Many of the world's most prestigious projects gravitate towards the coast, from spectacular superyachts to beach-front villas and hotels. The art collections of such projects should connect to their sublime settings, and capture the spirit of the ocean. As art consultants with cross-sector experience, Artelier curate art collections that recreate the experience of being at sea for varied contexts, developing art commissions that interpret the ocean in unexpected and contemporary ways.
Experiencing the expanse of the ocean is a natural urge – the endless horizon and calming stretches of blue bring a unique joy. The ocean presents a feeling of escapism and discovery, which invigorates the soul. The ocean stirs us deep within and exposes an inherent affinity with water, as if speaking to a primordial history where all life on earth came from the ocean.
As such, the ocean is an endless source for fascination and draws people near it. Yachting presents the ultimate connection to the ocean, encapsulating the sense of freedom of traveling the seas, whilst embodying the height of luxury lifestyle and presenting sophisticated interiors. Many of the most spectacular land-based projects are likewise on the coast, such as awe-inspiring villas and hotels, and are some of the most prestigious spaces for new developments. Architecturally, these developments take their cue from the ocean in their planning, with panoramic views and access to the sea incorporated into their design.
The decoration of such projects needs to likewise resonate with the setting. Art, in particular, is able to evoke the feeling of being near or even on the water, recreating the sense of movement and space that the ocean inspires. A vast number of Artelier's recent and ongoing projects have a connection to the ocean, be they superyachts and luxury sailing yachts, or beach-front hotels and villas on the coast. With our cross-sector expertise in providing art collections, we are often requested by clients of coastal projects to curate a collection that speaks to the ocean, emphasising the project's proximity to the water and capturing the feeling of being at sea.
While the ocean is a source of inspiration for many artists, curating a collection inspired by the ocean must go beyond clichés. Rather than sticking to traditional seascapes or an overwhelmingly blue colour scheme, a contemporary and refined art collection must speak to the energy of the ocean and relate to the outdoors in more unexpected, inventive ways. Exploring the evocative movement and textures of water, and using materials that speak to the ethereal and otherworldly nature of the ocean, are just some key ways in which this can be created.
Below, we dive into some of Artelier's ocean-inspired projects and Artist Walls artists, giving a flavour of how we develop art that brings the spirit of the ocean to varied contexts.
M/Y Neninka (Aurora Borealis)
A key inspiration behind the art collection Artelier developed for M/Y Neninka is exploring fluidity and the interactive reflections of surfaces. Many of the leading contemporary artists commissioned for the project looked to the ocean, recreating the effect of shifting tides and the movements of currents. Other abstract artworks are reminiscent of the outline of coasts, poetically imagining a birds-eye view of the ocean in expressive and ambiguous pieces.
Precious materials, such as finely applied gold leaf, speak to the treasures of the ocean that lie hidden beneath the waves, and evoke the mystery of ocean depths. In other artworks, the shimmering or pearlescent qualities of gold leaf echo the effects of dappled light on the waters' surface, recreating the experience of looking out onto the sea.
Gain an insight into the project's curation and explore the interiors in our case study article.
Simon Allen, one of the artists featured in Artelier's Artist Walls collection, creates wall sculptures that are inspired by the Cornish coast. His wood carving captures the drama of the rugged Cornish sea; his sculptures evoke the different moods of the sea in varied weather, from the serenity and regularity of calm waves, to the dynamic force of powerful and tempestuous waters. The peaks and undulations of his carvings reveal forms that seem to resemble mountain ranges, forging a deep connection between the shapes of water and distant landscapes.
In gilding his carved wood sculptures, Allen exquisitely recreates the atmosphere of the ocean. Utilising the possibilities of light, the gold leaf seems to animate his carved waves, emphasising the contrast between shadows and highlights. The reflective properties of gold leaf infuse his sculptures with a mystical quality, which not only speaks to the shimmering surface of the ocean, but evokes the feeling of awe that one experiences. Allen masterfully uses different gold leaf, applying bright gold, silvery moon gold or pearlescent champagne gold to complement the character of a particular artwork.
Vezzini & Chen
The work of artist duo Vezzini & Chen fuses glass and ceramics to create unique installations, which speak to the organic forms of marine life and the experience of being underwater. Playing with carved surfaces, their installations evoke a myriad of ocean textures: from the ripples of water to traces impressed into the sand. Intentionally open to interpretation, their sculptural forms can simultaneously represent floating lily pads and coral reefs.
Essential to each of Vezzini & Chen's designs is integrated lighting. For the duo, the idea of light relates to their experiences of diving; they are intrigued by light filtering through the water, and the otherworldly atmosphere it creates under the sea. With their installations, they seek to capture the sense of calmness of being submerged underwater, and use the naturally translucent qualities of ceramics and glass to filter light and recall the peace of the oceanic world.
As part of Artelier's Artist Walls collection, more of Vezzini & Chen's work can be found on their dedicated page. Vezzini & Chen discuss their artistic journey and diverse influences in an exclusive interview with Artelier, which can be found here.
As art consultants for yacht, residential and commercial projects, Artelier's curators utilise our experience in bringing the ocean to superyacht interiors to diverse coastal spaces. Discover more about our yacht art projects on our yacht homepage, or browse our residential art and hotel art pages to view recent land projects.