This summer, notable artists Rosie McGuinness, Caroline Popham and Cecilia Carlstedt have been invited to ‘Paint Les Roches Red.’ The innovative trio will be combining their creative talents to produce an eye-catching mural, on display for this summer season only. Combining their different artistic talents, the three artists have come together to create two Les Roches Rouges inspired murals that will be taking pride of place in the outdoor Michelin starred restaurant, La Terrasse, and on the wall of one of the downstairs relaxation areas. Inspired by the summertime, the vegetation, the colours and the style of Les Roches Rouges, Rosie, Caroline and Cecilia have created two stunning works of art that exude the very ethos of the hotel.
Artists' Interview Responses
What was your inspiration behind the artwork?
Caroline: Summertime; it sounds simple, but it's deceptive. The palate that evokes sun drenched memories for me - sunshine, tanned skin, peaches, hazy gold pink light is only the beginning of capturing the sensations. My first painting in this series was called Sun on Her back and I started there on a quest to that almost luminous state.
Cecilia: My main area on the long wall is above the plants so I had an idea to extend the vegetation with a dream like garden, drawing inspiration from the surroundings.
Rosie: I’ve taken inspiration from the colours, style, and atmosphere of the hotel itself, and its surrounding environment - drawing figures at ease and leisure, reflecting the proximity to the water, and summer days spent on the Provençal coast.
Have you collaborated with artists on group projects before?
Caroline: I haven’t; the creative camaraderie has been fascinating, giddy and timeless, like touring acrobats, daring one another along.
Cecilia: Not like this one! All of us working on the same piece and also painting it large onto walls was new to me and a very exciting proposal.
Rosie: This is my first collaboration of this nature - I have long admired both Cecilia and Caroline’s work, so it has been a great pleasure to work together on this, producing something completely new and unique to us all.
How did you go about planning a collaborative piece with your fellow artists for this?
Caroline: I started by spending some time looking at Rosie and Cecilia’s work and thinking about how it could combine with mine. I think they did the same with me and then we started feeding in forms, shapes, figures and colours together. There are moments of delicacy where you are manipulating another's work and we were all naturally sensitive to each other's thoughts and ideas, knowing, I think, how gentle we need to be with ourselves at the beginning of a process. Work is personal and the slightest tilt of context can turn it into something different. I love the moment when incipient ideas, that are just starting to find expression, suddenly come together. I am very happy with this collaboration. Rosie’s wonderful figures sit so beautifully with my forms to build a narrative; Cecilia's abstract collages bring in foliage, forms from nature, a sense of place and connectedness.
Cecilia: I felt we all had similar thoughts about the look and feel we wanted to have on the wall. The challenge was to make sure everyone was happy with their part. At the same time, the piece should work in coherence with the each other styles without losing the identity of the separate artists. We tried two directions, one was we tried building up the wall in layers, one of us concentrating on the background, one the main figure and the other on the accent details. The other option was dividing the walls into three sections; one for each artist. We had so much fun testing out numerous ideas and landed eventually on something in between the layered and section based lay-out.
Rosie: There have been many ideas shared, and gradually sketches begun to slot into place, working to the actual spaces, and alongside one another. We realised quite early on that simplicity would be key, to mirror the simple, strong lines and design of the hotel itself, and the relaxed, but thoughtfully composed, atmosphere.
Could you briefly sum up your style of painting and how you have incorporated it into the aesthetic of Les Roches Rouges
Caroline: I paint abstract canvases in my studio in London. Sometimes I also work in paper collage. The size of some of my works lend themselves very well to translating onto a wall, I have previously seen them as ‘walls of colour’. I am hoping to use the techniques I use on canvas to maintain brushstrokes and tones of colours which I love. My work is often reductive so I am simplifying a thought, a moment, a memory into its simplest form in my own visual diary
Cecilia: It was not so hard to find inspiration from the look and feel of Les Roches Rouges. I was drawn to the aesthetics of the hotel and felt inspired by the tones and colours presented to me. I normally work in multiple mediums, as this project adds the dimension of painting onto walls I chose to focus on the more graphic and collage aspects of my work.
Rosie: As I predominantly work figuratively, painting bathers made sense to me - timeless and reposed, in a natural environment, the colours reflecting those around the hotel and landscape. I wanted to keep the painted lines of the figures loose and natural, again reflecting where they sit.