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THE TALENT // NIAMH BARRY

May 6, 2016

If we had to classify the purpose of lighting in a room, it would be function first and foremost, and aesthetics would come in second...because no matter how many super-hip modernist arms stretch out of a Sputnik pendant or how dazzling a crystal chandelier may be, if it is not actually providing any discernible illumination in a space, it is kind of pointless.*

 

*Except in the case of lighting designed by Irish artist Niamh Barry. Her work is far too captivating to even take into consideration the fact that it might actually serve some sort of purpose other than to stare at it in admiration (eyesight, be damned!). 


Barry makes all of her pieces by hand on her farm in Dublin. Each work starts out as a sketch, and gradually comes to life through her meticulous metalworking skills (she works almost exclusively with bronze), and the help of her five assistants. (You can see a timeline of a few of her sculptures making the journey from 2-D to 3-D on her website.)

 

Yes, they light up. But the LED lights incorporated into each piece seem almost like they are just there to underscore how show-stopping the forms really are. In other words, all of the works below are simply designed to scream "HEY, LOOK AT ME!"

 

NIAMH BARRY "COUNTERPOISE" LIGHT SCULPTURE

Hand raised mirror polished and brushed solid bronze
Hand formed mirror polished solid bronze
Magnets
LEDs

NIAMH BARRY "KNOTTED" LED LIGHT SCULPTURE

Mirror polished hand formed solid bronze
Opal Glass Mosaic
LEDs

NIAMH BARRY "UNFOLDED" LIGHT SCULPTURE

Mirror polished hand formed solid bronze
Opal Glass Mosaic
LEDs

NIAMH BARRY "FOUETTE" WALL SCULPTURE

Mirror polished hand formed solid bronze

Opal Glass

LEDs

 

NIAMH BARRY "WALKING" LIGHT SCULPTURE
Mirror polished and patinated hand formed solid bronze

Opal Glass Mosaic

LEDs

 

 

 

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