One thing I’ve learned in my almost five years of editing hotel designs is that art, like creativity, has no limits. The possibilities are indeed endless, and with brands looking for unique ways to amplify their style and image, the door has opened for artists to set new standards. Sally Coulden is an integral part of this wave. His company, Red Dog Glass Design, combines art with surfaces in the most innovative way.
Coulden’s impactful abstract paintings reflect the wild British spaces, whether vast skies or endless horizons. The Red Dog Glass Design team carefully translates the artist’s original paintings into digital artwork, deconstructing and recreating each piece in a range of bespoke sizes. The artwork is then expertly applied to high quality glass panels. Durable, practical and of course beautiful, each unique piece can be installed as high-end contemporary art panels or glass splashbacks, in a range of commercial and residential settings.
To learn more about the direction of the company, and to try to understand if the creativity of the artist knows no borders, I met Coulden in his studio.
Hamish Kilburn: First of all, how would you define your work – is it primarily art or innovative surface design?
Sally could: Red Dog Glass Design products are exceptionally versatile and can be considered both art and surface design, depending on how and where the product is used.
The signs [we create] can be used in two ways. Either as stunning contemporary art installations in public spaces, such as hotel lobbies and indoor elevators, they look amazing when beautifully hung and lit. Or, looking at it from a surface design perspective, because the panels are five times stronger than normal glass, waterproof and heat resistant, they can be used just as well as a sink or shower splashback. in a hotel bathroom.
I originally had the idea to transpose my works onto tempered glass panels in order to make my contemporary art a useful and central part of everyday life. Engaging with art should be an integral part of our daily routine and I enjoy working with colors and textures that create an emotional response in the hotel guest, evoking a sense of comfort and well-being.
I have a love for expansiveness and non-confinement in my work, so I’m a big fan of big skies and vast landscapes. All my work is inspired by our beautiful British outdoor spaces, especially the wild spaces of the coasts where I grew up.
HK: How and when was Red Dog Glass Design born – and can you explain the name?
CS: I have always had a passion for making contemporary art accessible. Art should never be something that gathers dust on a forgotten wall. I wanted a way to get the art to more places, so it could be enjoyed more widely by more people.
The company was born in December 2018 with the goal of creating beautiful, yet functional (and therefore accessible) art. After a year of researching what already existed, we established that we were the first to commercialize the process we developed around the digital deconstruction of my original art into vibrant, exceptionally high resolution digital works for the world. printing on glass. The creation of this process sets us apart from any other supplier in the world (that we know of!)
The name Red Dog Glass Design connects us to our human experience of “home”. Tens of thousands of years ago our ancestors started painting in caves with red pigment. A place of gathering, shelter, warmth and food, red dogs were among the earliest symbols decorating these caves, where fires were lit and families lived together in safety. Our philosophy at Red Dog takes us back to this purest version of what home is, to remind us why kitchens still offer such a warm heart to home and meet our basic human aspirations.
“My art exudes an energy of its own, and it’s something we use to influence how a hotel’s personality is perceived and communicated.” – Sally Coulden, Founder, Red Dog Glass Design.
HK: How can your products help elevate a hotel’s personality in the lobby and beyond?
CS: Our work is designed to enrich the customer experience, reveal ourselves and connect with our emotions. We all know from our own hotel experiences that the way we perceive a space is very much influenced by the things around us.
My art exudes an energy of its own, and it’s something we use to influence how a hotel’s personality is perceived and communicated. Whether using an existing piece of art or creating a completely unique commissioned piece, we work with clients to define the colors and shapes that create the right level of energy to resonate with the spaces. of the hospitality industry.
Whether that touchpoint is in a common space, like the restaurant or lobby, or in private spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms, Red Dog Glass Design is a premium brand that focuses on elevating environments, bringing a wow factor to our interior spaces.
At a time when consumers expect more from their leisure time, Red Dog Glass Design is the perfect partner to deliver impactful, yet useful visual installations that enhance the guest’s hotel experience.
HK: Is there anything that you cannot replicate, in terms of design, in your products?
CS: I’m an abstract painter, so if anyone was looking for a photorealistic image, this isn’t my bag!
Other than that, not really. As my paintings are digitally deconstructed and then carefully reconstructed to meet the client’s exact needs, we can create a composition in any size and shape any brief requires.
As the painting is digitized, we can also work with colors and, if artistically appropriate, color matching if there are certain brand specific colors the client desires.
We pride ourselves on being extremely nimble and creative thinkers and are always open to conversation. We haven’t had any requests yet that we can’t fulfill, and we love working with brands that have a particular feeling they’d like to create in their spaces.
We have also started experimenting with the use of textured glass, which can add a very interesting and unique third dimension to the final work. We are truly enthusiastic about innovation and are always looking to experiment with new ideas.
HK: What are the advantages of Red Dog Glass Design products made in Great Britain?
CS: We are a British brand and our products are made to order, at our facilities here in the UK. By making everything to order, there is no wasted material, which is very important to us. Our carbon footprint is minimized with UK based transport only Our team are based in the UK – supporting the local economy and ensuring easy access to the team for our customers. We are not dependent on extended supply chains and are not impacted by Brexit [thankfully]. Quality is the key. We have exceptionally high quality assurance processes. Each piece is individually signed by me before shipping.
HK: Let’s end by talking about the emotional connection with art. What is the role of art in creating this link with well-being in hotel design?
CS: Sensory design and emotional responses to art continue to be a massive topic of conversation among designers, especially in the hospitality industry. As we emerge from the pandemic, more than ever consumers are looking for experiences and environments that nurture and nurture the soul.
Where most hotels once served a functional purpose, with design focused on functionality and mass appeal, we now have the ability to create more interesting and intimate spaces that speak to our hearts, not just our heads. .
And it’s not just about customers. As the hospitality industry struggles to retain staff and attract new talent, working in an environment that exudes personality and warmth is far more appealing to employees than the generic magnolia buildings we’ve all known for a while. given time.
Evoking an emotional response from a work of art is at the heart of everything I create. Colors, shapes and textures all trigger memories that exist only in the mind of the viewer. Very often it’s not even directly about my work, it’s a magical combination of the viewer’s own lived experiences that create the internal narrative, which then results in an emotional (and indeed sometimes physical) response.
Carefully curated spaces in a hotel are essential and Red Dog Glass Design panels are a great way to bring art into the space in a very functional and practical way. Always start with the end in mind.
Red Dog Glass Design is one of our recommended vendors and features regularly in the Vendor News section of our website. If you would like to become one of our recommended vendors, please email Katy Phillips.
Main image credit: Red Dog Glass Design