between cultures and bringing them into new contexts.
Home is the place where we feel safe. A home is shared with family and a place where we welcome our most special friends. Home is the place to refill our energies and relax from a ruffled and busy day. These are some of the characteristics that makes “home” such a special place for all of us. Thus the curatorial concept “A Home for You” by VELVENOIR created specially for ALEX Lake Zurich tends to bring this notion of home, familiarity and tranquillity into its rooms, public spaces and the shared building.
“A Home for You” was co-curated by Inês Valle and Alexandra Schafer, where they focus both on the conceptual notions of home, belong-ing and life-sharing. Therefore it was key to bring into the hotel an art collection that can manifest the richness and diversity that belongs to distinct artistic expressions from various cultures across the world. Thus curating an art collection that interweaves artworks by visual and indigenous artists from Serbia, Portugal, Italy, US and from the Zulu People of South Africa.
The art collection will allow each guest to explore more than just “art” in a hotel. The concept aims to countenance the experience in each art-work a “piece” of each territory, society and soul. Some artists created bespoke pieces especially for this concept, where the colours, history and élan of lake Zurich are playing a vital part of the inspiration for the artwork series, commissioned by VELVENOIR.
We carefully sourced artists that have established themselves within the global art market due to their unique art technique, approach and overall look and feel of the art created. Once we found artists and their body of works we believed add exactly those components, we started to work closely with them on the art production. The vision for us was to take each guest on a special journey to connect, relax and appreciate their time at the hotel.
We hope that this movement of merging the exclusive art world with the hospitality industry can open the mind and eyes of others to under-stand the relevance of supporting living career artists. As well as, creat-ing public art collections in alternative organizations, which for sure will impact their spaces by incorporating original art pieces. For us this is a fundamental way to keep distinct cultures alive and communicate their originality at a global level.
When walking towards the SPA Area of ALEX Lake Zurich, the mesmerizing floral art installation awaits you, acquired from US-based artist Sabin Bradley. The artist himself is an avid gardener and sculptor, Bradley Sabin finds inspiration through the nature around him.
His intricate ceramic sculptures explore a metaphorical equation between the care and time which is needed to have a flourishing garden and that required for human relationships, which also need to be nurtured and protected to thrive. In his cage-like yet organic wall sculptures, antler-like forms provide the sturdy protection required for hothouse blossoms to safely open. Rough, sugary textures coat the sturdy stems which support velvety and visceral petals. These vibrant yet tentative blooms, not enough for a spilling bouquet but perfect for a tiny bedside vase, give way to the reward of smooth, fleshy, glowing fruits. Sabin’s forms translate nature to speak to the interior, to the human, to bridge inside and outside and transform geometric spaces to something living, hand-touched and alive.
For the rooms, unique works on paper are awaiting you inspired by the movement of lake Zurich and it´s surroundings. The artist Dusica Pejic invites through her works on paper series, to discover traces of discreetly applied white paint, with various textural elements flickering throughout the shades of brown, mimicking the riffles on the lake. It is an enchanting meditation on the clear and cold waves moving and disappearing into the lake with the different colours symbolizing the path into the eternal and the imaginary.
While staying at ALEX Lake Zurich, another powerful work artwork awaits you, carefully installed above the chase lounge lounge of each room. Italian based artist, Silvia Granata’s work has developed unique ceramic objects, with the vision to draw attention to unity and the relationship between its components: the distance or intimacy between people, the balance between the whole of humanity and the individual, the personal relationship within societies and communities, the juxtaposition between the fragility of each object. Though all the elements look similar to each other, however, they are always different and unique almost amounting to a declaration of individuality.
We continue our journey on to the corridors, before entering the rooms each corridor has one from 7 Original Ukhamba Vessels carefully placed. Back in 2018, our art curator Inês Valle traveled to the the beautiful Tugela River Valley of Kwazulu-Natal (SA) where she meet one of the distinguished potters’ families – the Magwaza.
Buzephi and Zikoti both work and live in Nkandla (SA), the first heads the Magwaza family, she is the leading potter of the village. Both are the fourth generation of female Zulu potters in their family. The art and knowledge of pottery is usually passed from mother to daughters, but in the case of Buzephi it was her grandmother who taught her the art of finely working the clay. The Magwaza Family has a rich tradition of making Zulu pots and they have perfected the art of detailed decorative elements designing with amasumpa, the little pellets that mark out the design on some of the pots.
The designs usually are spontaneous and geometric, but it is also possible to find some representation of nature and animals. The work of the Magwaza Family has started to receive recognition and their works have been exhibited and included in private and museum collections, such as the Durban (BAT centre) and Pietermaritzburg Art Galleries, Eshowe Museum and Greytown Museum.
When wondering on the 6th Floor or towards the SPA area to large scale „Stripes“ artworks await you, commissioned from emerging artist Joana Gomes.
The concept of time is made visible and material in Stripes. Within each work on paper, Gomes employs a technique of conceal and reveal, interrupting the flow of the composition with spaces in-between where she creates a sense of rhythm and illusion of movement. The absence of paint and information creates a feeling of suspension. What next? What is evidenced and not? A landscape can be revealed but also obscured, eliciting a sense of mystery and excitement. Like in a film, the alternating light and darkness produce a flicker and the succession of images moves to compile a cohesive whole.
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“Art moves, questions and is a reflection of the space we live, work, stay and play in. And as an international art consultancy, this is what drives us.”
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