Hilton Sydney unveils virtual tour to showcase its art collection

Guests staying at the Hilton Sydney can enjoy the hotel’s extensive art collection with a new self-guided tour, launching this week.

Created by renowned art and design writer, Leta Keens, the tour features nearly 20 works by award-winning Australian and international artists, many of whom have been commissioned by the hotel over its 50-year history.

“Guests and staff are always curious about the hotel’s artwork and sculptures,” said Hayden Hughes, General Manager of Hilton Sydney.

Bower Bird by Gary Christian

“With such a sustained interest in artists and their stories, we saw a unique opportunity to showcase the treasures of our impressive art collection, further highlighting the Hilton Sydney as the city’s premier downtown hotel for business and leisure travelers, as well as guests who dine at our award-winning restaurants and bars.

Guests will have access to the tour via a QR code on their room key card, which unlocks a virtual showcase of the art collection. The tour begins in the lobby and continues upwards, through the property’s event spaces, before ending at the hotel’s famous Marble Bar – a heritage-listed 19th-century venue that cost £32,000 to build in the late 1800s.

The first stop on the tour is a 16.5 meter tall sculptor titled The Vine, by Bronwyn Oliver, which hangs from the ceiling in the lobby.

The basis of Bronwyn Oliver’s The Vine

“At the time, Bronwyn Oliver said that was his vision for how guests would walk through the different floors of the atrium,” Keens told media during a guided tour.

Landscape painter Patrick Mung Mung, public installation artist Alex Scheibner and printmaker Melissa Smith are among those featured throughout the space.

One of the most important works is Inside the Glass, by Sydney-based artist Judith White, commissioned by the hotel in 2005 and displayed at the Glass restaurant.

The piece reflects the structural design of the hotel and the use of glass, but also incorporates the Australian landscape with the desert and ocean depicted. The striking colors reflect off the glass wall at the opposite end of the restaurant.

“I wanted to do something that related to the glass building and the idea that you were in a pretty exotic glass bubble in the form of a hotel,” White said.

“Inside the glass, it’s almost like being inside a glass of scotch, where you have a feeling of bubbles, ice, and stick… [There is a] feeling of being surrounded by the ocean. There is a connection between the elements – earth, air and water,” she added.

The works of Bec Tarrant exhibited in the rooms

During the hotel’s last refurbishment in 2020, works by at least one of three female Australian artists were featured in each hotel room. One of the artists, Bundjalung woman Bec Tarrant, uses chemical reactions produced by combining different types of resin on board to create striking renditions of Sydney Harbor from above.

All rooms have been designed or selected to complement the hotel, which was designed by Sydney-based architects Johnson Pilton Walker.

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