New Superliner To Be UK’s Largest Floating Art Gallery

21 August 2007 – P&O Cruises has commissioned 40 British artists to produce almost 7,000 pieces of modern art worth over £1 million for the superliner designed for Britain, Ventura.

The featured artists reflect the best contemporary art in the UK today. The collection, taking in artists from Kent to Tyne and Wear, Cornwall to North Yorkshire, will showcase work from all disciplines including sculpture, photography, digital print, mural, painting, glasswork, lenticular and mosaic.

The art will be displayed all around the public areas of the new ship but the three stairwells will be a highlight of the collection, each led by a single artist.

P&O Cruises head of brand marketing, Philip Price, said, “We are proud to be working with the most talented and up and coming artists in Britain. The artwork on board Ventura is being created to stimulate and appeal to anyone of any age. It will bring the ship to life and be a real part of the Ventura experience.

“Even if people don’t think of themselves as art critics they cannot fail to be inspired by the breadth of the collection of art on show and the craft that has gone into the individual pieces.

“Ventura will be different from other superliners. She is all about choice and flexibility and landmarks a new era in cruising – our art collection is evidence of this contemporary feel.”

Paul Critchley, originally from Merseyside but now living in Spain, will create 24 paintings for the aft stairwell. Using more than 100 pieces of cut aluminium, Paul then covers them with canvas and paints them to form the images. Using this technique, Paul has previously created works showing interiors, square globes, people, clothes, groups of objects, a piano with 88 keys and a sofa in the shape of a car.

London based Vanessa Ballard is creating 44 photo mosaics for the midships stairwell, each created using up to 100,000 digital photographs. Vanessa is travelling the globe actually taking the pictures and will also spend several hundred of hours editing and preparing the images for the mosaics.

Johnny Bull from Salisbury in Wiltshire is designing 42 lenticular prints to be showcased in the forward stairwell, as post-modern, giant postcards. New technology means that Johnny can create land and cityscapes in layers, featuring people from photographs of the places he has visited. Each image will be made from approximately 20 plastic lenses that create an illusion of depth and movement, much like a hologram.

Of the other pieces being designed for Ventura, the collection includes a multicoloured glass ceiling for the atrium, designed by Cornwall artist Jo Downs, and a collection of Cuba images for salsa bar Havana, created by Birmingham photographer Paul Ward.

Ventura will be based in Southampton from April 2008, offering holidays of between two and 16 nights in duration in the Mediterranean, Baltic and Atlantic Isles. From October 2008 to March 2009 she will offer 14 night Caribbean fly-cruise holidays from Barbados.

Ventura is being designed to appeal to British passengers and will offer a wide choice of dining, entertainment and relaxation. She will have an array of evening venues to rival any cosmopolitan city and there will be a number of at sea innovations in family entertainment, including a 3D cinema, Scalextric at sea, Cirque Ventura and Rock School – where teenagers can perform and record their own songs.

All artists have been selected by Tempest Radford Ltd on behalf of P&O Cruises.

About P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises has been operating cruise ships for more than 170 years and combines innovation, professionalism and unrivalled experience on its fleet of five ships dedicated to the British market. P&O Cruises offers passengers the most stylish and contemporary holidays afloat with destinations including the Caribbean, South America, Scandinavia, Mediterranean, Atlantic islands and round the world cruises. Ventura, the largest and most innovative ship to be built for the British market launches in spring 2008. An as yet unnamed 116,000-ton newbuild is scheduled for delivery in spring 2010.