London Design Festival kicked off last Saturday and naturally we’re taking part in lots festivities!
Designersblock invited us to create a grand lighting installation to go with their fantastic venue. They’ve really outdone themselves this year, by taking up residence in an iconic London landmark, the Old Sessions House.
The 3000m2 grade-II listed building used to be one of the largest courthouses in England. Usually not accessible to public, now it will open its doors for the 17th edition of the design show.
The Glowing Oak is one of the most challenging installations we’ve ever done – a real oak tree, laced with Plumen, on the top floor of one of London’s oldest courthouses. We knew getting a five-metre high tree up four flights of stairs wouldn’t be easy, but we were determined to serve justice to this legal legend!
The room needed a centre-piece worthy of competing with its hubris. Its high ceilings and dilapidated walls give it a sense of fallen glory and we wanted to play with this, creating something delicate and majestic within the imposing space. We love that viewers have to climb to the top of the building to catch sight of it, the staircase acting like a passageway to an undiscovered world before revealing the tree, basking gently as it stands.
The tree itself comes from a sustainable tree farm in Sussex (we planted another tree to replace the one we took down!) and the installation took over three days to complete! Although it gave us a great thrill to reconstruct a fully-grown tree, for us, this is only one part of the installation.
The main attraction was that it gave us a chance to showcase our bulb the way we imagined and developed it – as a hybrid lighting product that skips between disciplines, blurring the lines between art, sculpture, technology, product and design.
The light bulb is a very common object but we see no reason why art can’t have a place in everyday objects. During development, our main source of inspiration was sculpture and one artist in particular, the iconic British artist Barbara Hepworth. Her work inspired the idea of sculpting the tube rather than drawing with it in straight uniform lines.
With this installation, we wanted to do the same thing – bringing art and ambiance to how the product is displayed as well as the product itself. As Plumen rethinks the everyday light bulb, our Glowing Oak rethinks the ways in which we can share and enjoy those objects that surround us.
We’d love for you to come down and visit. The entrance is free, you only need to register, which you can do here.
We can’t wait to hear your feedback. If you post on social media, don’t forget to use the hashtag #plumenglowingoak .
The Old Sessions House
22 Clerkenwell Green
18th – 21st September
10am to 7pm daily