x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Syracuse lamp

Object of desire The Syracuse lamp (which can sit on a table or the floor) is one of those pieces that seems to be distinctively of a place and time, and yet is timeless.

Syracuse lamp by Kafka Goes Pink
Syracuse lamp by Kafka Goes Pink

It was many years before my first trip to Morocco that I fell in love with the cut-metalwork lamps that are so emblematic of that country and - in myriad variations, as I have since discovered - the entire region from the Maghreb to India. The obvious appeal is in their delicate form, redolent of Orientalist exoticism and beautiful even when not lit, but they truly come into their own after dark, when the light inside them (candle or electric) throws beautiful shadow patterns in all directions.

Here they have become an ubiquitous marker of Arabian-themed everything and thus, sadly, something of a cliché. So for me it was a special moment to come across this piece from the Lebanese brand Kafka Goes Pink - by way of Mimi Shakhashir (treasure-hunters extraordinaire that she and her partners at O'de Rose are, constantly unearthing new talent). Fady Saliba, the creative brains behind the brand, harks back to age-old Levantine domestic craft traditions and gives them a clever twist to bring the designs bang up to date. He then hands them over to his select band of craftsmen - in this case, skilled metalworkers who cut and shape every piece by hand from fine sheets of copper.

The Syracuse lamp (which can sit on a table or the floor) is one of those pieces that seems to be distinctively of a place and time, and yet is timeless and can belong in any place, such is its beauty - and, especially, the beauty of the light and shadows it casts. Syracuse lamp by Kafka Goes Pink, Dh780 at O'de Rose, Villa 999, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim, Dubai; 04 348 7990