The Art of Norwegian Escape
As has become a tradition on Norwegian Cruise Line, the ship's art collection is dominated by a single work. It is however, some 1,000 feet long. Located outside on the hull of the ship, this unique mural serves to make Norwegian Escape instantly recognizable and gives her a unique identity.
The artist who created the hull art on Escape is Guy Harvey. Mr. Harvey was born in Germany while his father was serving with the British Army during the Cold War. However, his family had imigrated to Jamaica from England in the 19th century and so Harvey grew up in Jamaica. A deep interest in the sea and marine wildlife led Harvey to obtain a Ph. D in fish biology and marine conservation from Aberdeen University in Scotland.
At the same time, Harvey was teaching himself art. In 1985, he exhibited a series of pen and ink drawings he had done to illustrate Earnest Hemingway's story The Old Man and The Sea. The response to this exhibition was so positive that Harvey soon turned to being a full time artist. In addition to paintings, drawings and prints, Harvey's designs appear on clothing and various other items. The proceeds from his work have enabled him to establish the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, which raises funds for scientific research and marine conservation.
Mr. Harvey's art has a message. It seeks to portray the beauty of marine wildlife and increase interest in marine conservation. On Norwegian Escape, the mural presents a number of creatures native to the Caribbean - - Norwegian Escape's home waters. Towards the bow a giant blue sailfish emerges from the waves while towards the stern a whale shark swims along. Also in the mural are frigate birds, sea turtles, sting rays and other tropical fish.
The work does not conform to any established school of art. It is somewhat illustrational but it is attractive and gets its message across.
Norwegian Escape's art collection does not end with the hull art. Under the leadership of CEO Frank Del Rio, Norwegian has returned to having real art collections on its ship. As a result, Escape's atmosphere is more sophisticated than in some of the previous ships. Working with Mr. Del Rio on assembling this collection of contemporary art was the art consulting firm Soho Mynad of Atlanta.
It is important to distinguish this collection from the art that is for sale on Norwegian Escape. The latter works are prominently displayed along the central corridor on Deck 6. Meanwhile, the ship's own art collection is scattered around in various public spaces. In general, it does not call attention to itself but its presence raises the tone of the areas where it is present. These areas include: the main lobby; the Taste and Savor restaurants; the elevator/staircase landings and various other spots.
Most the paintings and prints are abstract in style, featuring unobtrusive colors. Unfortunately, there is no signage to identify the artists.
The collection also includes a number of sculptures. In the atrium, there is a work by Arik Levy that is composed of a number of beams coated with a reflective surface. There is energy in the design and inasmuch as the lighting changes in the atrium during the course of the day, the sculpture changes color giving it different looks. In the main lobby, there is a series of three wall-mounted geometric shapes by Peter Millett. Also in the lobby, are works by Kevin Box that are origami-inspired but coated with gold leaf or cast in bronze. Once again, the works lend a sophisticated look to the area. Another interesting piece inspired by origami is a work by Suzanne C. Selman composed of 1,000 folded wine labels. Appropriately, it is located in The Cellars wine bar.
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Above: Guy Harvey's sail fish makes Escape instantly identifiable.
Below: A whale shark and tropical fish are seen further aft.
Above: Arik Levy's sculpture in the atrium changes color during the course of the day as the light changes in the atrium.
Below: Works by Kevin Box (below left) and Heather Day (below right) lend the main lobby a more sophisticated look.
Cruise ship art collection review -Norwegian Cruise Line - - Norwegian Escape