On my way to Europe earlier this year, I decided to stopover in Doha to drop in on a major commission (Luminous Sands) that I completed for the Fairmont Hotel. I was pleasantly surprised to see how wonderful the artwork looked, framed in gold, in the foyer of the ballroom.
Although I grew up in the rolling green hills of England, I have always had an interest in desert landscapes. Deserts have this uncanny ability to trick the eye. They seem to be still, almost devoid of life, but they are not. Deserts are like the ocean in slow-motion, in constant change, moving across the land.
With Luminous Sands, I wanted to express that movement over the 3 panels of the artwork. From the rocky outcrops to the shifting sand below, the painting documents the evolving desert landscape over time.
What I didn’t realise when I accepted the commission was how important gold was in the interior design of the hotel. The Fairmont Hotel in Doha is immersed in gold. The flooring is gold. The walls are the same. They even have golden balls cascading down from the ceiling in one of the biggest chandeliers I have ever seen.
The staff at the hotel were wonderful. They were thrilled to meet the artist and took it in turns chatting to me about the work and about my life in Australia. My husband and I felt very relaxed and were able to enjoy high tea accompanied by classical music played on, you guessed it, a gold piano. All in all, it was an interesting break before the adventure of Europe began.