When receiving a request to make a bespoke glass art installation for an ocean cruise liner, an artist with an interest in Greek culture and mythology is bound to think of Okeanos, the god of the earth-encircling river named after him. With his wife Thetys he fathered innumerable Nymphs. They are minor goddesses of the natural world. Deities to whom the Greeks addressed their prayers. Amongst them were the Naiads, the water nymphs. They embody the divinity of the source or the stream they inhabit and spend their time spinning and singing. As they are considered to be formidable healers (as well as treacherous seducers) they seemed to be the ideal concept to explore for a group of sculptures for a spa area, full of water, healing and seduction.
The approach taken is that the six sculptures relate and “talk” (or “sing” if you like) to each other in a way that orchestrates a melody.
Les Naïades Chantantes consists of 6 glass sculptures. They sit on plinths around the circular pool on deck 9 of the MS Rotterdam. The sculptures have light inside. They have two faces of art glass mounted together in a mirror polished stainless steel frame with a base, in marine graded stainless steel fixed to the plinth.
One face is more complex, the other more smooth. It has three layers of toughened glass. The middle one shattered. On the other side, a more serene, softer face complements the complex face. This face will have some clear elements in order to see through to the complex layer, adding another dimension to the sculptures. The smooth face will have only two layers of toughened glass. The laminating silicone will have silver flakes added to it to create movement.
Before sending the girls to sea, we photographed them on the public walk of Limassol. Photos by Elena Alonefti Fitikidou.