By Caroline Décoste
Grabbing forty winks in a Group Germain hotel is as close as you’ll come to sleeping in an art gallery. In every city the group calls home, Canadian artists play a key role in creating surroundings that are easy on the eye. Here are five artists who lend a unique touch to hotels from Toronto to Charlevoix.
Maud Beauchamp & Maison Girardin
Co-founder of the mpgmb duo and an industrial designer by trade, Montréal’s very own Maud Beauchamp blurs the lines between geometry and craftsmanship. Maud, who is also a member of Maison Girardin (directed by ceramic artist Pascale Girardin), came up with colourful and evocative brut pieces for Alt Hotel Montreal.
Just like the hotel in Montréal’s southwest, the Maud Beauchamp pieces that decorate the rooms are contempo-rary, playing with colour and texture to bring out the hotel’s fashionable urban side. The designer included a handmade ceramic disc as a finishing touch to each piece, a nod to Pascale Girardin’s work.
Ann Bartok & Olena Kassian
Collectively known as Barkas, this creative duo from Toronto combines new materials with recycled elements for pieces as evocative as they are enigmatic. They begin by mixing wood fibre with glue and then work in recycled materials, which dictate where the piece goes from there. “We like to say it ‘guides’ us because the mulch has a life of its own; we’re caught up in the exchange between the natural process and our vision.”
The piece (or rather the 120 pieces, every one of them unique!) above the beds in Le Germain Hotel Toronto rooms is called Cloud 9, a nod to happiness, bliss, and calm—perfect for a hotel room that’s such fun to snuggle up in!
Charlevoix’s Anne-Marie Hamel devotes her time to arts and crafts, low warp weaving in particular. Since the 1970s, she’s played an active part in passing on a centuries-old trade to future generations. Displaying a fondness for traditional artforms, she fuses age-old local techniques with recycled fibres for a modern twist.
Fans of the bolsters, cushions, towels, and table runners at Le Germain Hotel & Spa Charlevoix might like to know that Anne-Marie Hamel is the artist behind them!
This Montrealer is passionate about visual arts in every form, moving from sculpture and drawing to photography. In her photos, she uses her artistic know-how to create shapes that appear to be in three dimensions while using only two.
Julie Couture tried out an innovative technique on her latest hotel in Ottawa. “My photos are printed on fabric, creating the room’s acoustics and replacing the carpet,” she says. The photographer immersed herself in the nation’s capital to capture the city in huge images (four metres by six metres). “I let Ottawa come to me. Then I worked on textures and motifs to make the piece as interesting up close as it is from a distance.” Another large-format piece will be at the front desk, but Julie doesn’t want to givetoo much away… All will be revealed when Le Germain Hotel Ottawa opens in 2018!