Le Meridien have commissioned Gray for a global photography art collaboration called Follow Me.
The photos produced will adorn the hotels’ Hubs, a reinterpretation of hotel lobbies, that are visually uplifting social spaces, greeting guests on arrival.
Gray’s Follow Me video, a 24 hour visual journey of his photography and behind the scenes footage will also be shown around the world at these Hubs. Scenes will be added as he explores new Le Meridien destinations, from Bhutan (where he has just finished shooting) to Dubai, Seychelles and many more.
I really love how Le Meridien have embraced the Arts, paying attention to detail, such as with their Unlock Art program that partners local cultural centres.
Guests are offered complimentary entry to an affiliated attraction when they present their artist designed hotel key card.
My hotel key card had Gray’s beautiful photography from his Mediterranean poolside series and I got free access to Barcelona’s museum of Contemporary art.
It was a gorgeous evening with a light breeze and the views were simply stunning. I was as transfixed by the views as I was those pastel pineapple lights.
As we chatted, we sipped delicious cocktails from glasses with rims coated with colourful sprinkles. I thought to myself, pastel pineapples and colourful sprinkles, I was so in Little Big Bell heaven.
Dinner was at the colourful Bananas restaurant and then we were back again at midnight for yet more cocktails to celebrate Gray’s work.
There were also two Cadillacs, ready to take us to our planned event with Gray, at Le Meridien Ra Beach hotel and spa.
Chatting to Gray, I found out that he had been interested in photography from a young age. He took a photography course at high school, and spent many a happy hours developing his creative shots. I wondered what his earlier pieces were like, I would have loved to have seen the evolution of his work.
He told us that it was a hobby, until he won the Dallas Museum of Art Young Masters showcase, it was then that he decided to pursue his talent.
Gray’s work can be seen throughout the hotel’s hub area. Above, his poolside series photography can be seen printed on a glass arch.
We were discussing how uniformly spaced the swimming rings were in the photos. I was told that it required quite a lot of time and people in the water, to arrange the rings and keep them in place.
Gray took the aerial photo from the top of the hotel building, all harnessed for safety, and also with tall ladders and helicopter. This type of photography is certainly not for the faint hearted and those afraid of heights.
Gray is known for his aerial photography but he also takes beautifully styled head on shots.
I remembered seeing, liking and enquiring to buy the aerial photos of Central Park peppered with picnic goers and sunbathers, on the walls of the J. Crew shop counter in London. Now I know it was the brilliant work of Gray Malin.
Can you spot that yummy plate of Calamari? I so need to return to Barcelona just to eat that.
We also cooked our own Paella under the guidance of the hotel’s chef. I am please to report that our yellow team won the cooking competition, even though I was pretty much a spectator, cheering my team members on.
Yellow is clearly my lucky colour. We were all given espadrilles to wear for our adventure. Love how the Canary yellow stands out against the bleached white wooden floors and accentuating the yellow of my J. Crew Morag Myerscough tote.
So, our adventure was to get a micro experience of Gray’s photography by following a trail around the hotel. This was my favourite experience. So, it was expected that we would be seeing colourful rings, just like in his photos.
We were happily taking pictures until……
Gray has previously done a photographic series on synchronise swimmers.
Here’s another classic set up by Gray Malin. I am pretty sure the last time I browsed his website, the striped umbrella, maybe a different colour, was perched on an iceberg in Antarctica. Photographing that iceberg must be in itself an exciting story.
Back in the Le Meridien Barcelona hotel, there is also a grand piano covered with the same yellow image.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this extra long post. I’m sure you will all agree with me that Gray is destined, if not already, for stardom. I can’t wait to buy more of his photographic prints. Watch this space!
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.