Stuart Haygarth’s Spectacle Chandelier: A New Light from Old Objects

As the saying goes: appearances can be deceiving. What looks like a traditional tiered chandelier is, in reality, 1000+ pairs of discarded prescription eyeglasses linked together in a cascading form. This is what British lighting designer Stuart Haygarth does best. Since 2004 he's finding a new purpose for everything from seashore jetsam to used party poppers. His work, namely a series of fabulous chandeliers, is about giving banal and overlooked objects a new significance; turning trash to treasure.

Spectacle Chandelier. Designed by Stuart Haygarth.

His design projects revolve around the collections of objects. These objects are normally collected in large quantities, then categorized and assembled in a way that transforms their meaning. The finished work takes form as chandeliers, installations, functional and sculptural objects. In the case of Spectacle, the 1000+ pairs in each piece were donated to charity - but unfortunately couldn't be used - and would have otherwise been incinerated. So in the creation of these beautiful chandeliers, the designer wasn't depriving young children of sight, but rather saving discarded objects from dumpsters and destruction.

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Haygarth explains that Spectacle draws an analogy between the original purpose of prescription eyeglasses and their new one: "By using prescriptive spectacles which were once an essential tool for seeing an interesting analogy is drawn between their old and new purposes. A mirror ball light effect is produced as the light is refracted through the several layers of lenses." The chandelier is a limited edition of ten and comes in two sizes: large (1.0 m diameter at top, 2.3 m length, 1020 pairs) and small (80cm diameter at top, 1.5m length, 620 pairs). Also check out Optical, a spherical shaped lighting fixture produced from over 4500 prescription lenses which imitates a disco mirror ball. Similar to Spectacle, the light is refracted through the many layers of glass lenses rather than the light being reflected.

Now in his early forties, Haygarth has built up a reputation (and impressive portfolio) producing pieces for organizations as diverse as  Vogue Nippon - a children’s light - and Mac Cosmetics – chandeliers for their flagship stores in New York and LA.

Posted January 26, 2010 by Jenny Rector

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