Back in 2006, I had my first solo show at Milford Galleries, in Dunedin, called 'Airborne'. A tribute to the elemental nature of Wellington, especially the effect of air, its cross currents, swirling energy, and the interlacing of water and salt spray, so keenly felt from my Lyall Bay home. One work from the series called 'Zephyr', I was really pleased with as it achieved a fortuitous 'moire' effect which is a psychedelic moving pattern that is created by diagonally crossing lines (see 2005 tab to view 'Zephyr').
A little while after the show Milford Galleries contacted me with a possible contract for paintings for a 5 star luxury hotel that was being built at Franz Josef Glacier -Te Waonui Forest Retreat. Have a look! The designers Dalman Architecture worked with Milford Galleries and selected 2 paintings to be featured in the restaurant and in the bar, and other works from the exhibition to be photographed and printed large for each of the 100 rooms.
Last week I dropped into the hotel to view the work and bumped straight into the manager Richard Bungeroth, who warmly greeted us with kiwifruit cocktails and a tour. He then invited us to stay! My husband, daughter and I had been touring the South Island for the last three weeks, mainly staying with friends, and were on our way to the Picton. We quickly cancelled our cabin at the motor camp.
What an absolutely gorgeous hotel, the design is so warm, so environmentally sensitive and sophisticated. I was thrilled to see my work so proudly and singularly featured and well lit. The paintings work so well with the hotel environmental immersion theme, which celebrates textures and colours from nature, the native bush, stones, rivers and glacier. I loved hearing the staff interpretations of my work, clearly reading the elemental exploration that I had tried to achieve, and relating the paintings to the flow of water. The glacial river reading is so apt in its setting.
We immersed ourselves in the luxury of the quality of everything from the linen and organic textiles, the floaty woollen bedding, the expresso machine in our room, the bathrobes and slippers that we put on to cross through to the hot pools right next to the hotel, and of course the stunning forest setting and birdsong. The breakfast was the best we have ever had and included champagne! The cocktails late at the bar were delicious and the staff were incredibly friendly, so genuinely interested and warm, we loved meeting them all.
We stayed two nights, we just didn't want to leave! The couple packages that include hotel spa therapies, massages and facials sound brilliant. Such a restorative place to stay I left feeling very rested, energised and so pampered. Many thanks to Richard for his keen support of the arts and the very generous hospitality we so enjoyed. Highly recommended.
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