Company Name: SMC Design
Product Name: Spirit of Discovery Artwork Collection
Cruise Line: Saga Cruises
Ship Name: Spirit of Discovery

SMC Art are proud to have collaborated with Saga Cruises to produce a specially curated collection befitting Spirit of Discovery. Championing British and British-based artists and design studios, the collection serves as a showcase for the diversity and strength of talent in the UK.

With an emphasis on bespoke craft; from handmade ceramics to papercuts and palette knife paintings, SMC produced a harmonious collection in which the hand of the artist was clear in the artwork mediums.

Unexpected materials were encouraged to explore the theme of the British Isles. For example, Anna Masters produced 2 pieces in which preserved petals – to invoke an English Country Garden – were meticulously hung to create large framed installations in the Living Room area. To reference the many coastlines around the British Isles, Blott Kerr Wilson handpicked mussel shells to create iridescent and textured installations within the Spa Reception area.  Ewan Eason utilized gold leaf to depict a range of street maps of British cities that held special meaning to him. These were displayed in the Pub area and hung with bespoke framing, detailed by SMC.

As well as references to the British Isles, the artists were also encouraged to use the ship itself as inspiration. Kate Jackson, who created a series of abstracted views of the vessel for the Britannia Lounge, visited the shipyard during the build in order to observe the angles of the ship in person for her series of paintings for the Britannia Lounge.  

The ship was referenced in the East to West restaurant, where Chuan Jia drew parallels with the appearance of a bonsai shelf and the cross section appearance of a ship, with distinct levels and areas. Each space acted as a microcosm of life onboard a cruise, with people enjoying leisure activities and different cultures.

Birds of Britain were a common motif that ran through the interior design and artwork collection. A life size sparrow sculpture is hidden within the chandelier of the Main Restaurant, and Kristjana S Williams bespoke design than runs through the stairlandings includes a different British bird hidden within the design on each deck.

The centerpiece of the collection is the installation entitled This Scepter’d Isle, which stands over 12 metres tall and acts as a backdrop to the grand staircase.  The piece, designed inhouse by SMC, takes the viewer on a visual journey around the British Isles with motifs representing the innovations, achievements and natural beauty of the UK.

To encourage passenger engagement with the collection SMC Art designed and produced a bespoke catalogue for the collection. The catalogue, allows passengers to read the background story and intention of the works and encourages them to seek out the artworks in areas onboard they otherwise may not have visited.  Saga Cruises went on to utilize the artwork collection in the operational sectors of the ship – folders within the cabins included designs of specific artwork onboard, and crockery referenced designs within the collection.

SMC Art are proud to have produced this collection for Saga Cruises, and to provide a platform for both up and coming, as well as established British Artists.

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