Lighting designer Julie Neill at her New Orleans studio.
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A chandelier Diego Giacometti made in 1982 hanging at the Musée Nation Picasso-Paris.
Photo: Laurence Berthon-Marceillac/Musée National Picasso-Paris
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Paris has always been a destination for design lovers. But, this fall, an exhibit on Diego Giacometti’s plaster furniture at Musée National Picasso-Paris attracted more than the Maison et Objet crowds. For New Orleans-based artist-turned-lighting designer Julie Neill, Giacometti’s white plaster chandeliers permanently illuminating the 17th-century mansion that houses the museum have inspired her life’s work. “Plaster chandeliers bring a dynamic synergy to historic spaces,” says Neill of the material, which has been formative to many artistic movements such as neoclassicism and Renaissance. “Plaster is a wonderful medium to work with because it’s an ancient material that lends itself to modern applications. It can be both sculpted and molded to create a vast array of shapes and textures from the simple to the amazingly ornate.” This season, Neill molds Giacometti-inspired fixtures for her first collaboration with Savannah, Ga.-based Circa Lighting. “I originally designed the Alberto chandelier as an homage to Giacometti, but I created the more sculptural-shaped flowers based on my love of white Hakuun tulips.”
Originally published in the December issue of Silicon Valley