Virtual Insanity exhibit hits Goldsmiths’ Centre

Space showcases new technologies in jewellery making.

A new exhibition at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London is set to delve into the use of new technologies in jewellery design and the benefits and advancements they can offer designers.

The Virtual Insanity – Virtual Expression show opens tomorrow and has been labelled "a thought-provoking exhibition". It will feature new designs from the Royal College of Art’s current goldsmithing, silversmithing, metalwork and jewellery students.

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Designers showcasing their work include Rui Bao, Noemie Doge, Jacob Erixson, Timothy Gasbarro, Mahtab Hanna, Yun-Chi Hsu, Maryam Mottaghi, Youjin Nam, Kali Ratcliffe, Chong Shi, Sofia Winberg and Han Xu.

The exhibition promises visitors an insight into how modern technologies are becoming integral to modern jewellery and precious metal design. The exhibit is the fruit of a workshop run by designer-maker Silvia Weidenbach, who encouraged students to experiment with emerging technologies as a way to shape and create their ideas of jewellery.

Weidenbach uses robotic haptic arms and 3D printing in her own making and has created the exhibition to show how precious designs can be born from "expression in the virtual realm".

The Goldsmiths’ Centre will offer visitors a chance to meet the RCA students on March 15 at an afternoon event called Behind the Curtain, where the students will talk about the challenges of mixing traditional manufacturing and crafts with cutting-edge technology. Visitors will also be given a chance to try out tools such as the haptic arm during the event.

Speakers will include Birgit Marie Schmidt, co-founder of jewellery brand Smith/Grey, and Alastair Hamer, senior rapid prototyping technician at Rapidform.

Silvia Weidenbach said of the showcase: “Using new technology has helped these students find a whole new form of expression, but modern craftsmanship is broader than that. It is about being able to combine and understand tradition and modern craft, and to experiment with the tension that lies between these two fields.

“Showing their work in a vibrant new centre of excellence like the Goldsmiths’ Centre is a great opportunity for the students; not only will they be sharing their work and ideas in the heart of the jewellery community, but also with the wider creative community living and thriving in Clerkenwell."

The Virtual Insanity – Virtual Expression opens tomorrow, February 26 and will run until April 4 at the Goldsmiths’ Centre.



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