Anglepoise lamp project shines spotlight on city creativity

I Love Dust designer Kingsley Nebechi customising his Anglepoise lamp

An exhibition showcasing the work of some of Portsmouth’s best artists, designers and photographers will be on display at The London Design Festival from 14-22 September, 2013.

The ‘Creating Balance’ exhibition is the result of a year-long collaboration between the Portsmouth-based British lamp designer Anglepoise, the University of Portsmouth and community group, Strong Island.

Ten local artists and designers were twinned with 10 local photographers and each duo was invited to choose an Anglepoise ‘perfect balance’ task lamp before embarking on their creative projects. The lamp is a British design classic designed by the automotive engineer George Carwadine.

The aim of the project was to explore the true meaning of balance at work and in life.

Claire Sambrook, senior lecturer from the School of Creative Technologies and project leader, said: “After meeting with the Innovation Director at Anglepoise UK we really wanted to collaborate on a project to raise the profile of the creative talent in the city.

“Anglepoise is an iconic British brand based in Portsmouth with an international profile. I really respect their design ethos and love the fact that their lamps have been owned by the likes of Roald Dahl, David Lloyd George and the Queen. It was exciting to work with them on a project that was all about supporting the local creative community.”

One of the customised Anglepoise lamps

The project involved University of Portsmouth students, staff and alumni, as well as local artists and photographers.

Claire said: “We wanted to pair artists and designers with photographers so we could gain an insight into the creative process. Often you see the result of an artist or designer’s work but you don’t get to see the progression.

“By documenting each collaboration we were able to see inside the studio space of artists and designers. This was fascinating in itself; design company I Love Dust has a skate ramp in their studio and artist Will Pounds has a studio which overlooks the Solent. Showcasing photography at the exhibition will allow viewers to see behind the scenes.”

Second year entertainment technology student, Jack Daly, was one of the photographers who took part in the project. He was paired with urban artist My Dog Sighs.

Jack said: “I got involved with this project because it celebrates collaboration with people from different areas of the creative industry, and I loved the idea of that.

“My Dog Sighs and I both work in very opposite ways, which complement each other to create great content. The Anglepoise lamp helped us both realise how important light is in both of our work and it also gave a central ‘prop’ for us both to fixate ideas around.”

Urban artist My Dog Sighs

Most of the artists and designers used their lamps creatively during the project. Artist, My Dog Sighs, used it as his mixing palette; Russell Squires transformed his into an ‘Anglebot’ – a robot with flashing red lights; Tristan Savage and Paul Gonella of Strong Island submerged theirs under the Solent with help from Triton Scuba photographer David Jones; and I Love Dust designer Kingsley Nebechi customised his lamp with illustration.

Brand and Innovation Director at Anglepoise, Simon Terry, said: “The Creating Balance project has been a remarkable success story of creative collaboration at a local level. Through the project, admirably driven forwards by Claire Sambrook, we have discovered this inspirational community of photographers, designers and artists based right here on our doorstep. The quality of work speaks for itself and I can’t wait to see where these collaborations take us.”

The showcase in London will include all customised lamps and behind the scenes photography. It will also feature video footage taken by two Portsmouth final year television and broadcasting students.

To see more photos and video footage from the Creative Balance project please visit http://creatingbalanceproject.co.uk

Anglepoise is a registered trademark. 
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