Culture / Art Republik

Belmond Copacabana Palace Becomes Art Canvas

Icelandic artist Kristjana S. Williams transforms the Belmond Copacabana Palace with a stunning light display, alongside other art exhibitions at the property.

Aug 05, 2016 | By Shatricia Nair

It looks like Rio de Janeiro is shaping up to be an art hub now that the 2016 Olympics is just around the corner. Just when we thought the massive mural by Eduardo Kobra was impressive, Belmond, together with award-winning Icelandic artist Kristjana S. Williams, have created art on a much larger canvas at the Belmond Copacabana Palace.

Known for her richly imaginative work, Williams’ applied her trademark style of Victorian engraving and modern illustration to the façade of the seven-story high hotel. And if we had to choose a favorite, our vote goes to the most dramatic one of them all: a butterfly-themed theatrical light projection that sees dozens of enormous butterflies glide over the luxurious property. The 10-minute display, which premiered just last Sunday, will run at 7 pm nightly till August 14 for the general public. The display is a meaningful one too; the different countries’ flags on its wings symbolize the unity of nations, while the butterfly is a symbol of hope.

Williams also spearheaded another window exhibit behind the hotel, at the Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana. Depicting previous host Olympic cities, the display both honors the spirit of hospitality demonstrated by past and present hosts, as well as act as a gesture of goodwill to the next host: Tokyo. Other artworks include illustrated maps over the reception and concierge desks. Titled ‘Belmond Map of the World’ and ‘Rio Welcomes the World’, they are each handcrafted via interweaving layers of 18th-century engravings, photographs and paintings with contemporary illustrations.

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