Artwork at No.15
Collectors of art
Huge pieces of art, statement collections and intriguing curios that make you look twice pervade No.15
Art at the heart
Here at No.15, we’ve always been keen purveyors and collectors of art, which is why you’ll find such a focus on intriguing collections, vast canvases and captivating curios, which all help create an almost gallery-like feel. As well as working with those who’ve made making or finding beautiful things their life’s work, we’ve also been working closely with local and up-and-coming artists to commission one-of-a-kind contemporary pieces, which are only enhanced by our statement lighting and myriad chandeliers. In keeping with the theme, upstairs on the top floor of our boutique townhouse is the Artists’ Floor, where seven of the rooms feature bespoke wall murals ranging from a Greek seascape to a lizard’s day out and a hole in the wall. Art, in all its forms, will always be an integral part of No.15’s luxury for the curious offering.
The Artists’ Floor
Not only do our loft rooms offer exceptional views over the city’s rooftops, they’re also crammed with a personality all of their own, thanks, in large part, to the unique murals our artists have created. To help you choose the room that best suits your own sense of style and personality, here’s an insight into the inspirations behind each piece and the art you’ll find here.
- Jamie Mount
Deluxe Double - Room 1
Jamie Mount is 17-years-old. An aspiring up-and-coming artist and sixth former at King Edward’s School in Bath, he is, he says, drawn to portraiture, and has just started branching out into charcoal drawing.
“When I was first asked to paint one of the mansard murals, my immediate thoughts and ideas were to create a ‘hole in the wall’ painting, which would give an almost 3D impression,” says Jamie, who’s named his piece after one of the stars in the painting, after a life-long love of astrology. “It was an immediate gut-feeling, and I want to provide guests staying in the room with a calm, tranquil perspective when they look at the wall.
“My natural style veers towards fine painting and detailed work; I wanted to produce a piece which would reflect my love of fine artwork, and which would also showcase the sense of perspective and detail that I like to portray through my work.
“I am currently studying A level art and my chosen topic is portraiture. I have been experimenting with detailed photo-realistic portraits, including one of Marilyn Monroe, so I was delighted when Ian [owner of No.15] asked me to create a large scale image, based on an original A4 charcoal drawing.”
- Katherine Jackson
Cosy Double - Room 2
“There wasn’t really a moment when I discovered that I loved art,” says 18-year-old Katherine Jackson, who’s just finished her studies at the Royal High School Bath and enrolled on an Art Foundation course, “I just really enjoyed drawing when I was a child, and I never stopped.
“I’m still experimenting with my artistic style, although I love painting faces and this has been quite prominent in my work.
“My mural is based on natural images, inspired by walks around Bath. I've also included an image of a statue, as I like the way it has been claimed by the surrounding environment and is mottled with lichen.
“I love the translucency and delicacy which can be achieved by using water colours, but I’ve used oils to paint my mural as I find their versatility very appealing.
“Working on a large scale is something I've only managed to do relatively recently – I tend to make everything tiny – so covering a wall was a real challenge for me!”
- Alexander Sokolow
Large Deluxe Double - Room 3
This vast piece which hangs in our Loft Junior Suite, “is the amalgamation of a year’s worth of experiences down in Cornwall over the year in which I was studying at Falmouth University,” says creator Alexander Sokolow. “It explores colour fields and immersion through the figurative tool of Cornish seascapes. Each panel represents a window into an individual moment of sublime experience,” so it’s perhaps apt that it finds itself in such a restful space as a hotel bedroom.
“This work is among many pieces I’m currently working on in a similar vein that use similar format, medium and style in order to express location and explore the sense of the infinite.
“I tend to be solely a painter working in either oil or acrylic depending on which medium seems to be the most appropriate and malleable to the task.”
“Seeing Matisse’s church, Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, when I was about 13-years- old was the first time I was really moved by art and realised that one could be totally emotionally immersed. At around the same time I saw Rothko’s Seagram murals in the Tate Modern which had an equally powerful effect. I hadn’t really ever engaged with art as a child, not even so far as colouring books, however after seeing those I was really inspired to begin engaging with the art world and creating work of my own.
