This months blog is by Jen Larkin and team at Art Eye Consultancy, who curated the artworks in the Godolphin Arms. Early in 2014, Art Eye was privileged to design, source, commission and curate a beautiful art scheme for the Godolphin Arms refurbishment.
It was an exciting project in which to be involved; featuring wonderful architecture, inspired interior designs, enlightened clients and, of course, a landmark location with one of the best vistas in the UK. Our role was to work collaboratively alongside owners James & Mary St Levan, interior design firm 3idog, under the project management of Heritage Builders/ Architects Design Group, in order to create an apt and engaging art-filled experience. Essential skills required for this project included the following; a sensitivity to the location and cultural context, an awareness of the way each space would be used, plus a clear understanding of the entire interior design concept, including atmosphere and lighting. Much of this knowledge had to be gained through detailed conversations, drawings, sketches and site visits, long before the hotel was complete. From the very early days, we began to think about the scheme, to draw upon our good contacts within the world-renowned 'local' art scene, ready to source or commission the best possible quality artwork on time and within budget.
Careful attention to client taste was also required, because of course the new pieces would form part of James & Mary's art collection - in order to be enjoyed by them, as well as their guests and staff.
In curatorial terms, the art works have been selected not only to enhance the design of the interior spaces but also to create a ‘conversation’ between contemporary styles and disciplines; ceramics, sculpture, printmaking and painting. The scheme reflects the high calibre of Cornish artists, the diversity of the contemporary local art scene and acknowledges the powerful influence of the Cornish landscape to artists based further afield.
In this way, the art comes alive – not only does it look good in the space, but it has pertinence and meaning to the local area and the project. Each piece has it’s own interesting story to tell - from the bright relief prints by Newlyn Art School founder Henry Garfit, who many moons ago used to work at the hotel, to an old hand-coloured print which depicts a past Royal visit to St Michael's Mount (part of the owner's collection). There is even a small print which has been donated by Art Eye Founder & Creative Director, artist-curator Jen Larkin. All of these elements combine to create a high quality, inspiring scheme with a sense of place and history - something that we have put together with much care, to be enjoyed we hope for many years to come.
Jen Larkin and the Art Eye Team
Photo by Peter Curno