(7 minute read)
It’s late September 2021, but summer is making an unexpectedly bold – if short-lived – resurgence. A mini-heatwave has hit Cornish shores, bathing the coast in mellow, golden light. Ripe sunshine bounces off crashing surf, while cooler evenings create spellbinding, technicolour sunsets. Observing this natural spectacle was artist Nina Brooke, on a week-long residency at Watergate Bay…
A renowned seascape painter from Rock, Cornwall, Nina spent her days painting in and around the hotel – from The Living Space deck to her beach loft bedroom to barefoot on the sand.
“Painting on The Living Space deck was really amazing because of the sunlight and the sunsets we had the week I was there,” she says. “Everything had this incredible golden glow. And the view from the deck is just so spectacular that whatever you’re creating up there, you can’t go wrong.”
Nina found the indoor/outdoor balance of The Living Space deck intriguing. “There was an interesting crossover between having the hotel and the guests so close by, but then also being surrounded by nature, working plein air,” she says.
Passing guests were keen to stop and chat, curious to discover how Nina develops her concepts, or how long it takes her to finish a canvas. “It was nice to be able to interact with them because it brought the process full-circle,” she explains, “this experience of a stay at a hotel creating a new body of work. It’s not very often you get to see a painter painting live in the flesh either, so it was great to give people more context than just looking at a piece in isolation.”
I wanted to show the vastness of Watergate Bay… The way it can sometimes be an expanse of exposed sand, with a really long beach, and other times the tide is high and the Bay is transformed.
The nine bird’s-eye view paintings Nina created during her stay capture striking aerial perspectives of the beach, the sea and the surfers sitting ‘out back’, waiting for their next wave. “I wanted to show the vastness of Watergate Bay,” she explains. “The way it can sometimes be an expanse of exposed sand, with a really long beach, and other times the tide is high and the Bay is transformed.”
So, what goes into making one of Nina’s epic aerial works? Here are eight themes that her Watergate Bay collection explores...
‘Watergate’ will be on show at the hotel for a year and is available as a limited edition print of 50 on Nina’s website.
View the full collection and buy Nina’s prints online: www.ninabrooke.co.uk/watergate-bay
Posters of ‘Watergate’ by Nina Brooke are sold at the hotel front desk.
Follow Nina on Instagram @ninabrookeart