Martin Creed’s new work welcomes post-lockdown visitors to The Fife Arms
The Glasgow-raised artist has some neon reassurance for the Scottish fine art hotel’s well-heeled clientele
The Fife Arms may resemble a period piece, but it has some pretty impressive contemporary features. As our new book on the hotel explains, the 19th century listed building in the Scottish Highlands, not far from Balmoral Castle, was bought by the international gallerists Iwan and Manuela Wirth in 2015, and has been meticulously redeveloped. It reopened in late 2018 as a high-end, highly cultured hostelry, where the bespoke wallpaper and soft furnishings are complemented by an exquisite array of artworks. Visitors have already had the chance to enjoy pieces by Picasso, Gerhard Richter, Mark Bradford, Lucian Freud, Louise Bourgeois and Man Ray, among others.
However, intrepid travellers venturing up to the Fife Arms following its August reopening after the pandemic lockdown, will be welcomed with a new work. The British artist and Turner Prize winner Martin Creed created his neon piece, ‘Work No. 3435: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT’ especially for the hotel; which has had the piece installed in the grounds of the neighbouring Braemar Castle.
The phrase, which the Glasgow-raised artist has used before, takes on particular resonance during the Covid-19 crisis, and while Creed understands it won’t serve as a complete panacea, it will probably help a little bit.
“I was thinking about how if someone offers you a few words of comfort when you are distressed,” he said, “even if the words are empty because there is not anything to back them up, it can be comforting. No one can say everything is going to be alright, but despite that, many times in my life I have been very comforted by people saying something like that to me.”
Let’s hope The Fife Arms’ visitors draw the same cheer. To find out more about this unique fine-art destination, order a copy of our forthcoming book on The Fife Arms here; meanwhile, for more on the ways in which art changes your sense of place, take a look at Art & Place.