A few months ago I wrote about the wonderful John Jones framing service based in Finsbury Park, but soon after I had collected my artworks, I found myself wondering not only where to hang these newly framed pieces but also how to light them. It seems a shame to have them so beautifully framed and then subject them to an unforgiving glare.
A conversation with a friend led me to Harry Triggs and Andrew Molyneux, the two Brunel University-trained industrial designers behind TM Lighting. With their rather cute tagline “Bringing art to light”, they have lit the works of many very valuable collections, from a private house in Staffordshire (first picture) to artworks in Claridge’s new Fera restaurant and the Hyatt Regency’s Churchill Bar (second picture). Other noteworthy projects have included illuminating a Conrad Shawcross sculpture at the National Gallery and rooms in Hampton Court. While my pictures were of a more modest nature, I still wanted them to look their best.
Triggs and Molyneux first come to clients’ homes to advise on light options (consultation fees on a case-by-case basis). TM’s self-designed LED picture lights, for example, will show a full 100 per cent spectrum of colour, whereas it’s just 80 per cent with those used by most of the market. That said, they explain to me, one should steer clear of the “the Old Master glare” found when a picture is overlit.
“The eye and colour play tricks,” says Triggs. “It’s important to remain to true to the ‘colour temperature’ of a picture – it might be warm, like orange, or cool, like blue. We try to let the art speak for itself.”
Their lighting effects are quite remarkable. My Mark Wallinger 2001 print Ghost – a negative print of George Stubbs’ Whistlejacket with a horn added to the horse’s head – looked flat under a regular light, but luminous and full of depth with the TM SlimLight (£216). Meanwhile, my Gary Hume colour print went from dour to bright thanks to the Classic Picture Light (£270, third picture).
So, where shall I hang them? “We aren’t curators, but you do get an eye for it,” Triggs says, without offering too much more. This bit, I fear, I shall have to do on my own.