The Art of Mariner of the Seas
Mariner of the Seas has an extensive and varied art collection. It ranges from monumental installations to small statuettes and drawings. Although most of the works were done by contemporary artists, the styles range from abstraction to traditional realism.
The original art collection on Mariner cost some $8.5 million. Over the years, the collection has changed somewhat with various alterations to the ship. Some new works were added during the 2018 refit. Unfortunately, the signage for these works is not as good as the rather good signage done for the works in the original collection.
The heart of Mariner is the Royal Promenade and its centerpiece is a large installation by American artist Larry Kirkland called "Maritmus." Suspended from the ceiling, it consists of two large disks one of which is intersected by a large pointed beam. These were inspired by antique navigational devices called “Plainspheres” with the beam acting as a compass needle. The visual impact of the piece changes with the lighting on the Royal Promenade.
Also on the Royal Promenade are life-size figures by British sculptor Ben Twiston Davies. The statues are colored to look like life-like so at first glance you might mistake them for crew members working on the walls or a passenger suspended by a bunch of party balloons.
As on most cruise ships, much of the art is on the landings of the passenger stairtowers. Since Mariner is a very tall ship, there is a lot of room for art in the stairtowers.
One of the towers has a series of paintings by Frank Troia. These cover diverse subjects such as fishermen working with nets, a marching band and horse racing. The figures are vaguely drawn using muted earth colors.
Another example of art in the stairtowers is “The Three Graces” by Italian artist Stefania Brandinelli. In this marble moasic, Ms. Brandinelli has taken faces from paintings by Ingres, Piero della Francesca and Raffaello to depict certain qualities in women. It has something of the feel of ancient Roman mosaics yet still seems contemporary.
Yet another change of pace is a group of reliefs by Canadian Jonathan Milne. Made of paper, these depict buildings with antique cars in the foregrounds. Although detailed, they are not architectural models but rather scenes, mostly reminiscent of Britian in the era depicted in Agatha Christie novels.
Abstraction is also represented. “Collage 2” by Danish artist Jens Kanstsoe is actually a print derived from a collage. Nonetheless, it is an appealing image with soft colors modelled into interesting shapes.
Originally, Mariner's main dining room had a musical theme with each of its three levels named after a classic musical movie or Broadway show. To aid in this theme, the dining room was decorated with drawings and paintings of people dancing. While some of the figures are recognizable as people like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, this is not mere fan art. They have a sense of movement and convey the enchantment of people dancing in that era. Unfortunately, there is little signage in the main dining room to identify the artists.
Overall, Mariner has an interesting collection. Despite making this investment, Royal Caribbean does not call attention to it. It is just part of the various ingredients that make up the cruise experience on Mariner.
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Above:"Maritus" by Larry Kirkland is the centerpiece of the Royal Promenade.
Above: An examples of art in the stair towers: Stefania Brandinelli's "Three Graces"
Below: A drawing in the main dining room by an unidentified artist.
Cruise ship art collection review -Royal Caribbean - - Mariner of the Seas