PET Lamp Project
PET Lamp – a project that combines the re-usability of plastic bottles with traditional weaving techniques of communities all over the world. The idea was to highlight our overuse of plastic bottles and to combat the substantial environmental effects it has on our planet whilst creating unique handmade lampshades.
Conceived in 2011 by designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón, it was influenced by the design of a bamboo stirrer used in Japanese bamboo tea ceremonies as it was made from a single material and made in one piece. It became the starting point and inspiration of how Catalán de Ocón would be able to reuse the plastic bottles. This project initially began in Colombia and has made its way to Chile, Ethiopia, Japan and now Australia. It is currently produced and distributed by the edition brand of his studio, ACdO.
As part of a 6-week project commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Catalán de Ocón was put in touch with the remote community of Ramingining. Catalán de Ocón collaborated with eight Indigenous weavers in Arnhem Land, tasking them with transforming the humble (and wasteful) plastic bottle into a work of work of art that also highlights the traditional textile methods of weaving. The result? Two unique woven ceiling lamps that captures and preserves Aboriginal traditions but one of the lamps had nine circular lampshades. Why was this? One of the weavers, Mary, had created two explaining that as a twin sister of David Gulpilil (the most famous Aboriginal actor), she had a dual vision of the world and all her creations have a twin piece.
“At this very moment, the nature of this family bond turns into a strong reason to connect the two pieces through some sort of umbilical cord. Our idea of this kind of link takes the form of a tightly woven sort of plait. We thought of adding some extra pandanus fibres onto this which allowed us to merge every individual piece together. The dual piece obtained by interweaving the fringes is the clear illustration of Mary’s particular reality and at the same time, of the strong nature of Aboriginal kinship.”