Chain reaction: sculpture and jewellery interconnect as Ana Khouri’s designs go on show at Phillips, London

Camille, 2018, in iron, sand, paint and pearl.
Left, Camille, 2018, in iron, sand, paint and pearl. Right, Lina ear piece in diamonds
(Image credit: Ana Khouri)

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. 

Missy ear piece in blue tourmaline paraiba, sapphire and diamonds 

Left, Missy, 2018, in iron. Right, Missy ear piece in blue tourmaline paraiba, sapphire and diamonds

(Image credit: Ana Khouri)

Aine, 2014, in iron and Athena, 2018, in gold leaf aluminium 

Left, Aine, 2014, in iron. Right, Athena, 2018, in gold leaf aluminium 

(Image credit: Ana Khouri)

’Ana Khouri: Jewels as Art’, 17-19 September, Phillips.


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Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.