Oliver Wilcox from Lost Profile


Words: Manuela Millan
Photos: CARMEN ZAMMIT
 

Oliver Wilcox founded Lost Profile to bring together his varied skills and works in art production, contemporary design and antique collection. Meanwhile in Melbourne visited his Fitzroy studio to learn the story behind how Lost Profile came to be, and a little bit more about Oliver.

 

Lost Profile launched in 2017 from an idea which Oliver had been ruminating on for several years. Oliver has been a practicing artist for many years and didn’t originally set out to become a lighting designer. However while working with renowned Melbourne designer Christopher Boots about five years ago he found himself drawn towards lighting and product development.

Working from my studio I started playing with lighting components, and designing for myself, and the lighting kind of took over my art practice. The designs I was producing were getting more and more marketable and people began saying ‘you really need to put these to market.

In addition to pure art and lighting design, Oliver is also an accomplished collector of objects and antiques, the best of which are displayed at the Lost Profile studio.

I’ve always really enjoyed collecting objects. When I met my partner he could tell that I had an eye for sourcing and collecting, and he really encouraged me to get more serious about it. We go out to markets and antique fairs and we’ve had a few trips to the States and Europe sourcing objects. Our apartment is full of objects and the studio is also starting fill up.

Oliver describes his creative process as slow and considered, and he takes up to year to go from idea to finished product.

I think about the design for a long time, even to the point of lying awake at night. My process is very manual, I cut out and assemble cardboard models to get the scale and proportions right, and I play around with the materials themselves, it’s very much analogue. I get the design to a point with drawings and models and then I work with a technical designer in terms of prototyping. I also manage the suppliers and do the assembly, so it’s a long process.

 

MM: Which designers have inspired your work?

OW: I have to mention Vincenzo de Cotiis, he’s number one. Oliver Gustav in Copenhagen, and Rick Owens are really inspiring designers. Rick Owen’s furniture and lighting are so good. I like his clothes and his shoes as well. He does everything, I think he’s awesome. They’re probably my top three favourites.

MM: How important is Social Media to Lost Profile?

OW: t’s really important at this stage. I’ve yet to invest in any advertising, so my main contact with the design public is through Instagram and Facebook.

MM: What are you listening to at the moment?

OW: My favourite album at the moment is a contemporary soul album by Smino called BLKSWN.

MM: Where do you get your coffee?

OW: Lots of places, but my favourite cafe is called Persillade in East Melbourne. The food, coffee and service are just amazing, and they’re so understated as a café. It’s my favourite place to start a Sunday.

OW: I also love Grub Food Van on Moor Street in Fitzroy. It’s like a greenhouse so you sort of eat amongst all these veggies and plants, it’s really lush.

MM: What are your plans for the future?

OW: I have big plans for Lost Profile. I want to turn this into a powerful creative hub. I’d like to spread out into designing and trading furniture and homewares. I would like to eventually have a production and gallery space here in Fitzroy.

MM: Is your studio open to the public?

OW: Absolutely, by appointment only though. All of our lighting designs are on display, and so are a lot of collected objects and antiques for sale. We are aiming to be open regular hours going into 2018.

I’ve always really enjoyed collecting objects....
Our apartment is full of objects and the studio is also starting fill up.
— Oliver Wilcox