Magic On The High Seas - CODAworx

Magic On The High Seas

Submitted by Helen Webber

Client: Cervi & Rossi / Costa Cruise Lines

Location: Parma, Italy

Completion date: 2011

Artwork budget: $32,000

Project Team


Enrico Cervi

Cervi & Rossi



Helen Webber


This project was commissioned by the Italian cruise company. COSTA CRUISE LINES. The architectural and art consultant firm of Cervi and Rossi, of Parma Italy, was the consulting firm that worked on the project as the art specifier. The project consisted of two panels, each 6' wide by 5' high, installed in the entryway of the ship's theater. The art work was printed on Lexan
and back lit with LED lighting. Each panel was created digitally combining my ink drawings and textured papers.


The process of determining the theme, location, and medium evolved with nearly two hundred e-mails between myself and the Cervi and Rossi firm. My work was shown to Mr. Foschi, the owner of Costa Cruise Lines, who was attracted to my watercolor series, "Sea Songs". He was particularly interested in utilizing feminine sea forms to express the ships overall theme of magical imagination.

Upon viewing the work I had done on the Carnival Cruise line ships, Cervi and Rossi were interested in my sculpted tile murals as the primary medium. After considering several outdoor spaces for the location of the art work, an indoor site at the theater entrance was selected. Their interest in a translucent glowing surface led to the use of back lit LED lighting on a semi transparent surface such as Lexan.


The collaboration process, between myself and the firm of Cervi and Rossi consisted of over 180 e-mails and several awkward international phone calls (the awkwardness being caused by language barriers). There was only one person on the staff that was fairly fluent in English. She was a good translator of Italian to English. But there were some delicate deliberations at times. I spoke no Italian, and some ideas were difficult to communicate. The collaboration process involved the owner of the cruise lines, the artist, and the art consulting firm which was actually the fulcrum of the triangle. All decisions had to be passed by the owner, who I never spoke to directly, and whose ideas were interpreted by the consulting firm. In spite of the communication challenges, the essential issues which revolved around the medium and the design itself, were
resolved in a way that pleased all the collaborators.

Additional Information

TWO WOMEN OF THE SEA Weaver of rainbows Sings songs to the creatures of sea and sky. Fish dance with her And her music welcomes the sun. Sailing by moonlight She knows of the night sea And travels with the moon While she whispers secrets to the stars.