The Ghost of the White Lady

2015 Hotel Deco Busting

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments. (Part 11)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen. (Teil 11)

(Since 2010 I have secretly been slightly altering tasteless or boring hotel or holiday apartment art whenever I had the chance to.)

It is that time of the year again, when my husband and I travel to Frankfurt for the LEA (Live Entertainment Awards) and as usual we stayed in the Marriot Hotel.

They have upgraded all of their rooms 2 years ago and fitted them with new decorations. I must admit, the new canvas prints of colourful digital collages of Frankfurt buildings are pleasant to look at. They look much more modern and add a pleasant colour highlight to the rooms. Certainly the best hotel art I have seen in a long time. (And ok, I must admit, I do not often stay in hotels, especially not in upper-class hotels, so there sure is more good art out there somewhere.)

At least since my public confession many of my regular followers know about my passion for improving hotel and guesthouse décor. I just cannot help myself and there is always ‘room for improvement’.

Hotel room and digital canvas print as found

Hotel room and digital canvas print as found

So, although I do appreciate the tasty art in this hotel room, there was something bothering me, about Frankfurt, the hotel and the art. The inner city is dominated by imposing skyscrapers and concrete, the hotel is decorated in a very masculine, dark style and the art represents this materialistic, powerful, male atmosphere. It’s a man’s world. I missed the humanity and the female touch or balance of yin energy.

A close-up view (or the BEFORE picture)

A close-up view (or the BEFORE picture)

As usual I let myself be inspired by what I find and then determine the best approach then and there. It did not take long and I knew I just had to add some positive Yin energy to the artwork. Also something that puts people in the foreground and add something personal, to draw attention to the individuality and humanness of the guest who stays in this multi-storey hotel.

I am not sure where she came from, but without a doubt I knew clearly that the White Lady of the Brandberg wanted to make her appearance here. Like a ghost she wanted to travel the world and inspire the modern-time city dweller.

For those of you, who do not know her, let me introduce her to you. She is most widely known as a cave dweller, a rock-painting situated at the Brandberg in the Namib desert, Namibia. Her age is not known, but she is ancient, and probably has been drawn by the forefathers of the San people. She is striking, mostly for her different appearance in relation to the other drawings. She wears strange clothes, is elegant and looks powerful. She dominates the scene.

The White Lady in new surroundings...

The White Lady in new surroundings…

She is called the ‘White Lady’ because of her white garment. Some people claim she is not female but male, but it is difficult to know for sure. Some people also assume that she was a stranger to the land and that she was honoured like a goddess or queen. There is even talk about her not being from this world. It is said that her strange headdress and suit could resemble that of an astronaut, complete with helmet and all. And if I look at her, I can very well imagine that to be true. She is also holding a strange object in her hand, I always think that it is a wine glass, but who knows, maybe it is some gadget to control her spaceship?

She definitely is full of self-confidence. She is powerful; she even has her own bow and arrow, in a time when hunting used to be the men’s job. She is a traveller. A stranger who is welcomed and honoured… She is African – at least that is where she was last seen. She is proud, elegant, and beautiful and knows where she is going. And she enjoys life… if it is indeed a wine glass in her hand. 😉

So she, or her ghost, wanted to come to Frankfurt and inspire people here too.

Inspire us to honour the female role in the world more.

To put humanity back in the forefront.

To remind us to honour and welcome strangers in our society, especially when they possibly have fled from war-torn countries.

To remind women of their strengths and the important role we need to play in this world.

To remind us of old traditions, rituals and art which honoured our spirits and the connection to nature.

The White Lady in Frankfurt (or the AFTER picture)

The White Lady in Frankfurt (or the AFTER picture) – Acrylic on found printed canvas.

She did not come alone. She brought three female friends with her. Friendship is important and together we are more powerful and have much more fun.

More white ladies...

More white ladies…

I hope you, and the guests who will stay in this room, enjoy their presence and the fact that you/they are viewing a very unique, personalized artwork.

The room and unique, personalized art work.

The room and unique, personalized art work.

Many people have asked me how come I have all the right materials on hand to do such things. Well, I am an artist by profession, so I usually travel with some basic art making tools. I cannot plan in advance, since I usually do not know what kind of artwork I will find in the hotel, but part of my creativity is to make a plan and use what is available. Also, usually I do not have much time, so I have to work spontaneously and use what I have. I do get creative. Once I was faced with an artwork behind glass and none of my pens were permanent or working on glass and I only brought watercolours, so I had to borrow a scissor from the hotel staff and used their in-house magazine for images, begged for some double-sided tape from the people laying out the red carpet in the hall and created a collage on top of the glass. Have a look at that here.

If you want to see other similar projects, just click HERE.

2 thoughts on “The Ghost of the White Lady

  1. Indigo Spider

    I wonder if any of the hotel staff ever notice the altered (improved) artwork? If yes, do they leave it? Have you ever gone back to find your creations remain?

    I particularly love this alteration as it does seem the female, the yin energy, is too often missing in modern design. As lovely as the room looked, it definitely had a masculine feel to it before the White Lady & her friends visited!

    1. Imke Rust Post author

      Dear M. / Indigo Spider, I have been missing you!!!! and could not access your page. I hope you are well?

      I also wonder who notices these changes and what the people think and do about it. Unfortunately I have not found out yet (maybe fortunately?), and could not return to any of the works. Also, I have only left my name once, on the back of an artwork in a holiday appartment, but other than that, even if somebody notices, they need to do some serious research to end up on my page, I guess. While I make the changes I always try to imagine the staff or guests noticing it, and that is lots of fun.


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