DESIGNSTART  by REDISEGN Association,

PIVA  04934430754, 2018

Lecce Via Frà Nicolò de Lequile n3

Fratelli Parisi Luminarie

Taurisano - Lecce

"Luminaria" derives from "lumino in aria" (lights on air): it represents the devotion of a community towards a saint and cult   

Torquato Parisi

History:   The Parisi company was born from the expert hands of Sabino Parisi, a Salentine artisan from 1900. In that historical period the luminarie (traditional Italian lighting installations) were a cluster of oil lamps, skilfully combined and installed, that used to adorn the historic centers of Salento and Puglia in the various moments of public aggregation within squares, palaces and streets, depicting monuments, portals, arches of different genres and styles. From the first structures, the current "galleries" and "orchestra houses", new ones have been created, called "espalier", "pediment", "rosone" and other pieces used to fill in empty spaces, such as the "bells," stars ", " candlestick ".

Distinguishing features:  The luminarie artists are designers, carpenters, electricians. They do everything: from the design of the forms to the construction of the wooden frames, from the installation of light bulbs of different intensities and power, to the assembly and disassembly of those. It is all color and line, carefully dosed with chromatic mastery and stylistic elegance, in an explosion of light.

Current production: Over more than a century the illuminations had been used for illuminations during religious celebrations, especially at Christmas and for patron celebrations, and during festivals and large public inaugurations. After four generations, the descendants of Sabino Parisi are still looking for the perfect combination of lights, colors and shapes also in the design of luminous furnishings that are real objects of art. A perfection difficult to reach, of course, since the light and the luminarie are constantly moving, like the waves and like today's company led by the Parisi brothers, two innovative artisans.

Torquato, recently the concept of "luminaria" has changed and evolved: what is the collocation of this that you prefer?

"Luminaria" derives from "lumino in aria" (lights on air): it represents the devotion of a community towards a saint and cult. In the traditional vision, therefore, the luminaria is something public that can adorn and "dress up" common spaces. In recent times this vision has evolved and we have diversified our production, replicating the luminaria on a small scale, creating iconic objects to be placed in private spaces. I particularly appreciate this location of the “luminaria”too, possible thanks to the LED technology: a lamp, a mirror, illuminating and recognizable furnishing elements that are symbols of a history, of a tradition and that spontaneously refer to Puglia and the moments of celebration experienced in these places.


Can you tell us about a memory of yours linked to “luminaria”?
In the past we were a poorer and anything related to ornament was considered superfluous, a luxury. In moments of celebration the houses were "unlit", not shimmering like now. The lights, let's think about the Christmas period, for example, were concentrated in the squares. All used to contribute to the payment of the celebrations and the illuminations: I remember that there were those who contributed with a part of their harvest of olives or grapes, with wine, flour, which would then be sold and from that income a small sum derived and it was donated to the committee. Everyone contributed as much as they could and with what they could. And I have well impressed in the memory the gratitude of the people towards the artisans of the illuminations that embellished the towns. The sense of community and the religious cult were very strong, so much that holy days were scheduled mostly in the summer, especially in August, despite the day of the celebration of a saint, in order to wait for the fellow citizens "expats" for work to come back home.

Lightning installations and design

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