Xavier Clarisse, Durban based artist and designer, was born in Lyon, France and spent his young life cultivating a passion for design. He attended ‘L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts’ specialising in sculpture and product design and has worked in France, the UK and now South Africa.
Living in South Africa Xavier is inspired by his local surroundings - both nature and the local aesthetic. The abundant subtropical vegetation of his hometown Durban is reflected in many of his designs where leaf motifs cast atmospheric light.
As a maker, he finds inspiration in the process of exploring materials and likes to experiment with these in both established ways and those of his own developing. Running through Xavier's work is a theme of the theatricality of the object itself, of interactivity, movement and playfulness.
Xavier's current area of design focus is lighting and he has a range of sculptural light designs most notably the Delicious Light and the Blade Light.
He has always been interested in the world of fashion and has recently translated his techniques of working leather into wearable design. His first range of accessories titled ‘Linear' takes the form of bold, sculptural pieces crafted from quality veg tanned leather, embossed with contours inspired by the lines of Op art and finished with brass closures.
Xavier’s artwork is represented in the Durban Art Gallery collection and the sculptures are on permanent view at the Moses Mabhida Stadium public art collection. His interactive, mechanical sculpture ’King Protea’ can be found in the Presidential suite.
His 'Cabinet of Curiosities' was commissioned by the Art and Global Health Centre, UCLA for an international travelling exhibition and is now in the permanent collection of the University of Witwatersrand Adler Museum.
He is also featured in corporate collections such as Nando’s.
Xavier has contributed to the Southern Guild’s ‘Extra Ordinary', ‘Colour Field’ and 10th Anniversary ‘SGX’ exhibitions.
The Southern Guild selected his piece, ‘Trapeze Blue’, to be part of their collection at the exclusive Salon Art + Design in New York in November 2018.