By Rajesh Gogna
SIDE x SIDE: EDGE > EDGE opened at Häme Castle in Hämeenlinna attracting vast publicity within Finland which attracted 90% more visitors than usual to see this contemporary silverware showcase.
The Castle set the scene for the wonderful work on display, complimented by beautiful historical architecture and its lakes. The private view evening attracted some of Finland’s elite, and many sponsors, all of whom made the event possible.
The Chairman, Mary Ann Simmons, formally thanked all contributors during the speeches at the opening ceremony with special thanks to Kultakeskus Oy who generously contributed 1kg of silver to all the participating makers, and The Goldsmiths’ Company, who are always on hand to promote silver. Speeches were complimented by a traditional Finnish orchestra and raspberry punch.
Many of our members were on hand to celebrate the opening along with Anne Parikka, Director of Häme Castle. Members from Contemporary British Silversmiths, the Finnish Silversmiths Association and the Lahti Design Institute were enthusiastically complimented by visitors on the broad range and high quality of works on display which were all created under one theme.
The event featured the Silver Trust’s Downing Street Collection laid out on a table as it would be at state occasions and Christopher English, Secretary of the Trust spoke to many visitors about the unique pieces on display. Also showcased were F1 trophies made by Richard Fox and generously loaned to the castle by their owners.
Contemporary British Silversmiths Showcase
Lahti Design Institute & Finnish Silversmiths Association Showcase
When the opening event ended, a formal dinner in the castle vault began, organised by Anne Parikka. A successful start to the exhibition was acknowledged and celebrated by all partnering organisations. One of our members, Rauni Higson who was born in Finland, gave a personal speech in Finnish which was greatly appreciated by all.
The next day Rauni presented a talk in Finnish at the castle about her practice. In her talk she detailed her time as a student at the Lahti Design Institute in Finland and her HE studies in the UK which formed the foundation of her successful career as a silversmith.
After the opening I took the opportunity to visit Lahti University of Applied Sciences Institute of Design. Situated approx 50 minutes north of Helsinki the institute boasts a comprehensive range of facilities for the aspiring metalworker.
I made a brief but very informative visit to Lahti, and was given a tour by Mr. Pekka Koponen, a principal lecturer on the course and also one of founders of the Finnish Silversmiths Association.
The exhibition finished in December and was put on display at Kultakeskus. There it has generated a lot of interest and sales and we’re grateful to Kultakeskus for the opportunity to exhibit in their showrooms.
We are delighted to announce that SIDE x SIDE – Edge > Edge has a confirmed UK venue at The Royal Cornwall Museum, Treffry Gallery, opening 18 September – 6 Nov 2010. Michael Galsworthy, Prime Warden of The Goldsmiths’ Company, will open the exhibition at the Private View this autumn.
We hope you will be able to take the opportunity to enjoy this silver exhibition and look forward to seeing you there.
Review written by Rajesh Gogna.
With thanks to Staffordshire University for funding his educational trip to Lahti, Finland