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Neil Conley is an award winning designer from Manchester, and a current Designer in Residence at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Re-injecting relevance to storytelling through innovation and environmental awareness, Conley produces 2 and 3 dimensional pieces that place a bleak and ominous emphasis on narrative.
Constructing objects that occupy the void between fine art and industrial design, Conley’s pieces are driven by concept rather than function. This approach generates an eclectic catalogue of objects where the common thread is their clarity and strength of message – rather than a body of work varying in statement, linked purely by a similarity in form or function.
Conley has been selected for private commissions in areas such as furniture and lighting, due to the intriguing approach to materials and form shown through his objects.
His sinister approach to global issues creates powerful pieces that make an uncomfortable impact on the viewer.
A landmark creation of the industrial revolution was the first truly reliable filament lamp. Invented by Thomas Edison in 1880, it is likely that beauty was not at all relevant in the invention of the bulb – yet today these objects possess a warmth and magnetism that is rarely replicated in contemporary lighting.
Thomas & Victoria is not only a preservation of the filament as an invention, but a twisted homage to the ethos of Victoriana design.
The eclecticism of Victorian design is often referred to as an ignorant approach to the beauty of functional objects. Designers and inventers felt the need to adorn the most functional machinery with ornate metalwork and scrolling relief – shrouding the inherent beauty of a product simply doing its job. The Singer sewing machine is a perfect example of this.
Thomas & Victoria preserves the filament invention with a Victoriana mind-set. Encased within amber glass, the form acts as a visual pedestal for the objects, demonstrating the transition from an object of fundamental functionality, to its place today, as an icon of design heritage and a representation of the beauty of innovation. Retired to a life behind glass.
As the filament bulb is slowly phased out of mainstream production, the limited edition lamps are the perfect symbol – both environmentally and historically.
Manufactured from amberised borosilicate glass, the lamp contains minimal fixings, held securely by only three metal connectors.