Lighting The Way
Belle Magazine Australia|June/July 2019

Five luminaries of illumination are taking their creations in an experiential and intelligent new direction.

Stephen Todd

Lighting is super hot right now, experiencing what is known in the fashion world as ‘a moment’. Partly that’s because designers are able to launch fit-for-purpose lighting workshops for relatively little outlay – today’s highly desirable handcrafted vibe dovetailing snugly with their need to produce in smaller batches. And partly it’s because consumers are realising the power of a sculptural lighting piece to transform a room. Australia is no lag in the luminaire department. Here are five of the brightest.

Oliver Wilcox is the new kid on the block, launching his Lost Profile studio (lostprofile.net) in Melbourne’s Fitzroy in 2017. He’s a bric-a-brac fanatic and avid collector of kooky artefacts, so his robust brass and bronze fittings tend to resemble retro industrial equipment. His Distance series of table and floor lamps are directly informed by 1920s bank lighting, dozens of perfectly aligned brass blades attenuating the light source, emitting a warm metallic glow. Wilcox presented his start-up catalogue at April’s Milan Furniture Fair, where he says “some people couldn’t tell if they were vintage or not, and I loved that”. The show was a sell-out, with design aficionados (including a visual merchandiser for Gucci and several architects) clamouring to buy the prototypes off the floor. By the time he dispatched the last piece, Wilcox had signed clients in Paris, Munich and Marrakech. “It’s great and scary at the same time,” he says. “But I’ve been building myself up for it and it needs to happen.”

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