Christopher Moulder, Artist & Designer

I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and spent my childhood roaming the beaches and sand dunes of Fernandina Beach.  There is always movement there:  sand, water, wind, clouds and violent electrical storms that batter the beach house (that still stands) built by my great-grandfather in 1918.  

As a child I wondered at the thunder and lightening (as I dared it to strike closer and brighter), and at the animals and artifacts I discovered in this dynamic coastal environment.  As an adult this wonder (along with my latent desire to dance) is translated into a need to create a sense of movement, fire and light in my work.  

I often begin with nothing more than a gesture, an emotion, a presence I feel in my solar plexus that I immediately record in my sketchbook.  Then, I strike out in search of materials and techniques that might allow me to approach this.   

Working with electricity and heat has necessitated the exploration of many new materials in order to meet the engineering and safety demands required to execute a light concept.  This is where I have the most fun, a new material means experimentation - I get to bend it, break it, heat it, burn, freeze, dissolve, sometimes I even drive over the material.  Finally I test it for interesting effects with different light sources.  Light is how I create movement.  I don’t see sculpture as static.  In fact, without light it’s not seen it at all.

The trial and error that occurs during the experimentation phase never fails to reveal unintended and unexpected design.  Indeed, like people under stress, when a material is pushed to its limit – its true nature is often revealed.  Finally, when I believe I can anticipate a material in my design process, I choose it (or not).

Going back to my sketchbook, the dance between the initial vision for the piece and the materials I have chosen to express this piece begins.  More often than not, the process of engineering and exploiting the idiosyncrasies of the materials informs the original design and a wonderful transparency and resonance is established in the dance that becomes evident in the final piece.  

For the past 25 years my art and design work has allowed me to collaborate with designers, developers, engineers, architects, and private collectors to provide residential, commercial and public spaces, original and custom lighting pieces.  Every new client and environment provides the opportunity to address different challenges.  This always results in different designs with different personalities and different materials. 

It is, above all, my goal to engage the audience of every piece I discover.  I see art, design and lighting as an opportunity to be playful, and to create something beautiful both aesthetically and functionally.