the it has 56 rooms each featuring murals, graffiti, installations and sculptures depicting everything from space travel and Egyptology, to naked transvestite aliens, trees and New York street scenes. Artists apply to work on the highly-coveted rooms, with displays lasting anything between six months and 26 years.

London’s original work in Room 1c depicted the story of former resident Mike Savelli.

The 65-year-old artist, who has also worked as a special effects animator and intellectual property lawyer as well as creating murals around Scotland with Glasgow design company Recoat, now plans to develop Savelli’s Carlton Arms story into a graphic novel.

She said: “I wanted to do something that was graphic-novel inspired, and something that had happened in the hotel in the room I had been assigned.

“They gave me a room where a man lived for 25 years and died there. It turns out he had an incredible story – he was one of the first people in the city to be on a methadone programme, successfully.

“He had interesting quirks. He’d only let the manager into his room, and even then only if he gave a secret knock they’d concocted between them, and he had a notion that someone in the hotel was stealing his underwear.

“You walk through the room and the story unfolds. You see how it ended in the bathroom, with an alien fantasising about Y-fronts. But I don’t want to give the ending away, because that’s how the graphic novel will finish."

She continued, “The hotel was a speakeasy during Prohibition, and that fascinated me, because both my grandmothers played pianos in speakeasies, so I had images of my grannies playing there.

“But I’d have told them off if I thought they’d been there. It has been a place of some character over the years. If those walls could talk, they’d have a lot to discuss.”