COMMON GROUND: Inspiration from Tixall Art


It takes an experienced eye to create an atmosphere on a yacht that exudes personality, comfort and impact. Chris Cecil-Wright looks to Tom Craig of Tixall House for exquisite art and collectibles that transcend both time and fashion.

Truly beautiful objects – be it a silver Fabergé box, a contemporary chair or a Helmut Newton photographic print – can have a profoundly seductive effect on the psyche. ‘There’s more to yachting than just the boat,’ says Chris, ‘family, art, photography, film – they are all in close periphery and vitally important’. Chris’s good friend Tom Craig works with clients from all over the world – both on land and at sea – with a bespoke approach that is highly effective: ‘When we took it upon ourselves to hang art on Issana for the Monaco Yacht Show last year,
I watched Tom completely revolutionize the yacht’. 

What worked like a charm on Issana was a series of 1960’s photographs of St Tropez. The trend for contemporary art on boats is understandable given the modern aesthetic of many of the boats themselves. However, Tom emphasizes that the work must complement the light and landscape – and that the framing is crucial: ‘You have a captive audience on a yacht,’ he explains, ‘family, friends and owners have time to admire the objects, particularly at night when the light goes and the theatre of art starts.’ 

New buyers have buoyed the powerful growth of the art market since 2004, but not all clients have a penchant, knowledge or taste for art. Tixall House helps collectors negotiate the complex art world – both contemporary and antique – and avoid its pitfalls: ‘One can be impulsive and buy like it’s a retail experience’ says Tom, ‘but I encourage clients to think proactively in order to experience and improve their collection over decades.’ 

“ Great art should work immediately. It should be love at first sight."

Tom Craig, Tixall House

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