After a varied career, including time spent as a molecular biologist and a champion in international motor racing, Italian-born, London-based Paola Petrobelli settled into glassmaking in the 1990s. Working with the same Murano glassmaker since the beginning, Petrobelli has developed a portfolio characterised by strict formal qualities that accentuate the architectural nature of her colourful glassware. 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".
For Gallery Libby Sellers, Petrobelli has produced a series of modular lights titled '24' which cite Meccano - the modular construction system - as inspiration.