Color and light Sabine Marcelis

Sabine Marcelis
Sabine Marcelis

Sabine Marcelis, a Dutch woman of French origin, is one of the most promising and original designers, whose objects are awaited by connoisseurs like good theatrical performances.

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She is a little over thirty, lives in Rotterdam, a graduate of the Eindhoven Academy of Design. Dad is an engineer, mom is a speech therapist. Sabine herself and her two sisters studied and became designers. Dad, according to Marcelis, was a real walking encyclopedia, taught them how to handle technology, and encouraged their daughters to do manual labor, design, and any creative activity. For example, the sisters did not give each other purchased gifts but made something together with their parents. Dad told me how what works and how what works.

Voie luminaire series. Neon tubes. 2016
Voie luminaire series. Neon tubes. 2016

The first two years of university studies, Marcelis spent at the School of Architecture at the University of Victoria in Wellington, then transferred and completed her studies in Eindhoven. At the Eindhoven Academy of Design, the main teachers were fellow students – gifted, extraordinary, and inventive. Thus, Sabin had both excellent engineering skills and a liberated mind, which the Eindhoven educational institution is so proud of.

Among the professionals who influenced her, Sabin names the Danish artist FOS (Thomas Paulsen). It was he who guided her in the first years after graduation. Marcelis has become famous as a designer who projects light. She has repeatedly said that most of all she is fascinated by optical illusions, for example, colored illuminated spaces, as in the installations of James Turrell.

She is praised for her ability to use modern technologies, which are developing especially rapidly in this area. It uses diffusion and darkening effects. She experiments a lot with neon, emphasizing its bright glare and the ability of neon tubes to take different forms.

Atlar console. Lava stone and glass.  2017. Unique
Altar console. Lava stone and glass.  2017. Unique

Her signature skill is the ingenious combination of materials and luminous elements. “The final look and shape of each piece are really determined by the effect I want to get, or by what the material itself suggests,” says the designer.

“My fixtures end up being functionally decorative and require interaction with the space and the user.” Her portfolio has some real fortunes: the Dawn collection of lighting fixtures, the large glowing mirrors from the Seeing Glass collection, the glossy milk toffee Candy Cubes tables. In Milan, she made a name for herself with an eye-catching lamp combining neon with a piece of natural marble.

Tables from the collection Candy Cubes, Side Gallery.
Tables from the collection Candy Cubes, Side Gallery.

Sabine Marcelis’s eye is tuned to delicate work. She likes to observe surfaces and the play of light. She loves glass and resin, materials that arise in liquid form and then become solid, but always retain the memory of this original fluidity. “This is a raw material that you can control by playing on the gloss or matt texture. As a rule, I am attracted by materials in which there is a category of “was-now”, change, transformation. This allows you to emphasize the natural life of the object.”

One of Sabine Marcelis’s graduation projects was a grid with glass, which can be transparent or opaque depending on the time of day. This grid demonstrated that the object, while not kinetic, is constantly in motion. A person just needs to observe how he reacts to the surrounding space and to natural or artificial light. Her designer items and collections are sold by five European galleries: Copenhagen’s Etage Projects, Parisian Gallery Bensimon, London’s Mint Gallery, Barcelona’s Side Gallery, and Brussels’s Victor Hunt Gallery.

Кресло Equals Easy. 2017. Chamber Gallery
Chair Equals Easy. 2017. Chamber Gallery

Among the companies with which Sabine Marcelis collaborated at different times are many famous brands: Aesop, Céline, Repossi, Isabel Marant, Eastpak, Rabobank, FOS, Wali Mohammed Barrech, and others. Marcelis herself considers the projects made together with Brit van Nerwen, Max Lipsi, and the brainchild of Rem Koolhaas OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) to be successful collaborations.

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