What Colour is Metal?

What Colour is Metal?

Launching at State Apartments, Dublin Castle

October 2021 - February 2022
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What Colour is Metal?
Launching at State Apartments, Dublin Castle October 2021 - February 2022

Jane Adam | Peter Bauhuis | Edmond Byrne | Stuart Cairns | Alison Counsell | Rebecca  de Quin | Christine Graf | Koji Hatakeyama | Nicola Heidemann | Kaori Juzu | Toru Kaneko | Ruth Laird | Jose Marin | Cecilia Moore | John Moore | Cara  Murphy | Thanh-Truc  Nguyen | Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill | Michael Rowe | Ryuhei Sako | Simone  ten Hompel | Adi Toch | Jessica  Turrell | Roxanne Simone | Max Warren 

Curated by Sara Roberts and Coilin O’Dubhghaill.

This exhibition is a consideration of the relationship between metal and colour in contemporary silversmithing and jewellery, with a mapping of relationships and practice in key centres internationally. It examines approaches ranging from colour achieved using the inherent properties of metal to react with other chemicals or heat (or a combination); the reveal of colour as a property of the metal itself; infusing the surface of aluminium with pure colour or image; the use of enamel glazes with varying degrees of transparency and opacity - but always with a fundamentally strong relationship with the surface qualities of the metal.

Through seminal works by key international practitioners, it places artist practice in a broader context, tracing international information exchanges. It considers routes to support learning patination at all levels: from schools to professional studios; from undergraduates to specialists in conservation. what colour is metal? makes vivid the connections between innovative studio practice and historic techniques, and furthermore looks to the future and profiles potential adaptations for industry. It examines notions of value, and the changes in assay regulations which have allowed a freer approach to combining precious and base metals within a single work. The possibilities for achieving colour modulations and sometimes startling colour were seemingly endless. The democratisation of the information occurred at a time when notions of precious were being re-examined, and led to a surge in the application of colour; on jewellery and vessels, but more widely in architectural practice, in mid-scale applications such as furniture and interior surfaces.  It has been described by Martina Margetts as “a paradigm of the transformation of the aesthetics and creative possibilities in the last quarter of the twentieth century.”

Education & Outreach

Meet The Makers Talks Series Thursday 22 April 2021 at 7.00 pm

To accompany our What Colour is Metal exhibition launch we invite you to join us for a series of Meet the Maker online talks, delivered in partnership by National College of Art & Design and the National Design & Craft Gallery. Each speaker will discuss their work with a focus on the relationship between colour, materials and process.

The talks will be facilitated by exhbition curators Sara Roberts and Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill.


Talks Series 1


Meet the Makers: Session One
Thursday 22nd April, 7pm
With John Moore + Stuart Cairns


Meet the Makers: Session Two
Thursday 29th April, 7pm
With Jessica Turrell + Rebecca de Quin


Meet the Makers: Session Three
Thursday 6th May, 7pm
With Peter Bauhuis + Roxanne Simone


Talks Series 2


Meet the Makers: Session One
Thursday 21st October, 6pm
With Adi Toch, Redmond Byrne + Ruth Laird


Meet the Makers: Session Two
Thursday 4th November, 6pm
With Nicola Heidemann + Cara Murphy


Meet the Makers: Session Three
Thursday 18 November 6pm
With Jane Adam + Jose Marin


To select your preferred date or mulitple dates: Book Here

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