Introduction to light

My preoccupation with light started with the fascination of watching the sunlight flowing through the dense canopy of leaves in Danish beech wood forests. The markedly play of flickering Nordic light between the newly sprouted leaves. The transparency and nuances of green when the sun happened to send warming beams of light through the pattern of dark branches and clusters of leaves trembling in the wind, ending the 8 minute trip from the sun in flickering spots sprinkling the trees shadows like humming fireflies. It was this stimulating physical and emotional sensation of standing there in the chilled shadow between swatches of anemones carpeting the ground, that over years keeps my curiosity spell bound on how light and shadow are powerful dictators of our physical environment. But light is not only a physical, environmental and natural essential in our life; it plays with our emotions in all degrees of moods challenging our psyche on all levels.

 
  A Danish beech forest a day in late may.  

A Danish beech forest a day in late may.  

 

“Cocooning light” has probably become something similar to a childhood rite of passage finally materializing in my first series of cocooned light objects and the T-house lamp, designed for a teahouse in Taipei, after I worked in China for three years. I began designing and developing this series from 2008 and finalised the objects in 2017. This is because I have been preoccupied for years with light and shadow and what is bound to its physical and emotional impingement with translucency, structure, space and shape. Light and shadow have taken me on a serpentine track through years of random observations far from my childhood rambles into Nordic spring forests. It has by the years become sketchbooks filled with drawings and notes. It has been inspirational and extensive readings on philosophers and scientists description of light from the Greek philosopher Empedocles to Max Planck and beyond. During a period of time it even sent me, in what could be described as a detour, into paintings with the same theme of looking through the myriad of leaves to understand that white light isn’t just white and the leaves are not just green but an entire abstract world of transparency, diffusions and simultaneous colour of contrasts evolving from light and shadow ending in an after vision trapped somewhere in my brain.

 
   
  
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     Translucence in spring. Oil on canvas painting by Carsten Jörgensen 2003. The flicker of light and shadows when looking through the foliage.

Translucence in spring. Oil on canvas painting by Carsten Jörgensen 2003. The flicker of light and shadows when looking through the foliage.

 

The development and design of the cocooned light was last but not least, a reflection on a long life as a designer and what you will find in these designs was thought to express that design can mature over long stretches of time in different medias before it materializes in a physical reality. It was never thought to become neither an occupation with scientific research on light nor commercial design profitability. It was rather an exploration of a personal fascination and so it has become a random come-together of thoughts, notes, and visual reminders on light as chaotic and unstructured as my method of thinking design might be. It is about seeing light as something precious waiting for the wonder of the metamorphoses, when the sun rises on the eastern hemisphere and sets in the west or when an electric light bulb is switched on and beams of white light are breaking through the cocooning mesh or light beams are reflected from the surfaces of a metal shade to either fill a darkening room with a diffused soft light or to direct light to a specific area to be highlighted. It is light stretching out for the walls of a dark room, lightening up by ostracizing shadows into corners. It is about indulging in a sensible cocooning ambience between beautiful bright light and its rendering shadows and during daytime fulfilling a sculptural serenity.

 

 

Carsten Jörgensen, Designer