Artists Gilbert and George get honorary doctorate

PIONEERING artists Gilbert and George proclaimed the East End as the hotbed of British art when they were presented with Honorary Doctorates by the University of East London this week.

The pair, who live in Fournier Street in Spitalfields and are often seen at Pellicci’s cafe in Bethnal Green Road, donned red white and blue robes as they received their Doctorates of Arts at the annual graduation ceremony for students from UEL’s School of Architecture and the Visual Arts at the Barbican on Tuesday.

George said: “We were the first to move here over 40 years ago, and now it seems all artists are moving here. It makes this award all the more special.”

Asked what advice they would impart to UEL art students, George said: “When you wake up, sit on the edge of your bed, and don’t open your eyes until you have decided what you want to say to the world today.”

UEL Vice-Chancellor Patrick McGhee said: “East London has nurtured talented individuals from around the world, and has become a driving force for art around the capital.

“We pride ourselves on the creativity, innovation and energy generated by UEL students, and we are proud that those we honour today are recognised as a source of enduring inspiration.”

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