imageLighting Designer

Luiz Pampolha


Born in Sydney and raised in Rio de Janeiro, I have been creating lighting design for over twenty years. Since graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), I have been designing for Australia’s major performing arts companies such as Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre Company, Sydney Opera House, Pinchgut Opera Company, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, and etc.

Furthermore, I have designed for international arts festivals in Edinburgh, Wellington, Belfast, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, and Rio de Janeiro. My lighting design credits include operas, musicals, theatre, ballet, exhibitions, dance, art installations, and architectural projects. My work has been described as visually innovative, highly imaginative and insightful, having received nominations for best lighting design in 2006 and 2007 at the Sydney Critics Awards, and in 2010 at the Green Room Awards.

In 2010 I undertook a postgraduate course, Master of Design Science in Illumination Design at the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning, at the University of Sydney, becoming a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand (IES). During this period I could expand my knowledge on architectural lighting design as well as further my understanding on photometric and colorimetric concepts and mensuration, interior and exterior lighting, vision and visual perception, visual fields and human factors, environmental and sustainable lighting strategies.

My lighting design method has been influenced by principles of painting styles such as Impressionism, Expressionism, and Surrealism. Impressionism made me realize how artists looked carefully as to how light is reflected or absorbed, the awareness that human beings do not see objects, but instead see light itself, and how colours are registered in our mind. Expressionism gave me an insight on the use of saturated colours and exaggerated shapes for the purpose of expressing emotion, and to evoke feeling. In Surrealism I could observe the challenge to portrait the subconscious mind and the effort to liberate imagination, it has been a source of inspiration when creating ‘dream like’ ambience with lights.

Lighting design has been my life and my passion. It is a peculiar craft that makes us endeavour to, instead of keeping our eyes wide shut; rather, keep the eye seeing all. Through lighting design I have been able to create memorable moments depicted in brightness or darkness, and at times even achromatic grey, but above all, in distinguished and unique colourfulness.

Let there be Light!

Luiz Pampolha∴

Craft Member:

  • A&ASR Australia

This biography is not for publication. Please contact to request an up-to-date biography.