Detail Frozen Spring lamp (image: Fabrice Gousset/Galerie Kreo)
Dutch designer Wieki Somers’ new collection for Galerie Kreo was inspired by a single meteorological event: a fall of freezing rain. The rain, which fell on the north-east Netherlands in March 1987, formed a layer of ice over everything it touched. The weather brought life to a halt – but it also invested everything with a new layer of beauty, a quality Somers has tried to bring to new limited-edition pieces made for the Paris-based design gallery.
For Somers, the interesting quality of the ice-fall in 1987 (which she discovered in a photography book found in a flea market) was that it revealed rather than concealed. It made people look afresh at the world around them, and breathed novelty into familiar surroundings. The works – tables, lights, vases, a cabinet and a stool – incorporate natural forms suggestive of bare branches and spring blossoms. Over these forms is a layer of “ice”, seemingly dripping and trickling. This “ice” is in fact a liquid resin called UV Topcoat, which sets when exposed to ultraviolet light.
It’s a typically whimsical collection for Somers, a favourite designer of Kreo proprietor Didier Krzentowski. Some of the floral lights and vases are a bit on the twee side, but true to Somers’ intentions the dripping liquid layer makes them intriguing. The collection as a whole is a promising continuation of the material experimentation that Somers has indulged in since her student days at Design Academy Eindhoven. And there’s a pleasingly unnerving quality to it – lamps should not liquefy.
Wieki Somers: Frozen in Time is at Galerie Kreo, Paris, until 20 March.
Frozen Spring lamp (image: Fabrice Gousset/Galerie Kreo)
Frozen cabinet (image: Fabrice Gousset/Galerie Kreo
Frozen Round Hogweed table (image: Fabrice Gousset/Galerie Kreo)
Frozen carafe (image: Fabrice Gousset/Galerie Kreo)
Big Frozen vase (image: Fabrice Gousset/Galerie Kreo)
Big Frozen vase detail (image: Fabrice Gousset/Galerie Kreo)
Frozen Reed lamp (image: Fabrice Gousset/Galerie Kreo)
Frozen stool (image: Fabrice Gousset/Galerie Kreo)
The exhibition, with Frozen Lantern lamp centre (image: Fabrice Gousset/Galerie Kreo)