Whether you pop in while passing, or you’re a guest staying with us for a while, take time to wander round and discover some of the beautiful and surprising sculptural pieces that we have here at the Scarlet.
The hotel was designed with plenty of bright, open spaces to display and celebrate some of the many south west artists we love, and we have regular exhibitions that are free to anyone who would like to visit.
Here are three of our favourite sculptures currently on display:
The Angel by Jilly Sutton
The Angel, made from sandblasted and lime-washed wood, stands in the Scarlet’s entrance lobby. And while her eyes are closed, The Angel still seems to contemplating the view out over the infinity pool to the Atlantic beyond.
Sutton’s inspiration comes from the ancient woodland that surrounds her studio and home on the bank of the River Dart in Devon where she sources locally felled and fallen timber to create her calm, contemplative pieces. Most are carved from single pieces of wood.
We have a number of other Jilly Sutton sculptures here at the Scarlet, including some of her stunning heads, so please do explore and discover more of her work.
Quercus by Anna Gillespie
You’ll find this open-armed figure ready to welcome you at the entrance to the Scarlet Restaurant. The figure is encased in acorn cups and named for the Quercus oak.
Here’s what journalist Bel Mooney had to say about Gillespie’s work:
“It’s impossible to remember exactly when I saw my first Anna Gillespie sculpture, but I know it was a figure encased in acorn cups.
“There was something so profound about that marriage of humanity and nature, of ‘flesh’ transmuted into another organic substance, that I was deeply moved.
“Since then I dream of living among her creations.
“It’s as if her figures have a permanent home in my imagination, reaching out their arms in supplication, pleading for a deeper understanding of the relationship between humankind and the world we inhabit.
“Their message is that we are merely bit players in a colossal natural drama that gives the starring roles to trees (their wood, twigs, seeds and fallen leaves) and to rusty artefacts dug from the earth, and to stone and wind.
“That’s not to say the human figure is not worthy of attention too. But often it appears to be sad or yearning or rapt, as if in contemplation of the circular nature of life and death.
“So the beech tree unfurls leaves that will later fall crisply to nourish the earth, as the four-valved husks are raided by squirrels for nuts and shaken to the ground to rot – or perhaps to be gathered by Anna Gillespie.
“It goes on and on, this cycle of losing and giving.”
Beech Nut Falling by Anna Gillespie
Much of Gillespie’s work is about the body – the emotions embedded there, and about the fundamental human reality of being embodied. This inverted figure ‘sits’ on the reception table in our lobby in a sort of yoga child-pose-come-shoulder-stand.
We love the contrast between the figure’s curled up, closed position and the unfurled beech nuts that have given up their fruit.
Gillespie likens her artistic process to ‘a drunk negotiating furniture’. While this may not sound very intentioned and professional, it does express something important: that the work Gillespie makes doesn’t emerge ‘in a straight line’, let alone one that’s mapped in advance according to some rational plan.
“If anything,” she says, “it’s more a question of things looming up and hitting one in the face.”
Art at the Scarlet is available for viewing by both resident and non-resident guests. Please feel free to drop by and have a wander round some of our glorious spaces, taken in the staggering sea views and discover the art and sculpture on display.