2009 | 09 | ‘Quartz’ by Richard Weston
9th October – 29th January 2010
‘Quartz’ features pictures and interior design products by Richard Weston. Ranging from fabrics to lamps, glass to ceramics, most of the exhibits use high resolution digital scans captured from the mysterious ‘inclusions’ found in natural quartz crystals, while the lamps use the crystals themselves to re-invent the candle for the 21st century. Many of the images evoke mysterious underwater or extraterrestrial worlds invisible to the naked eye and exemplify Weston’s belief that finding fresh ways to ‘return to nature’ is a vital part of a cultural, as opposed to narrowly technical, approach to sustainable design.
This is the latest in a series of exhibitions featuring images and products made with high-resolution digital scans of minerals and rocks. It will be accompanied by a limited edition artist’s book and Formations, originally produced to accompany an exhibition at the National Museum of Wales.
Richard is a renowned architect and author as well as Professor of Architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. As part of the FutureWorld exhibition, he designed and built Radiant House, which was conceived as an inhabitable walled garden with a plywood roof floating on structural glass. He has also designed a wonderfully original Triangular House among other highly creative designs, and is now working on lamps and furniture. His work has been exhibited on several occasions in the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts. Richard’s books include Modernism, winner of the International Book Award of the American Institute of Architects, and what has been described as possibly the finest monograph ever produced about an architect, on the work of Jørn Utzon, architect of Sydney Opera House.
His passion for mineral images began when he bought an ammonite that cost more than his scanner: the results were dreadful – and the scanner now used cost rather more than many ammonites – but the results are wonderful. They often demand a great deal of time to produce: preparing the minerals, taking scan after scan, and then digitally removing blemishes left by polishing powder and dust. Only a tiny minority have made it into this online collection. Without his passion, Richard could not possibly have amassed such a large collection of world class images – and you wouldn’t be reading this today.