Fancy some artistic illuminations in your garden? Let Artlight Design loose on it!
The story began five years ago, as Joël Demazure recounts: “A friend lent me his villa so I could take some time out with my family, and asked me to take a look at his garden lighting. When he returned two days later he was flabbergasted – his garden was transfigured! ‘You could make a mint, start your own business!’ he raved.” So Demazure did just that, with Damien Durand, previously sales director for a European leader in audiovisual services. Thus was Artlight Design born. Although the outdoor lighting sector doesn't lack competent architects and electricians, few – not to say none – take or offer an artistic approach. And here Joël Demazure's credentials are impeccable: gaffer at the Grande Hall de la Villette for 15 years, for the French Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo and the General Electric building at the Beijing Olympics, for Qatar's national festival in Doha, and even the... Eiffel Tower! “In 2006, when I was working at the Grande Hall de La Villette (80m by 200m of steel girders and glass), I was asked to help light a similar structure but vertical. It turned out to be the Eiffel Tower! The Grande Dame was to be illuminated for the commemoration of the creation of Europe, and my proposal was selected.” No one has forgotten the azure-blue aura in which he wrapped it.
Painting in an empty frame
It was in the theatre that Demazure perfected his skills. “There I learnt that light is an extraordinary tool, and unlike sound there's no limit to what you can do with it. It allows you to sculpt space and is fundamental in bringing the audience into the story. That's the technique I use for gardens.” To all intents and purposes a staging, dictated by three rules. One: “Don't reproduce at night what you see during the day. To bring out the soul of a garden and make another world appear at night, you have to mask certain elements and make others stand out, which can't be done in daytime. You have to start with an empty frame then paint inside it, which requires aesthetic and artistic choices.” Two: draw your inspiration from the garden's layout and the way its occupants live. “We spend time with owners so as to discover what they like, how they use their garden, whether they entertain there, and so on. That allows us to build up personalised scenarios.” Three: “Wrap these scenarios in themes everyone can grasp, such as imitating moonbeams or lightning, suiting the colours to the
season, etc.” All that's needed is some bright ideas, like Joël Demazure's!