Art at Crystalbrook Albion
An impressive collection
Crystalbrook Albion, formerly Little Albion, plays host to an impressive art collection exclusively curated by Vogue photographer Nicholas Samartis, as well as a selection of bespoke installation pieces.
Curator: Nicholas Samartis
"My aim for the collection at Crystalbrook Albion was for it to be at times provocative, sometimes playfully sexual and always though a nod to the ’70s and ’20s.
We curated some obscure works from great artists - and some great works from obscure artists. In curating these works I always went for a sense of warmth, intimacy and uniqueness. Each room has a different work - there is no mass selection here - and that design sensibility runs right through the theme of the hotel. Included in this eclectic thread are some '60s Botowsky prints, an Egon Schiele nude and Riley Op art, mixed with Hopper landscapes and in fact some X-rays of flowers from 100 years ago and of course a selection of my own photographic works…"
Highlights of the collection include:
All You Need Is Love
All you need is love welcomes guests to Crystalbrook Albion.
Inspired by the brutalist work Collegi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (a 1960 frieze designed by Picasso), a 5m x 2m brutalist wall with 65 hand-made and individually coloured resin blocks in a font sourced from Dutch master-graphic-designer, Jurriaan Schrofer, designed by Nicholas Samartis in collaboration with a wonderful team of artisans. The words were originally written by John Lennon who famously said: “I’m a revolutionary artist. My art is dedicated to change. "Notably in 2009, George Vaillant, the chief investigator of the Grant Study on the foundations of happiness stated that its findings could be summarized as "Happiness is love. Full stop.” The CBC claimed that the Grant Study proves the Beatles right: All You Need is Love."
Historical portraits by Ann Cape
The beautifully sculpted staircase at Crystalbrook Albion is adorned by a bespoke selection of artworks by celebrated Australian artist Ann Cape which were exclusively commissioned for the hotel. Ann Cape was selected to produce a series of seven portraits (oils and acrylic on Italian linen) of notable characters from the Surry Hills summoning up its notorious past.
Kathleen Mary Josephine Leigh
Born in Dubbo New South Wales (10 March 1881 and died February 1964), Kathleen was an Australian underworld figure who rose to prominence as an illegal trader of alcohol and cocaine dealer from her home in Surry Hills, Sydney. During the first half of the twentieth century, Kate Leigh was a leading figure in the notorious Sydney razor gang wars and a rival to Tilly Divine.
The poetry room
A series of books opened up, inscribed upon, coloured in and featuring crossed out passages, behind a glass panel...inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.