Celebrating International Women’s Day today is probably the most subtle yet dramatic piece in the Maldives honoring women – ‘Maafushivaru Eyes”. The piece at the eponymous Maafushivaru resort is a sort of wall sculpture carved into the wall by the restaurant. It features two eyes with flowing lines off to the right (see above). Also the adjacent reflecting pool and jetty were designed to reflect other aspects of the feminine aesthetic.
The creative and inspired installation evokes a piece of art specifically commissioned for International Women’s Day a couple years back – “Dhaalu Girl”. Showcased in the “Cool Women” film project, also done to honour International Women’s Day, the piece was painted by the exquisitely talented Aemii Musko. So impressed by this young Maldivian artist and her depiction of the feminine charm and power of the ocean, I purchased the piece and it hangs proudly in home now.
Here’s to the power and creativity of women around the world.
One of the favourite activities in the Maldives is looking into the water. In fact, you can’t stroll down a jetty without veering right to the edge to catch a glimpse of all of the marine life scurrying about below.
Angsana Ihuru has added a bit of creative whimsy to this spectacle by their water villa jetties with a logo crafted from broken coral bits (see photo above). Yes, the natural beauty is stunning, bit I still think that there are plenty of opportunities for artistic creations underwater as well. Especially in the expansive tracts of sandy lagoons like here.
Packing Top Tip – I just got a polarising filter for my SLR camera which allows one to take pictures ‘into’ the water above it more effectively. A must for any camera buff visiting.
The latest celebrity Maldives visit (also in a ‘family way’) is Marvin and Rochelle Humes. No surprise that they too are staying at Reethi Rah. Daily Mail coverage included a pic of their bath decoration. Petals in the bath water are de rigeur for romantic spa experiences, but Reethi has gone a step further applying this time honoured bed decoration to the other most relaxing (and at time romantic) part of a villa.
Landaa’s Manta isn’t the only artistic artificial aquatic feature found on land. Sheraton Full Moon’s waterfall is the biggest in the Maldives. A towering drop with a little foot bridge over the subsequent stream that then trickles down a few other levels further. There is a shaded bench you can sit on as a lovely spot to sit and take in the ambience of a different sort for water lovers to enjoy.
Both the waterfall and the manta are examples of the latest new category that I have added to the ‘Best of Maldives’ (Infrastructure) page – ‘Art’ (including various forms of Décor).
One resort can *guarantee* that you will be able to enjoy the spectacle of the soaring Manta. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru is a major destination for Manta watching with their proximity to the manta favoured Hanifaru, their ‘Manta Ray Research Project’ and their special ‘Manta on call’ service. But even if all that falls through, you can always enjoy their manta masterpiece they commissioned for their Marine Discovery Centre.
The piece was created by British artist Scott Gleed who specialises in marine subjects like sharks and mantas. Finalist in the David Shepherd International Wildlife Artist of the year competition, you can find his work at the Paris Aquarium, Imperial War Museum and the House of Fraser. He also does commissions and private sale pieces if you wanted a memento of your own manta encounter.
If you need a visit from Mr. Sandman, then Kuredu has its very own. But he has nothing to do with sleeping. Unless it is a sculpture of a sleeping lady with a horse (?) like the photo above. A whole collection of sand scuptures were created on Kuredu by on of their chefs at the Far East restaurant named Dej. His other works (which you can see on Kuredu’s Facebook gallery) include…
The executions are not just masterful, but the subjects are creative concoctions in their own right. The pieces reminded me of my younger days growing up by the beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts which held celebrated annual sand castle making contest. Below is a snap from the Lori and I assistned our artist friends George Karalias and Peter Manos put together a team to build the climactic scene from the ‘Grinch That Stole Christmas’.
Kandooma has employed nature as its artist for their creative wood motif (starting with its Coconut Husk inspired reception and restaurant) for an artistic touch throughout the main area of the resort. Burl wood is a particular favourite material of mine (we have a burr wood piano, and doll cabinet) and it is used throughout the imparting a natural whimsy to the décor.
Totally gnarly, dude!