French hotel brand Sofitel Luxury Hotels is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, a special milestone that marks a half-century since the brand launched its first hotel in Strasbourg to now offer more than 120 luxury addresses in 40 different countries worldwide.
To celebrate the occasion, Sofitel’s hotels across Australia has commissioned Donald Williams of Global Arts Projects to curate an exhibition of compelling and evocative images of Paris (in homage to the brand’s elegant French origins and art-de-vivre) by San Francisco based, Melbourne born photographer, Jon Rendell.
Titled Iconic Paris, Photographs by John Rendell, the free public exhibition has commenced a national tour for display in Sofitel’s hotel lobby galleries over the next six months.
Launching at the Sofitel Brisbane Central this month where it will stay until 24 August, Iconic Paris By Jon Rendell will then travel to the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth from 1 September to 5 October, the Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach from 8 October until 9 November, and conclude after a summer season at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins where it will be on public display from 9 December until 30 January 2015.
Most of the Paris photographs in this exhibition were taken by Rendell in January 1978 and ten years later in January, 1987 just after the opening of the Musée d’Orsay. The exhibition features beautiful black and white photography which as the artist explains; “I began with black and white and limited finances meant that a jump to colour was unattainable in the 70s and 80s, but nowadays with colour everywhere, all the time, I believe that black and white photography, more than ever, has something new for us to observe”.
While not clichéd, Rendell’s subjects are the familiar iconic images of Paris that we have all grown to admire. They follow in the tradition of other photographers of that city including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Brassaï, and Eugène Atget.
Over the course of its 50 years, Sofitel has continuously strived to be the symbol of French elegance in luxury hospitality. Sofitel’s anniversary year offers a nod to both its history and traditions, while simultaneously looking ahead to the future, with more than 30 hotel openings planned around the world through the second half of 2014 and 2015.
“Fifty years is a major milestone by any measure. We are looking forward to marking this event throughout the year with our loyal guests and our more than 25,000 Sofitel ambassadors, or employees, around the world,” said Rick Harvey Lam, Senior Vice President Sales, Marketing and Communications for Sofitel Worldwide. “With a special focus on Sofitel’s design, gastronomy and culture themes, 2014 is the most magnifique year of our history yet.”