As creative director of James Glancy Design, Paul Dart creates Christmas-light installations in some of the most famous streets in the country. He trained as a theatre-set designer at the Central School of Art and Design in London then opened a gift shop in South Kensington, applying the same extravagant creativity that he brought to his set designs.
Paul Dart talks to us about the inaugural Christmas illuminations, which light up Piccadilly for the very first time.
“It seemed an obvious choice to use the statue of Anteros” said Paul Dart the visionary behind the spectator installations who took inspiration from “people’s collective imagination to make these modern icons”.
According to Dart, due to the nature and the look and feel of the street, the designs needed to be symmetrical and in keeping with its period quality “it needs to have a movement and visually explain a feeling of flying but be different from other designs. The side wings of light give grandeur and the decorations fill the street.
“I wanted to create a light scheme that really attracted people to explore the streets, I wanted to encourage people to stop looking at their phones and look up, the lights needed to tell a story and really have some ‘punch’, they should inform people and give the street a personality”.
On the technical detail behind the design ideas, Dart notes that “Christmas isn’t always about popping a fairy on top of a tree; it’s actually really technical – lots of nuts and bolts.”
When we asked him what is it that makes this central boulevard in the heart of London’s West End such an inspiration, he said, “I love Piccadilly because the shopping atmosphere is different, a huge cross section of retailers and hidden gems.”
Paul Dart is the lead designer at James Glancy, an ex-theatre designer who has since taken the drama off the stage and into the streets.