Stuart Haygarth’s chandeliers find a surprising source of beauty in discarded trinkets and trash. “I don’t like creating things solely to look good,” the British designer says. “There should be a concept or story behind them.” Haygarth’s interest in garbage and narrative began during his 15 years working as a photographer and illustrator. “It’s object-based work, so I was always collecting interesting artifacts and backstories,” he says.
The day after London’s millennium celebration, Haygarth took a walk through town and was struck by the colorful sea of used party poppers and champagne bottles decorating the streets. He collected thousands of the popper shells, which sat in his studio untouched until 2004, when he was inspired to create the Millennium chandelier by hanging the pieces on fishing line around an incandescent bulb. Haygarth’s next piece, named Tides, was made in the same way using translucent plastic items discovered on the beach. “They make you wonder where each object came from,” he says. “Perhaps someone threw a party, or a child buried their plastic toy in the sand.”