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  • Irene Bagach

Luxury Antigua Hotel Brings Groundbreaking Art to Its Waterfront

Updated: Jun 11, 2021

This article originally appeared in Departures.

It took three days to install.

Luxury hotels are always looking for ways to catch the eyes of the guests. But Hodges Bay's way of doing that is out of this world...literally. The Antigua resort just unveiled an installation entitled Boonji Spaceman by world-renowned contemporary artist Brendan Murphy.

Commissioned by collector and resort co-owner Christopher Harding, the 22-foot-tall sculpture is based upon the artist's signature It's Time To Groove Boonji Spaceman and is the tallest sculpture of its kind in the Caribbean. And did we mention it was installed in the ocean?

Yes, the 1.5-ton permanent work is positioned at the end of the pier at the hotel. It took 12 men three days, one crane, and custom scaffolding to erect the "dancing spaceman," which is mounted in five feet of concrete. It has a reinforced steel skeleton and carbon fiber exterior to withstand hurricane-force winds and other natural elements found in the Caribbean.

If the size wasn't enough to make it stand out, the color will. The giant astronaut-like figure features a proprietary chrome finish reflecting light in spectacular hues from sunrise to sunset.

"The piece is a tribute to human ingenuity and resilience and focused around my fascination with imagination," Brendan Murphy told Departures in a statement. "I believe the future is the one thing we'll never run out of, and it's up to each of us to write it. As we look to emerge from the greatest challenge of our generation with COVID-19, I hope this work will inspire people to get back to living safely and responsibly, and most of all, to remember that anything is possible."

The sculpture results from a year-long collaboration between Murphy and Harding and won't be the artist's only piece in the hotel. Several of Murphy's works, including Candy Hearts, a thirty-piece, three-story hanging sculpture that's suspended across the property's 'Great House' central atrium, will be on display. And this was all part of Harding's vision to be named one of the most "Instagrammable resorts in the world".

"We set out to create a landmark property in the Caribbean known for its intimate and memorable guest experience that awakens your senses through art, "Harding told us in a statement. "With the Boonji Spaceman, we wanted to create a larger-than-life-installation to inspire the next generation of global travelers and guests to reach for the stars and have fun while doing it."

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