“My career in regards to exhibiting my work has been short with me having just finished my Art Foundation in Falmouth. I’m now starting a three-year degree course in Fine Art Painting at Camberwell College of Art, so hopefully there will be many years of work to come.”
- Mark Elliot Smith
Cosy Double – Room 4
The sweet and sour swivel of the curiously luxurious
“My work usually grows out of previous pieces, as it’s abstract, but I wanted to paint something in the style of my paintings that would work in a site specific way, and which would give everyone something to appreciate,” says University of Plymouth graduate Mark Elliot Smith, who has previously shown his work in London and across the South West.
“I’ve used more subtle colours and simplified the dynamic nature of the work slightly, using soft pinks, blues and greys with some darker blue and hotter pinks for contrast. The abstract shapes are open and fluid to give a gentle energy with plenty of white space with smaller intricate elements which help create the illusion of depth.
“This mural is a good reflection of my artistic style. In my work I see thoughts and ideas as patterns which interact in new shapes and configurations. My large canvases are worked in pure colours with vivid, clean-edged forms with playful and energetic elements. I lay the paint on flat with a brush to a smooth crisp finish, creating a dynamic illusion of three dimensions through the placement of form and colour. This mural has all of these qualities. Although my work is powerful and dramatic it’s done in a way not to intimidate, but to convey and encourage a positive and creative attitude.
“When I was young I liked to draw in felt tips and though I’ve experimented with other media in the past I like acrylics as they give me a similar clean, clear colour result. In fact, my first serious work was based on the drawings I did as a child.
“The ability to express myself visually through art has always come to me naturally. I found drawing and painting was a channel I could communicate through when nothing else made sense to me. I have been influenced by artists such as Kandinsky, Matisse and Miro.”
Mark’s recently been shortlisted for the ArtGemini Prize in London and he’s working on a series of new intaglio prints, which you can see, by appointment, at his studio at Black Chalk Workshops in Bath.
- Elizabeth Heath-Apostolopoulou
Cosy Double - Room 5
A sixth former at King Edward’s School in Bath, Elizabeth Heath-Apostolopoulou has spent 13 years of her life living in Greece, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that she decided to base her mural on a subject so close to her heart.
“I wanted to create something personal, but also something which others could appreciate without knowing the back story,” explains Elizabeth. “Being half Greek, I decided to base my piece on the stunning beaches of Greece: a place where I enjoyed a lot of my childhood.”
The name in Greek translates to sea shore but also refers to the place that she used to spend every summer. “My family and I used to always go to the Peloponnese on holidays, which is why I chose to paint that part of Greece in particular. Ακρογιάλι is also the name of a taverna on the beach, which is one of my favourite places to eat when I go back there, especially because I go with my whole extended family who I don’t see very often.
“I wanted to create something personal, but also something which others could appreciate without knowing the back story,” explains Elizabeth. “Being half Greek, I decided to base my piece on the stunning beaches of Greece: a place where I enjoyed a lot of my childhood.
“I’d describe my artistic style as free, experimental and honest. I like my paintings to give off a particular energy, and although I usually create figurative pieces, I wanted to approach this piece the same way I usually do. My style is abstract, and I like to paint with free brush strokes and mark making, allowing the paint to move itself. Letting the paint drip and move about works well with my subject matter as it gives the ocean a more exciting feel.”
- Frederick Stisted
Deluxe Double - Room 6
The Vinyl Series and Are You Experienced
Graphic designer Frederick Stisted has a passion for music and art, which is immediately apparent in the pieces he’s created for our music room. His triptych piece is based around the iconic decades of 70s, 80s and 90s music and the artists he’s most influenced by.
