evolution of atargatis...
Surftides Hotel, Lincoln City, Oregon, USA
Internationally acclaimed interior design company, BAM Design Lab, approached me to work on a unique wallpaper concept for the Surftides Hotel, Lincoln Oregon, USA. It was to be installed in 84 of the 141 guest-rooms.
History: In 1936, the original Surftides Apartments opened its doors to provide front row seats to nature’s awesome maritime spectacle. This new coastal destination drew hearty travellers, undeterred by the lack of roads, for a timeless beach getaway. Just one year later, Roosevelt Highway paved the path for a new wave of pioneers to enjoy this developing region - vacationers from the booming Willamette Valley, many of whom had probably never seen the ocean. Sitting directly on the beach, Surftides provided premier access to the refreshing salt air and calming waves of the Pacific Ocean.
In 1947, Sid and Virginia Tworogers purchased the Surftides and greatly expanded and remodelled it in 1948 and 1958. Additions included equestrian facilities, indoor tennis courts, a library and a beauty salon. Surftides has never stopped improving its amenities, later adding a whirlpool, sauna, steam bath, fitness room, meeting room, wedding services and more. The Tworogers’ greatest achievement, however was a super modern “Recreational Dome,” completed in 1954. The recreation dome was a product of the prolific imagination and creativity of Tworogers. Not only did it provide an “aura of luxury”, it also proved to be a “traffic stopper”, when originally created by Gun-Concrete Cement. This geodesic dome greets and entertains visitors to this day and is one of the great landmarks of the Oregon Coast.
In 1979, the Cho Family took over the stewardship of the resort, adding to the rooms to make 141 guest-rooms - most on the ocean front. Now the second generation of the family continues this passion to make Surftides a resort that provides respite, wonder, and adventure.
The hotel's recent modernisation marries it's pre-existing traditions with modern amenities. The nautical design theme complements the majestic surroundings of the ocean and beach while referencing the local arts and craft culture. It invests the hotel with a vision that embraces its history, while heroically looking into the future. They hope it’ll be the destination for many generations of “Surftides Friends” to come.
Atargatis: Q&A with the artist:
Q: What inspired the story?
A: Like any curator, I believe the wallpaper artwork should have an intimate relationship with its surroundings - they should speak the same language. The hotel is located in a very beautiful location by the ocean in Lincoln City, Oregon and it is this wonderful natural habitat that influenced my enchanting, sea themed storyboards.
Q: What inspired the moral for the fairytale?
A: The moral to the fairytale is a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh that speaks of the nature of transformation. For me, it perfectly summarised the transformative moral of Atargatis.
Q: How important is the moral of the story within your work?
A: The moral sets the foundation of the storyline. In traditional fairytales, the lead character often needs to overcome an obstacle in order to push forward with his/her personal journey - the moral lesson is what the character undertakes from hurdling the obstacle. For me the moral/story is of equal import to the physical art. My artistic vision is for the spectator to listen to the narration whilst observing the artwork, thereby drawing the viewer into the work, utilising both senses of sight and sound.
Q: How did the characters establish themselves within the storyline?
A: I presented the client with three storyboard themes. One storyboard in particular, based on the greek mythological character Atargatis, was the most seductive. This storyboard included images of Mermaids, Kraken, Birds and a Harpy, so the story's character and cast was set.
Q: What influenced the colour palette?
A: The palette derived from The Strawberry Thief by William Morris. This textile and Art and Craft Movement wallpaper inspired Atargatis’ denim ground, mirror repeat and the composition of the hummingbirds.
Q: What technique and drawing method did you use?
With every new piece of artwork I begin by researching all the elements. I then hand draw the design details and characters. I scan these drawings into illustrator and re-drew them as vector art. This method is one of my favourite ways of working. Each illustration is an exceptionally detailed, high resolution piece, which allows for a variety of scale options. This technique is audacious and very different from the photoshop artwork used in pieces such as Red and the Wolf Within.
Q: How long did Atagatis take to create?
A: Three months from initial storyboards to artwork approval.
Q: What can Atagatis artwork develop into?
A: I always try to create comprehensive and multipurpose artworks. Each piece can translate into a storybook, cartoon, t-shirts and other merchandise. On the whole, I create unique, expensive and high quality artworks. Its future purpose is similar to the Atagatis storyline: it can magically transform into anything it wants! The result? A happy client who has many avenues in which to promote their exciting new interior design feature.