Sofitel, the ambassador of modern French style, is to share ‘Joie de Vivre’ (The Joy of Life) with London from 28 September – 19 October through Silver Lining, a major new art installation situated in the St James’s locale to inspire passers-by to look for the silver lining in life as they navigate this new era.
Located within the world-renowned neighbourhood of St James’s, found nestled between Haymarket and Piccadilly within the City of Westminster, Silver Lining will be a metaphorical ‘welcome back’ to the Capital with a surrealist work marking the first ever collaboration between MTArt Agency’s artist duo Ania Catherine and Dejha Ti and the esteemed poet Greta Bellamacina.
The commission, which brings to life Sofitel’s much-loved ‘Joie de vivre’ philosophy, will see numerous locations within St James’s creatively re-imagined by Catherine and Ti with shimmering ribbons of silver, interwoven with a powerful, hope-filled verse from Bellamacina’s inspirational poem which has been uniquely conceived as part of the commission.
An instinctive fit, Ania Catherine and Dejha Ti take a surrealist approach to the Silver Lining concept. Employing nuance within scale, they focus on producing an emotional response instead of a spectacle for their audience when being immersed in the artwork. Poet, filmmaker and actress Greta Bellamacina’s moving poem responds to this emotional ambition with thought-provoking, uplifting reflections about each and every day. MTArt Agency’s expertise lies in telling stories through art by incredible artists. By creating this public art project that resonates with the local community, it will encourage visitors to view St James’s in a new and playful manner.
Silver Lining presents an artistic walking route that highlights a variety of treasures found within St James’s, renowned for its unparalleled experience of art and craftmanship. The route includes: Waterloo Place: St James’s Market, The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain (commonly known as ‘The Eros Fountain’) in Piccadilly Circus and Princes Arcade on Jermyn Street. Each location aims to surprise, delight and provide an impactful personal experience for all who see it.
Silver Lining will form part of Westminster City Council’s Inside Out Festival which will see a range of arts and cultural activities taking place on the streets of Westminster from 1 October.
Upon de-installation of the work, the artists will repurpose all the silver lining and use it as source material for a limited series of abstract works on canvas, the first time Ti and Catherine will work in that format. Their repurposing of materials is their way to preserve and hold the essence, the air and the passers-by that touched the silver at this time in history, and preserve it in a way that can be appreciated and reflected on well beyond the duration of this art installation. It also aligns with their practice to be conscious of and minimize the environmental impact of their work.
Whilst it remains a unique time to explore central London with the streets a little quieter, this mesmerising artwork aims to underpin how the Capital remains alight with enticing creativity and optimism for the future. Whether located in the heart of a bustling city like London, Paris, New York or Sydney or nestled away in the quieter landscapes of Thailand, Egypt or Morocco, every Sofitel address is a call to indulge in, and celebrate, the pleasures of life: To live the French way.
The installation and its beautiful, emotive words aim to serve as an optimistic immersive reminder to us all to enjoy re-exploring London with Joie de vivre.