Shown at Sight Unseen Offsite during New York design week, the candle holders in Curse the Darkness vary wildly in size, material, form – just about everything but function. But they do share one thing in common: each of the 48 entries puts an original and contemporary twist on an object that dates back millennia. In stone or concrete, wire, wood, even cast acrylic, the pieces make good on the proverbial saying, “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
The exhibit, co-presented by the American Design Club and lighting brand Roll & Hill. AmDC launched in 2008 with the intention of mounting exhibits like this one to highlight and promote the original design work being done in the United States. The entries were drawn from an open call for submissions, and range from commercially available designs from well-known studios like Joe Doucet, who presented a hefty collection in turned steel, to hand-turned pottery by Brooklyn Etsy maven Stiliani Moulinos.
As AmDC co-founder Kiel Mead explains, “Roll & Hill wanted to add some candle holders to their collection, and they turned to us because of our vast network of designers and our history producing concept shows.” Narrowing the field from more than 200 entries, AmDC’s jury looked for designs that displayed uniqueness, producibility, price, material choice and originality – like Best In Show winner Brace, a candelabra by Daniel Ballou whose three-way bracket holds candles of different sizes securely in place with heavy copper-finished steel wedges.
A complete list of the pieces and designers included in Curse the Darkness can be seen on the exhibit website.