HANGING LAMP SHADES BY MODERN GESTURE
The Cape Town, South Africa design house Modern Gesture is well known for their hanging lamp shades. The ring shape and use of prominent colors are inspired by the beaded jewelry worn by the Ndebele people of the region. Each fixture creates a connection between the designer, African design, and the modern home. Modern Gesture’s hanging lamp shades have been recognized by top interior designers in the U.S. including Revamp Interior Design, Style By Emily Henderson and Forbes + Masters, also featured in Forbes Magazine, Vogue Germany and Vogue Italia, and on Top Billing South Africa.
THE INSPIRATION OF HANGING LAMP SHADES
There are several colorways and design patterns that are unique to the Modern Gesture collection of hanging lamp shades. A key inspiration is the jewelry worn by the Ndebele people of South Africa. On traditional occasions, Ndebele women adorn themselves in clothing and jewelry that represents their wealth and social status. Married women dress in the most elaborate fashion, wearing beaded grass hoops and stacking copper and brass rings around their arms and necks to symbolize their devotion to family. “I’m inspired by South African people, textures, modern design and the environment we live in,” says Candice Lawrence, founder of Modern Gesture. “I experiment with my tools to find new ways of creating and challenging my thinking for new designs.”
The collection of hanging lamp shades explores sensory experiences through the medium of design. “It is a conversation that leads to a deepening of one's self and a more personal engagement with the final design, allowing a new approach to quality, innovation and simplicity.”
In addition to jewelry, the Ndebele are known for house mural paintings dating back to the 19th century. The bright, sharp geometric designs are all hand painted without use of rulers or other tools. The vivid colors and bold designs express the personality, style, values and prayers of the household.
“Each piece created has a story being embedded into its materials, capturing the time and care taken in the creation of each item. Each product is designed to engage our attention and draw us into a space to encounter more sensory experiences.” says Lawrence.
Credit: Artsy article featuring renowned Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu
The use of Ndebele art is statement driven. Dr. Esther Mahlangu, a prominent artist and Ndebele icon, was the first woman to transfer Ndebele designs to art canvas. Known for bold large-scale contemporary Ndebele art, her work has gained international recognition. One of her iconic works is the first African art car for BMW, following the work of artists such as Andy Warhol.
SUSTAINABILITY AND THE HANGING LAMP SHADE
Lawrence continues to push her design brand forward in the realm of sustainability. “In Cape Town, we are surrounded by oceans and mountains, and pollution is affecting our natural environment. I’m looking at ways of designing using my off cuts of wood, reducing my carbon footprint and hopefully inspiring others to look at waste material differently.”
The hanging lamp shade is one of Lawrence’s most coveted pieces in her collection. “It is innovative, modern and the sustainability aspect of the product is something many people have been drawn to. It can be flat packed, showing a conscious responsibility towards our environment.”