Alison Berger is a unique lighting designer, one who uses her past as her inspiration. Using glass as her primary medium, the Los Angeles- based artist has explored her love for light in an ever-evolving body of work that goes beyond lighting.
Berger is adept at designing more than just lighting fixtures, she uses the ancient techniques of glass blowing to create “glass forms” that simultaneously surpass time and capture light. Whether she is designing vases, drawings, sculptures, or site installation; Berger has amassed a large collection of work that manages to be both traditional and modern.
Berger draws inspiration from varied influences that come from different eras. In order to create her timeless pieces, she has used 4th-century Roman glass, Baroque floral still-lifes, scientific influences, and her personal flea-market finds.
The designer has said that two things she finds especially inspiring is the romance in a nighttime heavy rain and the childhood nostalgia of fireflies captured in a mason jar. Essentially, Berger’s lamps are “memory keepers.” She says (courtesy of House & Garden U.K.), “They are a peripheral memory of what the form once was and out of it I create something new.”
Berger’s newest collection has a more scientific element; when designing she looked to Galileo’s study of the pendulum and George Rickey’s kinetic sculptures. There are layers of science and philosophy that connected all four pieces in the collection.
The Medallion pendant features interlocking circles that look linear when viewed from one angle and circular when seen from another angle. The high-polish bronze creates a sophisticated “frame within a frame” that supports a hand-blown crystal globe with cut circular openings that magically frame the light.
Another piece in the new collection is the Pendulum chandelier that employs hand-formed crystals that each weigh over six pounds. The crystals are suspended from cloth-covered cords made from minimal bronze armature. The banding features a striated effect similar to threading details on ancient goblets. This collection debuted exclusively at Holly Hunt showrooms last winter.
Perhaps Alison Berger’s Artist Statement best sums up her vision, “Glass captures the process of remembering and, as the light fades, forgetting. Light is the medium, glass is the material and memory, elusive as it is, is my theme. My work is based on the visual vocabulary that societies create to manifest their beliefs, desires and rituals. Victorian fly traps, fireflies, apothecary jars and devices of measure are examples of the objects that have inspired this work. I am drawn to these pieces because they are simultaneously enigmatic and revealing in what they say about the cultures that invented and utilized them. Rendered in glass, altered in scale and stripped of decoration, their essence is exposed. These pieces represent a reinterpretation that makes them feel contemporary and old world. Like memory itself, these glass objects, sculptures and furnishings transcend time and place.”