“For my ’70s influence I chose Jimi Hendrix, because for me he is one of my all-time favourite musicians,” says Freddie. “Although Hendrix actually died in 1970, many of his unreleased songs when he was alive were released between 1970-75, so he was a very prominent figure throughout the decade.”
Freddie’s take on Hendrix’s Are you experienced album, the first of these three prints also depicts the illuminati “controlling all humans”, with a psychedelic marbled background behind, which conveys the perceived ‘trippy’ nature of the ’70s.
New Order is Freddie’s focus for the 1980s. “For me New Order is one of the most iconic ’80s bands of the whole decade. Taking the original influence of Blue Monday’s circle, I began researching bands and found out that the 80s were very patriotic. So I began by layering three cut up circles on top of each other, each with a colour from the Union Jack, to show a clear juxtaposition. Creating a font proved to be quite tricky for the New Order poster, but I wanted something that would draw the viewer’s eye from left to right, so I created a long font which bears resemblance to the Ferrari logo.”
And for the ’90s? “I went for Nirvana,” says Freddie, and a reimagining of their NeverMind album. “Although the smiley face has been seen a lot, Nirvana has never actually used it in a poster, only fans have. Kurt Cobain actually drew the smiley face at the age of five and the band had intended to use it on the album cover until they found and created the baby under water idea. So for me, this piece was the perfect way to honour Nirvana and Kurt Cobain.” Freddie has also incorporated references to ecstasy and LSD, the decade of grunge as well as artistic influences from Jamie Reid and Barbara Kruger.
You’ll also find a series of vinyls inset with photographs, showing the different processes of creating a vinyl itself.
- Rebecca Freer Smith
Cosy Double - Room 7
Time and change in an interior space
“These three canvases are inspired by a project about how over time the environment and space around us changes,” says fine art undergraduate Rebecca.
“These oil paintings are a response to a flat kitchen. In this flat there are five people involved in the altering of objects making it the most intriguing space to capture. This work highlights how mess and rubbish through the use of idealisation and exaggeration can be made into beauty. The cups, guitars and plates are the main focus as their forms are all alike. The inclusion of a guitar links directly with Picasso’s obsession with this instrument and signifies the cubistic ideas in my paintings. The circular, curving, round geometric shapes are juxtaposed with horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, creating a dynamic composition which conveys movement.
"I like to paint in oil as this gives the most energy and the texture creates and interesting effect.”
- Thomas Dowdeswell
Cosy Double - Room 8
In the sunshine we cast the same shadows
“I have planned a piece of work specifically for this project,” explains established artist Thomas Dowdeswell, who over the years has exhibited at art fairs, solo shows and group exhibitions both at home and abroad.
“The painting is designed to reflect the multi-cultural universality of British culture and is an all-inclusive piece of art. The figures are depicted in a range of bright but tender colours, such as pink, yellow, white, black and grey to reflect our history and future, which is diverse and includes all people from all walks of life. It is a positive affirmation of what I believe Britain stands for and it is designed to inspire guests and leave them feeling positive and optimistic once their stay is over. Furthermore, the design is intended to reflect the view out of the corner window, with its green aspect, Bath stone buildings and vast skyline, and will hopefully open up the room to optimise its spaciousness. The colour combination is designed to be cool in summer but warm in winter.
“The colours I’ve employed are standard components of my current practice, but the image itself is stripped down from more recently detailed, more political pieces of artwork. Too much detail and intricacy could make the room feel claustrophobic, so I have come up with a bold yet simple idea which gives great balance to the room.
“Typically, I only use oil paints as I find the pigment truer and the malleable nature of the paint easier to work. I mix my own colours which I have fine-tuned over the years.
“My grandmother was a fabulous oil painter, my father a great copyist, painter and designer and my mother has a wonderful use of colour with oils, pastels and watercolours, so I suppose there is paint in the bloodline of the family tree. Having said that I didn’t start painting until my early 20s, but now paint every day.”
