Left, Missy, 2018, in iron. Right, Missy ear piece in blue tourmaline paraiba, sapphire and diamonds
To contemplate the sculptures she creates is to gain a greater understanding of Ana Khouri’s left-of-centre, yet classic-leaning jewellery designs.
Both jewellery and sculpture design are the creative impulses that drive Khouri. This week, Jewels as Art, an exhibition at Phillips, London, spanning five years of her work, artfully displays the fact. With both jewels and sculptural pieces on show, the exhibition fuses together these two inextricable facets of her work.
Khouri’s first foray into jewellery creation grew from experiments at art school, where she hung sculptures onto naked bodies. The process transformed into jewellery design. It may be her preferred medium now, but for Khouri the techniques and traditions of jewellery design are secondary to what she is creating: she remains preoccupied with the luminous feeling that a piece of sculpture, or jewellery, can impart: ‘I want to communicate that this is something so fundamental to life but so often muted by distractions – the everyday interconnectedness of life.’
The Phillips outing reveals her signature design details: diamonds are set off centre, ring curves aren’t smooth but distorted.
As such, unfettered by the conventional, Khouri’s jewels take on a life of their own. She is preoccupied with exploring the ways a jewel takes shape on the body of the wearer rather than as a piece of adornment in its own right. ‘I want my designs to evoke their connection to space; its vastness, its majesty and its superlative form,’ she says. §