It's always interesting when a designer gets their mitts on a material they have never worked with before. It's even more intriguing when they create something impossible out of it. That is exactly what Swedish designer Staffan Holm has achieved. Already admired for his many adventures in wood, Holm steps it up with the sincere beauty of ‘Anamorph Objects', a project of optical illusions on show at Designgalleriet, Stockholm.
‘It all started with a conversation with one of Scandinavia’s absolute top glass artists, Micke Johansson,’ the Gothenburg-based designer explains. ‘It started with my idea that it perhaps would be possible to inflate a sphere of glass and then deflate it so wrinkles would form for light to become trapped in.’ Johansson and Holm took to this seemingly impossible task, creating a collection of abstract sculptures immersed in a graceful dialogue with light.
Viewed around the gallery, the movement in each of the pieces is poetic, yet contrasted. The intricate grooves in the sharp structural boxes form rippling shapes and curves. Meanwhile, the ethereal sculptures have a more delicate effect; appearing both opaque and translucent, the sublime forms fold and unfold into themselves as you move around them.
Elsewhere in the show, Holm also reminds us of his mastery with other materials. In the same theme, he works with copper mirrors and wool carpets, dynamically carving them for the light to manipulate.
However, the glasswork stole the show. ‘It feels almost as if the glass designed itself,’ Holm muses. That's a form of magic we can definitely get on board with.