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ART & DESIGN / EXHIBITION

SHAPING LIQUID LIGHT

Stirred by a revolutionary temperament harboured since his days as a student at the Royal College of Arts, Joss Newberry has trained his sights on a perceived lack of creativity in the lighting industry. His self funded exhibition Fluid Light aimed to be anything but predictable, bringing his own unique style to Londonewcastle’s Shoreditch Project Space.

Above right: The work features fabric forms with graceful three dimensional surfaces. Above left: The exhibition at Londonewcastle’s Shoreditch Project Space filled a number of different gallery spaces, the work exploring tensile structures.

“If you find a way to achieve your dream you are compelled to do it,” explains Joss Newberry when describing the tipping point of his journey towards Fluid Light, a solo exhibition of lighting sculptures. Newberry is a lighting designer with a history of creating engaging light sculpture for clients, bringing an innovative, freewheeling, style to the industry. After one of Newberry’s large pendant sculptures received a positive reaction and a commission from Londonewcastle, the luxury London property developers, Newberry declared his intent to continue building a collection of fixtures. His ultimate aim was to launch an exhibition at Londonewcastle’s own Project Space – a full-time gallery in the heart of Shoreditch, dedicated to emerging artists. Newberry has always been in the process of learning more about light, in the months proceeding his Shoreditch exhibition his

mind was occupied with LED ray files, driving LEDs and designing backlight modules. “One consequence of spending a lot of time ‘playing around’ with LEDs, diffusers and reflectors,” Newberry comments, “was a deeper understanding of the behaviour of light and its interaction with various materials that proved invaluable inspiration for what would become the Fluid Light collection.” Studying industrial design on the back of an Engineering degree, Newberry developed his passion for lighting, exercised through the design of his own projects, private commissions and a sponsorship with Concord Lighting. Designing luminaires and lit environments for aircraft, offices, public areas and residential developments is his bread and butter. Confronted with the question of defining the purpose behind his exhibition, Newberry shrugs and appears to be choosing from a

number of possible answers. “Well, my wife thought it was hugely self-indulgent and perhaps ill-advised financially,” Newberry comments, “and to a degree she was right. I was in need of a breather from many years’ professional design work and I wanted to re-live my student experience at the Royal College of Art. To loosen the chains and fly again.” Many entrepreneurial and artistic ventures are born out of frustration and this was, the case with Newberry. “For me it was about the lack of creativity in the LED lighting industry,” he comments, “it is all so predictable, the same forms, the same materials, the same solutions and this was such a strong contrast with my time at the RCA, which coincided with the growth of tungsten halogen. In those days creativity was celebrated, innovation was everywhere, designers became famous, lighting companies became household names and Euroluce

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mondo*arc Jun/Jul 2014 - Issue 79  

mondo*arc is the leading international magazine in architectural lighting design. Targeted specifically at the lighting specification market...

mondo*arc Jun/Jul 2014 - Issue 79  

mondo*arc is the leading international magazine in architectural lighting design. Targeted specifically at the lighting specification market...

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