Paul Matter’s sculptural range of chandeliers is an elegant balancing act

Designed to almost deceive the eye, the new range of chandeliers designed by New Delhi-based lighting studio Paul Matter feature bent brass shapes suspended from the ceiling that twist and curl like strands of spaghetti with no definite beginning or end in sight. Called Tryst, the collection invites us to pause and reflect: what is it, how is it made, and above all, how does it hold up?

Each sculptural chandelier in the collection is designed with three distinct shapes: ‘L’ and ‘U’ shaped brass pipes, with an amoeba-like brass ring in the center. “Each curve has a purpose, a function to perform, which helps balance the three shapes together,” says designer Nikhil Paul. “If I remove the ring, the room will collapse.” In this sense, the series is not just an exercise in how the shapes harmoniously interact, but how they counterbalance each other.

The design process took off in a sketchbook, like all good things do at Paul’s studio. During the first lockdown in 2020, he experimented with wireframe doodles – the kind American sculptor Alexander Calder popularized – to determine the center of gravity of looping shapes. Besides balance, and in line with his reductive process, Paul also explored the continuity of forms – first seen in his God & Goddess sconces launched in 2019 – by denying the use of washers or screws visible inside. eye. Soon after, in his studio, the brass pipes were hand-bent and crowned with classic Paul Matter finishes – burnt, aged, silver, polished and textured brass – and fitted with matte-finished porcelain bulbs. The series, which has been in the works since the start of the pandemic, is going to be exhibited for the first time at the Carwan Gallery in Greece this month.

Designer Nikhil Paul in his studio in New Delhi. Photo: Abhishek Khedekar

Tryst’s fluid appeal may seem like a departure from the studio’s linear body of work, but there’s a thread that ties them all together. “What connects it to our previous work is the geometry,” says Paul, adding that Tryst’s three-dimensional nature provides a distinct view from all angles, much like the pieces in his other series, Tango and Flutter; as Tryst flirts with new ideas and a new sense of playfulness, he is defined by the essence that lies at the heart of Paul’s work – a balance of the highest form.

William M. Lee