Justin Bailey







Artist's Statement

The Polyp Lamps feature their design assembly as ornament in a range of table and pendant lighting. Paper volumes function as shades for LED lights and snap together with tabbed construction applied to soft, voluminous and organic forms. Designed and built using algorithms and laser cutting, these still lamps follow a longstanding tradition of tactile paper in lighting - now with a digital translation for our programmed world. In my works, I explore the story a surface tells using lightweight, gestural articulation alongside modernist notions which seeks to transport to a realm somewhere between Jules Verne’s Nautilus and the Jetson’s living room. Opting most often for linear and sheet materials, I employ hard yet malleable materials modified by gestural manipulations such as bending, pressing, and folding. Pushing, pulling and shifting irregular form mixes among grids, geometry, and simple curves to depict objects that appear caught between tactile and digital realms. Each work is a study into the interconnections and relationships among its parts, most often born from taking a simple connection, manipulation, or joining, and repeating. The Polyp Lamps made from lasercut Yupo Paper, Recycled PET-G Plastic [3D Printed], and an LED board secured to an aluminum base. Overall there is little need for hardware and glue, however some is necessary to attach the LED to it’s aluminum base, which acts as a heat sink for the electronics, as well as a set of screws which connect the aluminum plate to the 3D printed feet of the lamps. The Yupo Shade and 3D Printed base snap together with simple tabbed connections that can be easily pulled apart if needed. The lamps are dimmable, ranging up to 800 lumens and are a soft white at 2700K in temperature. The programmed and algorithmic aspect of the project was a new venture for me, emerging as an process learned during the isolation of COVID-19. I used the Grasshopper plug-in for Rhinoceros3D to create a program that will build off of basic geometric attributes within a quadrilateral to create variable size tabs to be used in the cutting and assembly of the Polyp Lamps. This program combines well with the 3D modeling and paneling processes with which I was previously familiar to allow me to create a highly variable series of forms used in the Polyp Lamps in quick succession. I see these lamps as a method of adorning the home with organic, gestural forms that begin to break from the rigidity of the perpendicular built environment. The Polyps draw from natural forms such as fruits, vegetables and deep sea life, contemplating the converging similarities we see among fauna from such disparate locales. Playful without becoming demanding, the lamps are an expressive tip toe into a vision of a hopeful future, one in which we learn to live among ambiguity, irregularity, and organic form.

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