In little more than a year, Melbourne lighting designer Christopher Boots has carved out a niche for his brand of sculptural light pieces. His collections have the otherworldly feel of objects made via the imaginings of an engineer of the future, yet can fit comfortably in any home or office today.
“I’m always trying to make timeless pieces that will stand the test of time, in terms of the way it’s made as well as the design,” says Boots.
While the somewhat abstract category of ‘timeless’ is quite often misinterpreted, Boots has tapped into history to help achieve his goal. He christened one of his designs Prometheus, after the Greek titan who is said to have created humans out of clay. The piece itself represents an eternity ring, framed on the edges by a crust of jagged crystals. “I use a lot of brass and other materials that have a lot of history in them, and I think, how can we use these materials and interpret that to reflect contemporary design?
“For me a good starting point is to start with a really simple or minimal idea,” he adds.
Boots credits his success to having worked with Geoffrey Mance, an Australian lighting design legend who is possibly best known for his ability to turn a pile of twigs into a work of spectacular public art (a design he named Hedgehog and has been displayed in Federation Square).
“The hallmark of working with Geoffrey, apart from that he was a really a good friend and mentor, was how he instilled in me that willingness to experiment, and this made me think, ‘Oh wow, anything is possible!’”
At a time when unique, independently designed and manufactured goods may be overlooked in favour of affordability and mass-produced convenience, Boots' solo business shows no signs of slowing down.
“It's up to people to make that decision [to not buy mass-produced goods]. If you buy something mass-produced then you'll get something that many other people will own too,” Boots muses.
“The difference with independent businesses and makers is if you've got something unique and if you fill a niche, there's always going to be a market for you.”