All lit up: inside Lee Broom's latest installation
Why he rocks
Broom was a protégé of Vivienne Westwood and a fashion designer before turning his hand to the creation of lighting and furniture. And he’s a genius at crafting immersive, emotionally charged interior installations.
“I create contemporary pieces, but there is a sense of classicism about them as well, so they are unexpected but there’s a familiarity to them. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m just trying to present something in a very different way.”
“Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, and going to Buckingham Palace and meeting the Queen. It was incredible. I think we’ve been successful partly because we think internationally. It’s one of the reasons we’re in Australia right now. I first came here in 2012 and the minute I went back to the UK, Australia became our third-biggest market. We put effort into meeting the people who are interested in our work.”
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Lee Broom with an installation from his Park Life Exhibition in Sydney, Australia.
Broom chose a Sydney car park as the location of his largest installation to date – an underground maze of magical lighting inspired by the pleasure gardens of 18th-century London and Paris. “I live in Vauxhall, London, which housed the pleasure garden of that period. Its legacy and notoriety are very well known – it was where you saw the latest in fashion, music and art but it was also really debauched. I’m interested in the art history of that era. It has a lot of synergy with today – it was all about having your portrait painted, presenting your best self, and mixing with your beautiful friends in your best clothes in this amazing scenery. It’s similar to what we have now with social media. So when Space Furniture talked about doing an installation, I was like, great, I can now live out this fantasy.”
Next big thing
After launching his Observatory lighting collection in Milan last year, Broom is now rereleasing star pieces like the Eclipse light in new finishes such as polished gold. He’s also poised to debut a new range. “We’re already working on Milan 2020 and we’ve started the work for 2021. Later this year we’re launching in Japan, and have some new products out in September. I can’t tell you about it yet but it’s not lighting. It’s very accessible and lifestyle orientated, and very cool.”