Mark Raynes Roberts is an award winning goldsmith born in Sutton Coldfield, England, in 1961. He trained at the Birmingham City University, Institute of Art and Design, graduating with honours, before immigrating to Toronto, Canada, in 1982. Over the past 35 years he has built an international reputation, with major commissions being presented to royalty, heads of state, sports superstars and to many distinguished leaders from their chosen fields. Recent solo exhibitions have been held in Mayfair, London, England, (in both 2013 and 2014) SoHo, New York City, U.S.A. (2014) and in 2015, was the first crystal artist ever to be invited by the prestigious Gardiner Museum, in Toronto, to hold a solo exhibition of his crystal art. Recipients of his work include such luminaries as Dr. Nelson Mandela, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Muhammad Ali and HRH Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, and his art pieces reside in many corporate and private art collections around the world. In 2008, his 53ft engraved glass wall installation “A View To Our Heritage,” located at the Health Sciences Library, at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, was designated a cultural property of Canada, and his own personal art sculpture focuses on issues related to human transcendence and the issues that challenge humanity including equality, spirituality, diversity, the environment, and the capacity to have hope in the face of adversity.
“Crystal continues to intrigue me. It’s a man-made material – one that has changed the world technologically. But for me as an artist, it is a canvas that provides limitless properties for narrative landscapes, both spiritual and natural, real and surreal. It can reflect and distort, and the signature techniques of ancient engraving which I use – a combination of diamond-wheel and stipple – convey a message that is at once ethereal and complex. My work has evolved naturally in style over the years as I have constantly tried to push boundaries to find new ways of interpretation. The highly detailed engravings I created in my early career provided valuable experience both in technique and the understanding of materials. The refractive qualities of crystal, the perfect multi-faceted canvas for what I now refer to as dreamscapes of our collective conscience. This evolution in my engraving style has been informed from traveling the world and viewing the amazing beauty of nature in all its forms, and my own deep interest in the human spirit and how we relate to the rhythms of life which connect us all to the world in which we live.”