Scottish born Artist/Designer, Paul Swan Topen has been designing and making for over 30 years. He studied for his BA in Art and Design at Central Saint Martins and later for an MA in Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art. He furthered his MA studies at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.
Topen’s ability to constantly stretch the limits of every medium along with his engineering and technical knowledge, have made him a rare commodity and kept him in demand from the most exclusive clientele. Throughout his career he has collaborated with major brands such as Hussein Chalayan, Issey Miyake, Zaha Hadid, Hermes, Swarovski, Harrods, Mercedes and B.M.W.
Always fascinated by the juxtapositions between light and matter, Topen’s sculptural lighting harbors an emotional, tactile and visual impact. His goal being to transform this ephemeral nature of light into something not merely tangible, but enduring. Each piece within his dynamic body of work reveals an intuitive relationship with the Scottish landscape that he roamed as a child. Inspired by the free, uplifting and ever-changing grace that can be found in the geometry of nature, Topen uses the terrains language of erosion, decay, growth processes and the passing of time, to capture a moment of discovery in each unique light that remind us to connect with the essence of life.
To create his light sculptures Topen combines traditional casting techniques, cutting-edge sculpting technology, and 21st century materials like carbon fiber, resins, and jesmonite to produce fluid sculptural pieces that transcend the limits of art and design. Each piece is formed in a carbon fiber skeleton and encased in a bronze resin skin. The bronze is polished, aged or patinated depending on the piece. This unique process achieves lightweight sculptures that can be suspended effortlessly. These significant works possess a timelessness that enables them to create poetic drama in any setting.