Lighting a private art collection
We work with a number of historic houses and we’re often involved in lighting artwork and lighting art collections. We respect the privacy of our clients and we don’t often get a chance to share the details. We’re indebted to our clients in this particular project for letting us show a bit more detail of what goes into one of our lighting artwork projects.
Lighting The Fabric Wall from a Hanging Rail
The artwork wall in the drawing room presented a couple of challenges. The canvases are a wonderful, eclectic collection and the wall itself is a fabric wall. We wanted to make the most of each individual picture while respecting the comfortable, traditional feel of the room. Downlights or track lights would have been inappropriate, and we wanted to minimise any impact on the fabric on the wall.
We approached the challenge with a combination of traditional materials and modern technology. Each picture is lit with the ArtView picture light, tailored to the size, shape and subject matter of each picture, and circuited so that the light level can be set individually for each picture. With stable, flicker free dimming down to 1%, light levels can be set to a safely low level and remarkable levels of detail can be seen in each piece. ArtView is a modern re-interpretation of the picture light but it’s concealed in a very traditional form factor.
The mounting rail is an equally traditional looking modern solution. Rather than make holes in the fabric wall, the cables to each picture light are run through the hanging rail and down the hanging chains. The drivers for each picture (and each has its own driver) are located remotely and all you see is a silk braided flex run to each picture location. It’s an elegant, neat and sympathetic solution.
Lighting other artwork in the house was less complex from a mounting perspective, but again the ArtView and the Lutron HomeWorks system came in to their own to deliver perfectly tailored light to the pictures. The image of the infant Moses in the Reynolds seems so three dimensional it almost leaps out of the canvas. It’s an amazing piece of art and the lighting brings it to life.
Lighting Sculptures in the Georgian Hallway
As well as a stunning collection of paintings the clients also have some beautiful sculptures and objets d’art. In the front entrance hall we wanted to add subtle highlights to the marble busts either side of the door, both to enhance the busts and to give the hall a strong focus.
We used very innovative, incredibly small surface mounted spots, which have a lovely quality of light and pack a real punch for their size (no, they haven’t been photoshopped out of the picture). These, together with the low glare uplights picking up the arched doorway, give the space much more richness and depth than would be achieved using the lantern and wall lights on their own.