Talented artist Aoife Banville designed a bespoke chandelier inspired by Alex and Ani bracelets for the Body and Soul festival in Ireland last weekend. This magical art piece was displayed in an atmospheric, chill-out area within the walled gardens and woodlands of Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath; It was the perfect oasis to enjoy the musical delights. We caught up with Aoife after the festival to talk about her inspirational chandelier.
Q: The chandelier was a huge part of Alex and Ani’s presence at Body and Soul. Were you happy to be part of their positive message?
A: Yes definitely.
Q: Did you get to know the Alex and Ani brand throughout this process?
A: Yes I did. Initially I hadn’t heard of the brand, but thankfully over the duration of the project I got more familiar with it, from the idea stage, all through the process. Working with the bracelets, I got to understand the whole concept behind them and the good vibrations. Plus they’re so well made, sit really nicely on the arm, and are just a really nice product.
Q: What inspired you to go with a chandelier design for the installation?
A: Inspiration probably came about in two ways. It just so happened that the last few months I’d been working on chandeliers. I’d made a couple and I just like the idea of chandeliers, and hanging things. I wanted to explore it more as a medium, so when this project came about for Body and Soul, I thought it would suit. I wanted to create this lovely tiered hanging piece and not lose the nature of the bracelets; I didn’t want to deconstruct them or change them in any way because they’re naturally beautiful.
Q: Do you think Alex and Ani was a perfect fit for Body and Soul?
A: Yes, I think it was a good brand to get involved with because they don’t usually do that kind of stuff, like having a sponsor also create an installation. The whole concept just fit really well. Body and Soul is also about positive energy, collective consciousness, and creativity to enhance people’s positive energy.
Q: What do you think the chandelier added to the walled garden area?
A: Well the idea of the chandelier by nature is generally associated with drawing rooms in houses, so it was nice to use props like tables and flowers to create that outside. The idea was that under the tree, in a corner point, shady area, and by placing armchairs outside, that it would create an inside feel. It was a chill out spot to chat and hangout. I wanted to create a little space so you could relax and get away from the chaos of the festival.
Q: As an artist, did you enjoy working with the bracelets as a medium?
A: Well I remember my first thought was what am I going to do with these? But then I decided on the chandelier, realized that it would work, and started building. They’re a good quality and weight, and nicely made, so it meant they were a nice material to work with. I have worked with wire a lot in the past, so the bracelets were a more robust form. Then it just meant creating links with fine wire to join them all together to create the final piece.
Q: Did you choose the location for the chandelier within the festival grounds?
A: Yes I did. I just felt it suited the chandelier. I was conscious of the fact that it had to be somewhere hanging up high, and needed a suitable tree to complement it. It wouldn’t suit the woods as much, as it’s much darker and the energy is just different. This was a more chilled out energy. I needed to find a tree with balance, I wanted people to be able to see it, but obviously to keep it safe. There were other beautiful trees, but just not the right height or the right branches. It was totally fine in the end, this little spot suited it best.
Q: Was it an enjoyable project to be involved in? Would you consider future projects with the brand?
A: It was a great project, great to be commissioned to do the art piece with the bracelets, and I’d definitely consider working with the brand again.