Born in Sutton Coldfield, England, in 1961, Mark Raynes Roberts trained at the Birmingham City University, Institute of Art and Design, where he specialized in hand engraving under the mentorship of Ronald Pennell, considered one of Britain’s finest designer glass engravers, and renowned gemstone engraver Neil Oliver. During this time Raynes Roberts won several awards and graduated with honours before immigrating to Canada in 1982. Based in Toronto, Canada, for the past 30 years, he has built an international reputation as a crystal artist, engraver and sculptor, whose work has been presented to royalty, heads of state and distinguished leaders from their chosen field; and resides in many private and corporate art collections around the world.
“Dreamscapes of our Collective Conscience” Mark Raynes Roberts
The LUMINOSITY Collection is a new 12-piece collection of crystal sculpture and glass installations, which investigates human transcendence and our relationship with the natural, industrial and technological worlds we now live in. My inspiration is drawn from traveling extensively across Europe, the United States and Canada, and viewing the repetitive patterns seen throughout nature which provide many of the answers for future generations. From the visible to the invisible world of microbiology and quantum physics, we now know that many new dimensions exist which we are yet to fully comprehend.
We stand at a pivotal moment in history, when humankind needs to reflect on how technological progress and nature can exist in harmony for the health of the planet. The LUMINOSITY Collection has been totally hand engraved to underscore the the role of human agency in the connection that’s needed between technology and nature.
LUMINOSITY is ultimately about hope that humankind can find solutions and new technologies to support our fragile planet. It is time we listened and understood that now is the time to find solutions for sustainability and to conserve and respect our planet."
During his travels across Europe and as part of his studies for sculptural pieces Mark has become a skilled and talented photographer.
"Photography has played an important roll in my development as an artist, and my fascination with the natural world has presented limitless opportunities for abstracting natural forms and so I could reveal exciting new interpretations in my crystal art.“
"The immediacy of photography is far removed from the many hours of craftsmanship required in creating a glass work of art. However, it has provided a valuable new perspective in how I approach my engraved crystal, providing a commentary on human transcendence and the complex issues that challenge all of humanity such as equality, the environment and our personal life journey through hope."
Created in 1996, the 9-piece Human Spirit Collection was first exhibited in 1997 in London, England, at an International Glass exhibition at Covent Garden. In 1998, it was exhibited at crown jewellers Asprey, in New York City, and at Neiman Marcus in Atlanta and Chicago. Here are six pieces from the Human Spirit series.
Below are some pieces from his Nature Series illustrating the tremendous level of detail he is able to achieve in glass.
In 2003 The Human Spirit Collection was featured on CBC Radio's “Sounds Like Canada”. That same year, DAREarts Foundation for Children, purchased the collection, with the support of the artist and generosity of the late Judith Teller and Lombard Insurance. You can watch his CBC radio interview and a video about the Nature Series below.
If you know other "Notable Artisans" for us to write about please let us know at admin@ArtisanOntario.ca