Upwardly mobile: Jean-Pascal Gauthier’s Calder-inspired lighting design
Alexander Calder once questioned, ’Why must art be static?’ His response was an exhibition of sculpture that spoke in an abstract language articulated only by motion. His mobiles introduced a new genre of possibilities within the art world and just so happened to serve as inspiration for a young, emerging lighting designer.
Jean-Pascal Gauthier has quietly and quickly caught the attention of the design industry by way of his ambiguously compelling light fixtures. Driven by geometric anomalies and a notion of the organic, Gauthier has assembled an impressive collection of pendants each more intriguing than the last.
’I’m inspired by the geometry and architecture found in forms,’ states Gauthier. ’Being a highly visual person, I’m easily inspired by anything that attracts me in my daily life and my intention is to make a place for it within my work and designs.’
The Montreal-based designer has stayed true to his visual aptitude, parlaying an endless array of shapes and angles, textures and materials, and even living structures into his forms. Gauthier uses noble elements in his compositions, creating a balancing-act between materials such as brass, stainless steel, marble, granite, mirror, glass, walnut wood and acrylic. ‘I wanted to find new materials that would create balance,’ explains the self-taught designer. ’A plant sounded like a good idea to provide an organic feel to the lamps and that would be a perfect juxtaposition to the materials used.’ It’s this type of creative thinking and ingenuity that have the markings of an icon in the making.
As well as Calder, the designer also credits the minimal nature of the Bauhaus era along with the avant-garde painters of the cubism movement as additional sources of inspiration for his work. It’s Gauthier’s philosophy (and hope) that the line between art and design always remain blurred within his pieces. ’I’m not just making lamps,’ he says. ’I build sculptural objects that serve a purpose in a person’s life.’