Art Donovan’s wonderful Siddhartha Lamp was one of the most captivating and inspiring steampunk images I came across in 2007. This was Art Donovan’s first steampunk work and was featured in the Steampunk Exhibition at the University of Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science in 2009.
The piece as a whole was engaging and it has become one of those “must have” pieces for my home. Someday. Go Fund Me, anyone? The overall form is striking with the decorative wood near the top, exposed wire cabling, and repeated vertical lines of support rods and lights.
Starting at the top, the canopy is reminiscent of many older ceiling lights and right away shows a twist in usage by leading down to a finial instead of the rest of the light itself. Instead, two branching support arms lead from the canopy to the first light, which stands on the decorative wood work, which Art compares to the twirling mustache of a steampunk villain, and the light itself is paired two finials resembling focusing nodes.
The next section is the long repeating vertical lines of three lights and support rods, crossed by three horizontal glass blocks. It is at once both industrial in exposed function but also elegant in textural and material appearance. Shining glass belies fragility in favor of substance especially when offset with polished metals. The heavy duty design of the bulb connectors indicates serious power. Not just some run of the mill table lamp, this section of the lamp screams no-nonsense but yet artistic dependable functionality, and if this were a cartoon, would serve as a warning that people will see your skeleton glow if you got too close.
The lamp terminates in a clock face and an inverted dome light. Tempus Fugit at all hours, and a final light to guide our way.
Art has created a number of stunning lamps which I also love, but it is the Siddhartha Lamp which most captures my interest and imagination.