- Jess Pigott
Cosy Double – Room 9
Twenty-four-year-old Wimbledon College of Art graduate, Jess Pigott, was inspired to create her wall art largely by the room itself, which is both high above the ground and has beautiful views from the window. “The mural depicts the tops of a group of trees, giving the feeling of air, space and light, using warm and bright colours such as yellow and green,” Jess says.
“I love bright, bold colour and I’m drawn to large format paintings, especially with landscapes. I love the idea of paintings that you can just walk right into and I’m always trying to create that immersive feeling.”
Jess has a studio at 44AD Gallery in Bath, where she’ll be exhibiting some more of her work from 18 November 2016.
- Abby Hyder
Large Deluxe Double – Room 10
Lizards’ day out
Illustrator and printed textile artist, and recent graduate of Bath Spa University, Abby Hyder thinks her mural at No.15 is a true reflection of her artistic style.
“The inspiration behind this piece is from my love of taking something ordinary and turning it into something spectacular,” she says.
“For my wall mural I’ve combined a traditional brick building found in Bath, placed in front of a flower-covered wall. For an exotic twist, I’ve painted some enchanting little lizards crawling up the brickwork. The lizards ensure the piece is a real talking point and something for the guests to look for within the mural.
“My love of art comes from my love of nature. Being able to capture something beautiful in a surface or animal that no one would think of.”
- Pratueng Kiengsri
Pratueng – aka Big – is a night manager at our sister property, the Abbey Hotel, and it was there that his work caught the eye of No.15's owner. His three pieces of art – a mixture of pastels and pencil drawings inspired by horses – are on display in the corridor of the artists’ floor.
“What I find fascinating about these animals is the way they walk and the way they run,” explains Big. “The word graceful comes to my mind when witnessing a horse in motion and they’re so beautiful to look at.
“My works were inspired by a horse’s anatomy and body shape, especially the lines and curves on the legs. The curve on my drawing represents the anatomy and the line is used to create texture on the curve. The works signify ‘muscle in motion’ and I hope they offer the viewer a feeling of movement.”
Art in all its forms
No.15 Great Pulteney is very much an art hotel, filled with curiosities and collections in every available nook, shelf and staircase. Whether it’s the hand-blown lights above the bar in the restaurant, framed pieces of vintage lace to beautiful art books, old slides of living stone, or a collection of antique evening bags, there’ll be something to capture your imagination whatever your artistic persuasion. We’re ‘planting’ gardens on the roof, and shining a spotlight on everything from old apothecary bottles to compacts, china dogs and communion plates.
- Adam Aaronson
One artist we’re particularly pleased to be working so closely with is Adam Aaronson, a highly talented glass artist who’s been at the heart of British studio glass for more than 25 years. Specialising in free-blown glass, his work experiments with self-taught methods and abstract patinas.
“I love working on early stage projects, where one can develop concepts while the build is undertaken,” says Adam Aaronson of his work at No.15. “Over-riding concepts in my vessels and sculptures are predominately inspired by a love of nature, especially the play of light on water and on the landscape and my colourful patinas draw on.
“I’m very much a colourist, so the blend of hues I’m using is paramount, whether these are inherent in the glass or achieved using coloured LEDs.
“I am inspired by the ceaseless mutability of light on the landscape, the sky and water. I am fascinated by horizons, the vanishing point where the land merges with the sky. Glass is the ideal medium to express this idea of continual change since its properties are inherently mutable, not only in its molten state but also in the way the play of light creates endless nuances in the finished piece.”
In pursuit of perfection
Each of the eight glass babies in Adam Aaronson’s allegorical installation – to be found on our top floor staircase – has been made from molten glass that has been blown into one of several plaster moulds. They’re lit with LED lights, and are sure to provoke a reaction.“Each mould was cast from a master model, so one could describe the babies as clones,” explains Adam. “However, during the various steps in the making process, each baby developed its own nuances and character, so the babies are, in fact, slightly different, in the same way as there are tiny differences between identical twins.
