Jérôme Pereira tests the limits of balance with lights made from tree branches

Icarus lighting sculpture by Jérôme Pereira for Galerie Philia

Designer and artist Jérôme Pereira has created a series of carefully weighted lighting sculptures using tree branches he foraged from the forests near his studio in the south of France.

Pereira presented nine of these works in his inaugural solo exhibition, Celestial Attraction, staged by design gallery Philia during Milan design week.

Celestial Attraction series
Jérôme Pereira presented nine lighting sculptures in Celestial Attraction

Many of the works are mobiles, with blown-glass lamps delicately suspended from ceiling-hung tree branches. In others, the branches form tripods to support the hanging pendants.

Pereira carefully positions the glass elements in line with counterweights, to ensure each piece is perfectly balanced.

Icarus lighting sculpture by Jérôme Pereira for Galerie Philia
Many of the works, such as the Icarus pieces, are suspended mobiles

“Jérôme Pereira’s sculptural work embodies a tangible contemplation of the intricate interplay between balance and gravity,” said Ygaël Attali, co-founder of Philia alongside brother Yaïr Attali.

The gallery, which has locations in Mexico, Geneva, New York and Singapore, has previously exhibited Pereira’s work in group shows in Milan and New York. But the founders felt his work was deserving of the spotlight of a solo show.

Compass floor lamp by Jérôme Pereira for Galerie Philia
The Compass floor lamp takes the form of a tripod

Ygaël describes the designer as “a prominent luminary in the realm of contemporary sculpture”.

“The poetic and philosophical depth of his works adds a profound layer to the contemporary artistic landscape,” he said.

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The works combine Pereira’s interest in natural materials and his background in science – he studied physics and geophysics before taking up a career in sculpture.

Many of his designs take cues from scientific theories about the cosmos, referencing the research and discoveries of seminal figures including Archimedes, Albert Einstein and Max Planck.

SY-02 lighting sculpture by Jérôme Pereira for Galerie Philia
SI-02 is named after an asteroid nomenclature

SI-02, named after an asteroid nomenclature, features an ash branch with a cluster of smooth, hollow forms at one end. A glass pendant hanging on the opposite side echoes these shapes.

Philia describes it as “evocative of the meteorites and comets thought to be at the origins of life on Earth”.

If lamp
The If lamp combines pebble-shaped forms with antler-like branches

The Icarus lamps consist of wing-shaped assemblages of oak branches, supporting irregularly shaped glass globes, while If features pebble-shaped wood and glass forms with antler-like branches extending out from both sides.

Compass is a three-legged floor lamp with a two-tone pendant hanging in its centre, while Attraction is a single-stem floor lamp weighted down by a piece of volcanic stone.

Jérôme Pereira
Pereira works with tree branches he finds near his studio

In addition to his sculpture studio, Pereira is also part of the artistic duo AWARÉ, together with his partner, French textile artist Sylvia Eustache Rools.

Rools presented two textile works in the Celestial Attraction exhibition.

The show is a follow-up to Philia’s 2023 Milan show, Desacralized, which saw the gallery take over an 11th-century church with works by 20 different designers.

The photography is by Studio Brinth.

Milan design week took place from 15 to 21 April 2024. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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