Living and Breathing Art

PUBLISHED: 00:16 23 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:04 20 February 2013

Charlotte Newey, Creative Director and Justin Salisbury, Founder (both Artist Residence Hotel & Gallery)

Charlotte Newey, Creative Director and Justin Salisbury, Founder (both Artist Residence Hotel & Gallery)

The Artist Residence Hotel & Gallery in Penzance, where visitors can stay in rooms decorated by local artists, is now open. Creative Director Charlotte Newey gives us a taste of what to expect

The Artist Residence Hotel & Gallery in Penzance, where visitors can stay in rooms decorated by local artists, is now open. Creative Director Charlotte Newey gives us a taste of what to expect



The Artist Residence Hotel & Gallery in Penzance is one-of-a-kind. Our criterion was that we wanted the hotel to be not just a place to sleep, but somewhere our guests would enjoy a unique and memorable experience. The Artist Residence does this, we hope: its hip and stylish, but above all its fun and friendly, with a laid-back ambience to make guests feel welcome and comfortable.



So how did it all start? The hard work began back in 2008 when a 20-year-old student, Justin Salisbury, laid down the foundations of Artist Residence. Owing to his mothers traumatic injury in an accident, Justin had to finish his studies prematurely to look after the family business. This was how Artist Residence was born. I came into the fold when I was finishing off my History of Art degree at Leeds University. I had noticed some constant Facebook updates about a fantastic Art Hotel in Brighton so we started talking. Justin was already signed up to a new undergraduate course at City University and began to find balancing university life and running a full-time business difficult, let alone setting up a new outpost in Cornwall. Obviously the recession was hard on young graduates, especially those in the arts. Most of my class were struggling even to get interviews, so it was an exciting prospect when Justin told me of this potential opportunity in Cornwall.



This old, derelict Grade II Listed Georgian House in Penzance (built in the 1600s) was in need of serious renovation, but Justin felt it could be the next Artist Residence Hotel & Gallery if we could get the right team together. What more could an art graduate ask for than to be able to live and breathe art through the opportunity to design an art hotel! This was the most fantastic and exciting project that I could ever have imagined. I had grown up in Devon so it was great to be close to my roots and live by the sea again. I could remember being told in my art class that many artists were drawn to south-west Cornwall because of the captivating light. I now know this is true.


When I first visited the building I was surprised by how much character each of the rooms had, each with different spacial features and ambience. This was before the hotel was even done up. Throughout the renovation it was always a key priority to emphasise the character and quirks of the building, from unveiling the beautiful wooden floors, to restoring the original features.



Artist Residence was built around the theme of art but I wanted to leave a mark on Cornwall, of building on the artistic heritage of Cornwall with a fresh perspective and a new generation of emerging artists. With the idea that art should not just be restricted to galleries, but could be all around us, we wanted to create our Sleep in a Gallery rooms. We searched the country to find eight artists and designers to create our rooms; six of them either live or work in Cornwall or have a Cornish background, such as Muju World who live and work in St Ives. Mujus room has been painted with a sea view in an urban art style.



Each room has its own theme, from Pinky Visions pastel seascape mural, Belinda Moores dotty Indian-inspired room to Rachel Ella Taylors use of mixed media to create her EnchantedForest room. Sinead Gearys Room 2 has her beautiful wallpaper and fabric design, while Jo Peels room encompasses urban street-style illustrations of Chapel Street painted onto the walls.



Another element we wanted to incorporate is the need for recycling. This is something that Ben Gray and Adam Makowiecki demonstrate in their rooms, Up-Cycled and Nautical Tale. By up-cycling old furniture through painting and graphic play, they give a new lease of life to old pieces of furniture that once would have been disregarded.
Personally, I have found Cornwall the most inspiring place to live and work. I hope this comes across to those staying with us at our Penzance hotel.



Artist Residence Hotel & Gallery, Penzance, The Georgian House, 20 Chapel Street, Penzance, TR18 4AW; www.arthotelcornwall.co.uk

Latest Articles

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read

A+ Education

It's Christmas

Great British Holidays

South West Attractions

Pure Weddings E-edition