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Hotel Bahía
Estepona, 5 November 2018
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UB40’s Brian Travers and Dire Straits’ John Illsley unveil exclusive artworks from their album covers at the Kempinski Hotel Bahía

UB40’s Brian Travers and Dire Straits’ John Illsley unveil exclusive artworks from their album covers at the Kempinski Hotel Bahía

Estepona 5th November – Musical legends and artists Brian Travers from UB40 and John Illsley from Dire Straits are exclusively unveiling the artist proofs of their album covers at the Kempinski Hotel Bahía in Estepona on the 22nd of November 2018. These artworks are part of an exhibition of 20 pieces of the artists’ works, which will be on display at the hotel until the 10th of January 2019.

“For the Many” is UB40’s first studio album in six years and celebrates the bands 40th anniversary. The album cover is a tribute to Grenfell Tower survivors and is a representation of a whole skyline of Grenfell Towers with bright primary colours to express the strength and determination of the common man and the explosive, incredible force created when we work together and think of others. The style is a blend of contemporary comic book zeitgeist and street art and stands twelve feet wide and four feet high. The album cover uses a section of this strong painting and Brian Travers has created 40 limited edition prints, which will be on sale at the hotel during the exhibition. Other works that will be exhibited in this new show include the artist’s proof of “In Flanders Fields”, a tribute to the heroes of World War 1.

John Illsley from Dire Straits is also unveiling the artist’s proof of the painting which was featured on the 2008 album “Beautiful You”, an oil painting depicting a guitar on an abstract blue and white background. As well as this album cover, John is bringing nine other works, including two beautiful new abstract works called Puglia and Headland.  

Both Brian Travers and John Illsley have always had a passion for painting, both of them studying at art school before getting into music. However, the rigours of recording and touring stopped them from producing the works they wanted to. Since taking a bit of a step back from the music, they have been focusing on their art projects, producing a wide range of wonderful works and exhibiting all around the world. They now combine their art and music and their powerful album covers show just how these two creative pursuits can come together.  

The exhibition will be launched with a glamourous, rock and roll opening party on Thursday 22nd of November from 20.30-22.30, and both artists will be flying in to attend the event. This is a wonderful chance to meet these legends and learn about their art, their inspiration and their long and successful careers in music.

The exhibition launch event is free to attend, but numbers are strictly limited and reservations are required. Please email to reserve your place. Art lovers are welcome to pop in to the hotel at any time to enjoy these wonderful works until the 10th of January. They are located in the gallery space to the right of the entrance.

Key Information

Brian Travers and John Illsley Exhibition: 22nd of November 2018 – 10th January 2019

Place: Kempinski Hotel Bahía de Estepona - Autovía del Mediterráneo, Km 159

Opening event with cocktail reception

Date: 22nd of November

Time: 20:30-22:30

RSVP: RSVP by email to

About Brian Travers

Brian Travers is perhaps best known as being a founder member and the saxophonist of the reggae band UB40. He has spent over 35 years both recording and touring during which they have sold over 120 million albums. Brian was educated at Birmingham's Moseley School of Art. After 20 years residing in the rural Worcestershire, he returned to his roots in Moseley where he now paints ‘abstract’ canvases, Perspex sheets, stainless steel and creates painted glass and ceramic objet d’art. 

About John Illsley

John Illsley is an English musician who rose to fame as the bass guitarist of the critically acclaimed band Dire Straits. With Dire Straits, John has been the recipient of multiple BRIT and Grammy Awards and a Heritage Award. As one of the founding band members, with Mark Knopfler, his brother David and drummer Pick Withers, John played a major role in the development of the Dire Straits’ sound. During their time together as Dire Straits they sold over 120 million albums and toured extensively across the world. When Dire Straits took a couple of well earned breaks John released two albums; Never Told a Soul (1984) and Glass(1988). When Dire Straits finished touring in 1993 John became heavily involved in the Art world. Having carved a reputation for himself as a painter, John had solo exhibitions in London, New York, Sydney and across Europe. He is currently working on a new solo album which will be released next year, entitled “Coming up for air”.

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Press Enquiries

To request an interview with Brian Travers or John Illsley please contact

Georgina Shaw, PR Representative   

Tel: +34 952 903 154 / 685 719 132

Kempinski Hotel Bahia nestled in Estepona – Marbella, Spain, which will celebrate its 20  anniversary in 2019 is a breath taking luxury frontline beach resort with 145 rooms (including 17 suites) overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and Hotel with subtropical gardens and pools, and also features an meeting & events centre, trendy culinary concepts and an exclusive Kempinski Spa.  

About Kempinski: Created in 1897, Kempinski Hotels is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group. Kempinski’s rich heritage of impeccable personal service and superb hospitality is complemented by the exclusivity and individuality of its properties. Kempinski now manages a portfolio of more than 75 five-star hotels and residences in 33 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Each one reflects the strength and success of the Kempinski brand without losing sight of its heritage. The portfolio comprises historic landmark properties, award-winning urban lifestyle hotels, outstanding resorts and prestigious residences. Each one is imbued with the quality guests have come to expect from Kempinski while embracing the cultural traditions of its location. Kempinski is a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands.

Media contact

Justine Haughey

Marketing Manager

Kempinski Hotel Bahía

Ctra. de Cádiz, Km. 159 · 29680 Estepona · Spain

Tel: +34 952 809 500


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