Vancouver's Willow & Stump Design Co. creates light inspired by Ballet BC's Enemy in the Figure

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      Local duo Kaly Ryan and Bram Sawatzky, of Willow & Stump Design Co., are known for their sleek, multifunctional furnishings. But they also have another passion: ballet.

      And it was at a performance of one of their favourite art forms that they got the inspiration for a new, 3-D-printed table lamp. Watching Ballet BC's fall Program 1, they were stunned by the company's interpretation of legendary choreographer William Forsythe's dazzling and difficult Enemy in the Figure.

       "We saw it and we both said, 'Man, we have to make something based on this,'" Ryan told the Straight by phone.

      Originally created in 1989, Enemy in the Figure showcases a single floodlight on wheels, creating drama as it illuminates and obscures dancers. "The piece is really special in the way this prop became a character in the piece," Ryan explained. "It really inspired us to think about how a home object could strike that same balance and create that dramatic tension."

      The resulting table lamp was created on Gantri, a 3-D platform that enables a curated community of productand industrial designers to create uniquely-inspired lights.


      Sleek and cyllindrical, the design shape-shifts: when placed upright, Figure’s light is focuses downward, toward your work surface. Unscrew the weighted cap and attach it to the other side, and light soars upward to dramatize ambient or spacial moods. It comes in black, grey, and white, retailing for $225 at Gantri.

      The Figure will also be up for bids at Ballet BC's annual silent auction, which takes place this Thursday to Saturday (March 9 to 11) at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and online here during the run of its Program 3.

      The process has taken Willow & Stump in a slightly different direction than usual. "We take a lot of inspiration locally from nature and we tend to be playful," Ryan says, "and this is much darker and more dramatic for us."

      Forsythe, meanwhile, is soon scheduled for a residency at Ballet BC.