“What could be more perfect than a sleeping baby? Yet some viewers may be encouraged to consider which aspects of their life are perfect and whether their own aspirations for perfection are realistic. We live in a world where everyone strives to achieve perfection yet the concept of perfection often means different things to different people.”
Adam’s also created hand-blown bowls that have been made into lights as well as a breathtaking ‘Reeds’ series which comprises highly contemporary sculpture, screens and site-specific installations, all created from free-blown glass in myriad colours and with subtle movement.
“Some of these are reminiscent of reeds swaying in a gentle breeze,” says Adam. “Others reflect memories of underwater reeds on coral reefs, gently moving back and forth with the movement of the waves.
“The concept takes a single glass element that when combined with others can create an almost infinite array of forms and applications. In this way, a group of reeds can be transformed into a chandelier, or a room divider, or simply stand alone as a piece of sculpture in its own right.”
You’ll find everything from a screen backlit with LEDs to a series of three ‘reeds’ chandeliers, illuminated with LEDs that hang in the restaurant.
Feature lighting is a key part of the design offering here at No.15. From the beautiful pieces such as the Lost Earring chandelier to earring encrusted wall lights, hand-blown lamps, carefully-crafted porcelain lanterns and LED lights, the focus is on creating a spectacle and elegant ambience. While beautiful antique Italian and French chandeliers can be found at every turn, look closely and you’ll find sculptural pieces too, maybe trumpets or a giant top hat.
Lost Earring Chandelier
Our Lost Earring chandelier in the sitting room, is made from 5,000 lone earrings, as well as necklaces and crystals.
Commissioned by Martin Hulbert Design, this colourful piece has been created by artist Lauren Sagar – renowned for her art projects based on storytelling and shared experience – alongside Zoe Rigby and her team at Agapanthus Interiors. While guests will no doubt be captivated by the beauty of the work – an object of art in its own right – the chandelier is also home to thousands of personal stories of memory, loss, beauty and love, donated in the form of a single, treasured earring, its pair having been lost.
In A Good Light
Paul Freddy Payne designs and makes bespoke atmospheric lighting and lithophanes in porcelain, and he’s been busy ensuring No.15 is in the Bath spotlight, with his sinuous layered candle shades which emit a soft, yet captivating glow.
“The inspiration is the beauty of Bath stone as seen in a golden evening light,” says Paul of his gently luminescent creations. “By degrees of thickness, the stoneware porcelain I make reveals illustrations with an almost sepia tone quality to the clay.
“The illuminated panels back-lit with a warm radiance as lanterns, show a progression of views of No.15 in its location,” explains Paul. “The magic for me is how, like Bath stone, it becomes enhanced when lit.”
Paul puts his love of lighting down to drawing on the back of posters brought home from the theatre when he was a child. When pinned to the wall, the images would merge when lit up. He is, he says, excited by combining the need for lighting with an enhancement, which adds a zest of surprise to the finished piece.
- Jonathan Hope
Those seeking curious – and charming – bedside reading to match their surrounds will discover Jonathan Hope’s A is for Donkeys on the nightstand. An alphabetic adventure with a difference – complete with stylish illustrations from his friend, Riccardo Guasco – readers are invited to delight in the sounds and semantics of the letters A to Z, and discover the many quirks of the English language along the way. For language lovers, young or old, it’s a playful celebration of the absurdities of spelling and pronunciation, using puns, idioms, and plenty of humour…
- John Lloyd
The artist behind one of our most recognisable works of art, Lobby Boy, John Lloyd is a London-based artist who graduated in 2016. The painting, which hangs above the mantelpiece in our Foyer was inspired by Wes Anderson's much-loved The Grand Budapest Hotel. "I took inspiration from the colour palette and the themes throughout the film, says John. "With a passion for portraying my sitters' personality in my work, I have seamlessly included items that represent his character."
Aiming to put his own perspective on portraiture, John uses oils and canvas together with more contemporary techniques. You can find more on his work at www.johnpslloyd.com.