There is no tradition in art that is as old or as rich as jewelry. The urge to
decorate our bodies is at the core of what makes us human. It’s an impulse we
have felt and expressed since the dawn of culture. The clothes we made were a
necessity before they became outlets of our creativity. Jewelry, however, had no
air of practicality, but its existence, across time, in every society, speaks to its
power in our lives. It illustrates the most civilized of human desires: for meaning.
There are few objects so burdened with human emotion the way that jewelry is. We mine for its constituent parts, traffic them, cut and polish them, until finally they are bestowed on those we love. Jewels have proven ideal in this mission because they are relatively rare, and last, in the way that we hope our love might, or a particular moment. Few designers today appreciate this connection better than Ana Khouri.
In its most basic form, jewelry is perhaps the simplest, least encumbering manner of adornment. Anything that can be fashioned into a hoop and worn on the body could suffice. Yet, as shown by the work of Ana Khouri, jewelry can be a diminutive sculpture of breathtaking intricacy, skill and imagination.