To coincide with COLLECT, the International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects, Gallery Libby Sellers presented a series of new lighting commissions in glass - titled '24' - by London-based artist Paola Petrobelli.
After a varied career, Italian-born Petrobelli settled into glassmaking in 1999. Working with the same Murano glass maker since the beginning, Petrobelli has developed a portfolio characterised by strict formal qualities that accentuate the architectural nature of her colourful glass wares. Eschewing the purely decorative, Petrobelli favours the functional in her work, believing that restraint in approach allows for a pure and sophisticated expression. As she has said of her work, "Glass is a beautiful material that lends itself to organic shapes and lots of colour. I try to restrain myself so the shape can be more interesting, more disciplined".
This body of work, commissioned by the Gallery, follows a similarly architectural agenda as it cites Meccano - the modular construction system - as inspiration. Moulded geometric forms were rigorously conceived to stack one above each other. Just like the Meccano bricks, each layer of one stacked glass lamp - be it a floor based or ceiling pendant lamp - can be reordered and swapped to create innumerable forms and colourways.