In Praise of Shadows

In Praise of Shadows at the V&A Museum

This is the show where technology meets art, with 21 light sources from all over the world …it’s a total triumph.” Evening Standard

I’n Praise of Shadows was one of the hits of the 2009 London Design Festival. Expertly curated by Jane Withers it cleverly used a closed and dark space where the background was the museum pieces and the illumination the new exhibits. Sometimes a smaller show can capture visitors’ imagination and this was it.” Ben Evans, Director, London Design Festival

EUNIC’s In Praise of Shadows exhibition showcased works by 20 European designers who imaginatively explore not only the potential of low energy lighting and alternative energy sources, but also the way we think about light and darkness.

The catalyst for ‘In Praise of Shadows’ was the EU directive to phase out low-efficiency light bulbs (from September 2009 through to 2012). It is rare that a design issue affects us all as directly as the switch to low energy lighting, and as well as stimulating experimental design the changeover is provoking controversy and confusion around environmental issues. And yet this should be an opportunity to do more than just change a light bulb, it’s a chance to explore new thinking about lighting and sustainability.

In Praise of Shadows was curated by Jane Withers and aimed to add spark to the debate by raising questions not only about how we use energy for lighting but also how we illuminate our lives – challenging the modern obsession with ‘brighter is better’ that has held sway for the last century.

In Praise of Shadows took place from 19th to 27th September 2009. Read more on Jane Withers‘s website and on our media page about the most magical experience of the London Design Festival 2009 edition.

The exhibition was organised by EUNIC London, coordinated by the French Institute with the support of the Cultural Institutes and the European Commission Representation in the UK.