The luxurious Jackalope Hotel opened its doors in the Willow Creek vineyard, situated in the Mornington Peninsula wine region of Victoria on 1 April, ushering in a new standard for Australian, countryside hospitality. The region, known for it’s competitive pinot noir and chardonnay, welcomed the exquisite hotel, which is likely to become a tourist magnet for all those art and design minded.
The hotel was born out of collaboration with prestigious Australian designers from across the spectrum, such as the Carr Design Group, responsible for the architecture of the space, as well as several prominent artists such as Rolf Sachs and Emily Floyd, whose works are featured within the hotel, notably Floyd’s large than life sculpture of a Jackalope, the hotel’s mascot, welcomes visitors in the courtyard that has stolen our attention.
Floyd, a young Australian artist, is celebrated for her vibrant sculpture work that draws on youthful influences and shape design. The result of her collaboration with the hotel is a 7-metre tall rabbit with antlers, which sits perched on a granite pedestal. The shape of the sculpture is reminiscent of the toys her family would have developed in their practice that attempted to revive an appreciation for beautifully handcrafted wooden objects, inspired by Eastern European traditions. In contrast to the sublime natural environment of the surrounding vineyards, Floyds’ work acts as an immediate icon for the hotel, and a statement representing the modern and natural elements of the building, which combines exposed brickwork with sharp, industrial architecture.
In an article with Artist Profile, Floyd commented on her artistic process that is approached “from a position of learning, being curious about new ideas and embedding them into objects”. This course of development has directed the artist into creating a strikingly modern representation of the Jackalope, a mythical animal born in North American Folklore, by blending the features of the jackrabbit and antelope. Floyd’s vision perfectly articulates the strange artificiality of the Jackalopes heritage by rendering the massive sculpture in a high-shine black pigment, that lets off a beautiful glow when hit with sunlight.
This isn’t the first site-specific work produced by Floyd, who acknowledges in the interview, the need to collaborate with other members of the development in order for each element to benefit off of one another. It is this dedication to collaboration that has helped the Jackalope Hotel achieve it’s avant-garde vision, spearheaded by developer Louis Li, whose education in filmmaking and entrepreneurial talent have contributed to the success of this fiercely unique venture.
Take a trip down to the Mornington Peninsula to visit Floyd’s sculpture and enjoy the sublime countryside.