In his design of the spa at Beaverbrook Country Hotel’s Coach House, Brian has created a total work of art: mouth-blown stained glass, Venetian glass mosaic, drifts of handmade ceramic cornflowers and poppies, tile work, and his paintings and prints all appear throughout, conspiring to produce a unified effect through light and colour, together with integral elements including the ceramic reception desk and spa fireplace. Ther spa is located on the grounds of Cherkley Court, press baron Lord Beaverbrook’s former home.
In the entrance to the spa, a ceramic reception desk by Clarke (with a matching fireplace within the spa itself) sits beneath a ceiling of stained glass oak leaves and printed panels of line-drawn new leaf, and behind it one of Clarke’s freestanding stained glass screens, Cherry Blossom. In the transept of the spa, the ceramic takes the form of a floor-to-ceiling grid of tiles, penetrated by ceramic poppies that interrupt and overlap with the regular rhythm of the rectilinear matrix, a decades-long exploration in Brian’s work. Starting life as watercolours, the hand-made ceramic poppies, cut to lock into the grid of tilework, were engineered to respond to the rich light of the stained glass skylights. Below these are ceramic rills constantly flowing with water, and the light and sound combine with the surrounds to make the spa a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’: both work of art and environment in itself.
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Credit – Brian Clarke
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