Solo Exhibition – Illuminating Silver

Aug 2, 2023 | Exhibitions & Events, New Work

Solo exhibition at Craft in the Bay, Cardiff
9 September to 29 October 2023

Rauni Higson announces her first solo exhibition at Craft in the Bay, the Gallery of the Makers’ Guild in Wales, in Cardiff in September 2023. 

Supported by Arts Council Wales, the exhibition, entitled ‘Illuminating Silver’ will be an insightful glimpse into the process and practice of one of the UK’s leading sculptural silversmiths, Qest scholar and multi-award winning craftswoman. The exhibition will take visitors through the journey of a silversmith, told using key commissions to illustrate the design process. Learn about the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral  Processional Cross commission from a beautiful animated short film, and both virtual and augmented reality experiences.

While the public perception of silver is often rooted in antiques and history, this show will celebrate the relevance and value of a niche endangered skill, its artistry and  contribution to the current cultural landscape. 

Presented in ‘chapters’, the exhibition will feature physical objects, virtual and augmented reality, documentary material, creative and artistic expression and provide a rich picture of the unseen material and processes that form the development of a piece of artwork, and make up a sustainable career. 

The ‘chapters’ include:

Illuminating Commissioning
An exploration of commissioning through specific projects including a contemporary sport trophy for women’s rowing. The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Processional Cross commission will be presented as a photorealistic 3D animation, on screen, with a VR headset and augmented reality, to allow the audience to explore a publicly used but sacred and inaccessible object up close, including the invisible engineering and construction (collaboration with Stephen Heaton Photography)

The Power of Practice
This will explore high-level skills and mastery, Passing on Skills (peer to peer training, the John Cussell Memorial fund project, creating high level professional skills training to address the increasing skills gap and transfer skills); Continuous Professional Development via support from bodies including the Arts Council of Wales and QEST.

The Strength of Community
The strength of a network of interdependent artist practitioners supporting each other’s small businesses to sustain  a vibrant creative economy,.

and most importantly…

Showcasing a body of new artwork
As yet unseen, from intimate scale to wall pieces.

“Silver is a magical material that responds to light like nothing else, except perhaps the moon. It has entranced humans forever, and its extraordinary malleability means that almost any form that can be imagined can be realised, with enough time, skill, and patience. I fell in love with silver when I first used it over thirty years ago, and I know I’ll never tire of it as a material to create with. I seek to represent the feel of the landscape and my experience of it, my connection to it, it’s my love letter to Snowdonia.”
Rauni Higson

Rauni Higson is one of Britain’s leading silversmiths. Originally trained in Finland, she established her studio in 1997 in the dramatic landscape of Snowdonia, a rich backdrop of mountainous crags and rugged coastline that inspire her work. Rauni specialises in hammer-formed silver that people can use to celebrate and commemorate – everlasting treasures that will become the heirlooms of the future. Contemporary sculptural designs are created using traditional techniques, connecting and responding to the natural world and clients’ significant themes.

Commissions include six pieces in the Goldsmiths’ Company Collection, National Museum of Wales, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers, and Henley Royal Regatta.
Rauni works to commission on landmark projects, creates speculative artworks, makes silverware to order or buy and jewellery.

Established in 1984, the Makers Guild curates, commissions and sells unique contemporary objects that are rooted in craftsmanship. Every purchase from our makers helps us to further our charity work, through our craft education projects. As a Charity our aim is to inspire, support and celebrate.

The Guild inspires engagement and learning about contemporary craft, by providing opportunities for audiences and artists to experience contemporary applied art and craft in Wales. Supporting Welsh craft makers: the Guild is a membership organisation of Welsh craft-makers who all share in the Guilds strong co-operative ethos. Celebrating craft excellence: championing high quality hand-made crafts and applied art in Wales both of its members work and of invited National and International Artists and Makers.

Arts Council Wales