“We delight in creating centrepieces that command attention,” says Albi Serfaty, the creative director of Aqua Creations, an art-like lighting atelier. Since 1994, he has been making sculptural, luminous light sources for residential and commercial projects – from freestanding lamps to massive pendant lights to site-specific LED wall installations – for an exacting clientele in the US, Europe and increasingly in China, “where there is a demand for more daring, sophisticated projects, often for hotel spaces,” says Serfaty.
The majority of these unique lights (£2,000 to £250,000 and upwards) are made from laser-cut metal, hand-formed into a 3D structure, then covered with diaphanous silk fabric, felted wool or origami paper. The pieces are produced in the firm’s atelier in Bat Yam, just outside of Tel Aviv, by numerous artisans skilled in the latest LED technologies, fine textiles and video art, and typically take between two weeks and four months to complete, depending on the scale. With shapes and hues that recall organic forms – blossoming flowers, exotic minerals or, as the name suggests, underwater creatures – Aqua’s lights make strong statements regardless of proportions.
Bespoke clients can take inspiration from existing artworks, as seen in the Morning Glory floor lamp – a large, silk-swathed light that casts an ethereal glow – or the silk-covered Dippa lanterns in varying sizes and forms, which when clustered together create a breathtaking canopy of illumination. Each one-of-a-kind design begins with a conversation about the client’s needs and vision for a particular space, and Serfaty delights in coming up with new shapes and surfaces. A recent commission, for example, works handblown glass droplets wrapped in a “golden mist” of fabric into a kinetic mobile, reminiscent of Alexander Calder’s work.