The David Gill Gallery in London has premiered its ‘Chandelier’ exhibition, featuring new works that utilise Swarovski crystal and innovative mediums, illustrating ‘different materials and forms, not just to challenge the traditional chandelier but also the contemporary chandelier.’ Describing the exhibition, Gill says “sometimes what makes something contemporary is harkening back to the past, transforming forms and materials, and applying new technologies together with traditional craftsmanship.” I will share my favourites in this post.
Featured Barford works primarily with ceramics to create unique narrative pieces that draw an ironic portrait of our contemporary lives. Working with both mass-market and antique porcelain figurines, Barnaby cuts up and exchanges elements, or adds to and repaints them, creating sculptures often sinister and sardonic but invariably humorous in tone.
In his piece entitled ‘Jungle VIP’, the chandelier is tilted to the side by a swinging jewel-encrusted monkey which is covered in over 3,600 black Swarovski crystals. Barford says “I wanted to give chandeliers a new life, change the context and make a sculpture out of it.”
Another memorable piece entitled ‘Lisse’ was created by artist Zaha Hadid, founder of Zaha Hadid Architects. Hadid is internationally known for her built, theoretical and academic work. Each of her unique projects builds on over thirty years of revolutionary exploration and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design. This has lead her to experiment with cutting-edge technologies, which often results in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.
Drawing visual reference from this concept, Zaha Hadid’s refraction of light chandelier ‘Lisse’ illustrates a careful interplay between shadow and light. A polished black corian body comprises an intricate netting of lines stretching outwards to the ends of the structural frame. As a manifestation of Hadid’s research into parametric patterning, ‘Lisse’ references the ancient ornamental art of filigree, with a delicate fluidity that seamlessly emerges as a compositional facet.
Paris-based Mattia Bonetti is a self-described ‘troublemaker turned traditionalist’ and trained as a textile designer in Lugano before relocating to Paris in 1973. He rose to international prominence after creating a new graphic identity for Christian Lacroix and designing his Maison de Couture in 1987. Bonetti now works independently, designing innovative sculptural furniture. His designs are constantly evolving and are often described as an expression of luxury.
For the Chandeliers exhibition, Bonetti presents ‘Opera’ in sculpted bronze and Swarovski crystal. Regarding the design, Bonetti says “it’s quite improbable, a lady that dresses to the nines to go to the opera or to the ball, coming back very late, and in her high spirits she dips her arms on the floor below, and magically brings up lights.”
When artist Jacopo Foggini was a young man working in his family’s plastics industry, he discovered the versatility of methacrylite, an industrial material normally used to make automobile tail lights. Fascinated by the extraordinary aesthetic and chromatic qualities of this material, which is similar to glass, but considerably lighter, he began to experiment. In his atelier, using a machine of his own invention, he produces a filament of methacrylate which he models with his own hands to create luminous shapes – mazes of threads in an elegant, linear and poetic intertwining of colours.
His piece ‘Supernova’ has been hand-formed from fired thread at 280 degrees and twisted into a maze of delicately intertwined matter. Foggini says “there is no possibility for any error or, possibly one could say, there is an intentional and recurring error like any light star ever realised before.”
I couldn’t help having a chat with Foggini sitting on the luxurious creation of Fredrikson Stallard
The Chandeliers exhibition can be seen at David Gill Gallery in London from the 17th of September through 20th October 2014.