Moondust – a very special plastic – is the artist’s starting point. Approximately one hundred works will be on view in the exhibition at the Goldsmiths’ House; the partial focus will lie on the mysterious-sounding plastic, complemented by antique coral, pearls, or precious stones. The jewelry items are evidence of the artist’s inexhaustible creativity, as Silvia Weidenbach takes her inspiration from digital visual worlds. Hanau will provide the stage for Weidenbach’s “Visual Feast”, a kind of 20th-century “cabinet of curiosities”, in which a major role is played by interaction with new technologies. Using a 3-D printer and employing virtual reality, the artist takes a poised and confident approach; as a trained goldsmith and silversmith, however, she is also fascinated by the merger of old materials with new technologies. Using a kind of digital toolbox, new jewelry worlds are created that are already components of many artists’ kits in Asia but are still nascent here in Germany. Repeatedly, the jewelry item itself is not the City Goldsmith’s sole concern, but equally important to her is portrayal of the creative process; she takes the exhibition’s visitors along with her on a journey into the virtual world. During her stay as City Goldsmith in Hanau in summer 2019 Weidenbach took inspiration from the history of the goldsmiths’ city, in which globally renowned gem jewelry and magnificent gold caddies were once created. In her workshop with the students from the Staatliche Zeichenakademie she familiarized the apprentices of various subjects with a wide array of materials and digital work processes, inducting them into a new world of work in line with their knowledge and abilities. In the exhibition this workshop’s output will be on view as teamwork.
Silvia Weidenbach, born in Annweiler am Trifels in 1980, has made herself a name as an internationally acclaimed artist in the United Kingdom in particular. She initially completed an silversmith’s apprenticeship at the Schule für Glas- und Schmuckgestaltung in Kaufbeuren-Neugablonz, studied at the Universität für Kunst und Design Burg Giebichenstein in Halle, and subsequently went to London, in order to complete her Master’s degree there at the renowned Royal College of Art.
Silvia Weidenbach attained the position of “Artist in Residence” at Villa Bengel in Idar-Oberstein as early as in 2011; she received the opportunity to participate in a Microsoft project in Cambridge in 2015. In 2017/2018 Silvia Weidenbach was the first “Artist in Residence” of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, where a remarkable exhibition, the “Visual Feast” was on view. Silvia Weidenbach has been the recipient of numerous awards to date. Back in 2007 she received the RRH Award from C. Hafner in Pforzheim, and the company supports the artist during her research projects to this day. Moreover, she was the declared winner of the Jerwood Makers Open Award London (2012) and the Technological Innovation Award, London (2016). Today she teaches at the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow and at the Royal College of Art in London.
Every two years since 2004, the City of Hanau has been appointing a City Goldsmith, who works for a number of weeks at the Staatliche Zeichenakademie in Hanau and holds a workshop for the students there. The nomination as City Goldsmith is also associated with an exhibition at the German Goldsmiths’ House Hanau. The City Goldsmith nomination is a partnership project between the City of Hanau, the Gesellschaft für Goldschmiedekunst, and the Staatliche Zeichenakademie Hanau.
You will find further information about Silvia Weidenbach on her homepage www.silviaweidenbach.com.