Custom lighting by glass artisan, Asaf Zakay. Specialising in high quality craftsmanship to create unique, sophisticated and elegant bespoke pieces for your home
Zakay’s contemporary geometric designs are renowned for their elegant illumination. With a home in Australia’s renowned Byron Bay and a love of geometry, Asaf Zakay’s hand made lighting reveal the spirit of illumination and the essence of nature. Whilst the majority of his work is found in private homes, he is increasingly approached by corporate clients who are looking for that special piece to light or provide a focal point for ambient spaces, retreat centres, day spas, foyers and even board rooms.
What inspired you to become an artist?
Growing up in a remote Village of Israel where my mother was an accountant and father a farmer, there was limited exposure to the huge world of the arts. My mother’s passion was painting and from a young age I was surrounded by artists and artworks. Becoming an artist was mostly about the desire to step out of ‘life’ and drop into a space of silence. Through the process of creating art forms like this I am forced to be present and become engrossed into a state of concentration similar to meditation. So I guess the process inspired me to be and keep being an artist.
Where did you study? How did you come into this line of work?
I completed a stained glass course in Israel, one of the designs was the Star of David. I decided to try to build it in three dimensions as an experiment. I would build it from all different materials. I loved using glass because of the reflective and light catching properties, from there it took on a life of its own. I was captivated by the way these objects played with light and reflections and seemed to emit a certain quality even when not exposed to any light or sunlight at all. In 2005 I came to Australia and I was introduced to the concept of sacred geometry. I showed my work in various art shows and it was actually the locals would drip fed me information about sacred geometry and over time I learned a great deal and started to expand my practice to include all sorts of shapes based more strictly on sacred geometry and the golden ratio. I kept creating more and more designs and found that one simple design would lead to other more complex shapes, as a process of pushing and pulling faces. I am still finding new designs and new experiments to try, even after 15 years of practice.
Can you tell us a bit about your process? How you imagine, draft and then craft your work?
We are using traditional stained glass techniques, started in England in 1895 by an artist named Louis Comfort Tiffany, who made the iconic Tiffany lamps. I have taken a traditional process and adapted it to create these objects that evolve into other objects. Sometimes I will try attaching a pyramid to a flat face or inverting aspects of the overall form. It’s a very dynamic process with many decision and variables. The end result is a very complete and powerful form but it came into reality in a very fluid and dynamic way.
What are you saying with your work?
The work is based on proportions that are expressed in every living being on earth. Every living being is based on the golden ratio, the fibonacci sequence. Art is so necessary in life, art inspired people. If you can have a pieces that you love that resonates with you, that makes you feel good and if I can provide that – well that is amazing for me. I love seeing people walk into the gallery and watching an expression of awe and delight takeover their faces. I love seeing people become obsessed with a particular shape. Piece of art and the human recognises each other, I love watching those moments happening in the gallery. I love receiving emails years after someone has left the gallery with their piece telling me that they are still so grateful that this peices shares their life.
Is there a shape, style or function you prefer to work towards? Do you accept custom commissions?
I enjoy creating all the pieces, in the process there is even more ideas coming through and it’s a matter of time before those new ideas become a reality. We accept custom commission and I really enjoy that challenge. Some people want brass finish, some people want specifically coloured glass, bespoke handmade blown glass, others love that I make a pieces especially for their loved ones and have them sign it personally. Universal language of light is love, I hope that’s what I allow people to feel for these pieces. I love custom commissions, it allows me to collaborate with the people I am designing for and together we created a pieces especially for them.
Any favourite pieces or commissions?
There are so many, I have some amazing customers that quickly become friends. I am lucky to have a support of so many. I guess the most recent commission was a piece for Julia Stone, she bought one stellated dodecahedron for her brothers 30 birthday. I created a piece especially for him and she came in again to sign it. We regularly play their music in the studio and gallery so one day when I looked up to see her standing there watching me creating pieces I was taken by surprise! Mercedes, our gallery director tells me I manifested Julia somehow by playing her music all the time.
Temple byron, a retreat centre here in the shire has bought over 40 + pieces in the last 5 years. The owner loves my work and I love that these healing objects are being homed in such a beautiful space.
What is your career highlight thus far?
I think the biggest career highlight is actually the life I have been able to carve out for myself while doing what I love. I am able to live this amazing lifestyle in the Byron Shire, I have farm animals, horses, so much breathtaking nature all around me. I surf everyday. I meet amazing people, this community is beautiful. I am always learning from my team. I meet other inspiring artists and I am helping to support and propel the artistic community of the region and promote other local artist by representing their work in my Gallery. I am very proud to have the work of Noal Hart, Avital Scheffer and Suvira McDonald in the gallery at moment. Such incredible artists. Perhaps a career highlight was buying my first Gallery and Studio in Byron Bay, it was a huge step for me and I had no idea that I would get anywhere. It was also a fantastic experience to move the gallery to Bangalow, Bangalow is a beautiful boutique town inland from Byron bay, a thriving community that is slightly less affected by commercial entities and backpackers.
What does the future hold?
I will just keep enjoying my creativity and this lifestyle. I hope to see the pieces filtering out into the world, keep seeing people resonating and enjoying what I am doing. I would love to see the gallery and community grow, to hold more art exhibitions and support local artist to feature in the gallery.
For more information
Visit the Zakay Glass Creations and Gallery website