Exploring The Irresistible Artistic Appeal Of Hemmerle Jewels

BY Harper's BAZAAR Art / Feb 21 2020 / 10:18 AM

We speak with four influential women on their favourite artwork at Frieze London, the jewellery they wore and what makes jewels by Hemmerle pieces of art

Exploring The Irresistible Artistic Appeal Of Hemmerle Jewels
Maryam Eisler
At The Third Line booth, Alia wears: Hemmerle earrings, antique corals, white gold; Hemmerle bangles, antique corals, copper, rose gold

The INFLUENCERPari Ehsan

Pari is the creator behind Pari Dust, a digital platform for art and fashion. Pari Dust explores new ways to combine the elements of our visual world, offering windows into contemporary art, fashion and the built environment through a unique lens. In an ever-evolving space, Pari seizes opportunities to engage in conversation with influential minds and to collaborate with artists, brands, fairs, galleries, museums and retailers who share her vision. The former architect was nominated by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for its inaugural Fashion Instagrammer of the Year. Pari has worked with MoMA, The New Museum, Tate Modern and art galleries including Pace, Perrotin, Hauser & Wirth amongst others. She has established a deep connection to the art and fashion communities alike. She celebrates the interactions and influence of art and design and how they merge to define our contemporary moment.

How do you see jewellery like a form of art, particularly in a brand such as Hemmerle?
Jewellery for me is this bridge between the inner self and the outer world, the most personal form of expression are jewels that ornament the body. I am strongly drawn to Hemmerle’s creations as each piece holds the energy of a personal artifact, as art, Hemmerle jewelry elicits an emotion, a story which you weave into your own.

Pari Ehsan

At the Simon Lee Gallery booth, Pari wears: Hemmerle earrings, tourmalines, aluminium, white gold

Why did you select the Hemmerle jewellery that you wore?
The relationship between elements, a visual language that begins with the raw materials, paired and layered is a Hemmerle signature which expands and shifts in context. I was magnetised to the colour of the earrings, tourmalines set tone on tone in anodised aluminum and white gold, an intermediary realm reminiscent of somewhere between the sea and forest.

What drew you to the artwork(s) you chose at Simon Lee Gallery?
I am a great admirer of Donna Huanca’s immersive and interdisciplinary practice where performance, paintings and sculptural objects are symbiotic. At Frieze London, her installation of white sand, steel sculptures and ‘skin’ paintings holds remnants of her painted performers yet is absent of their physical presence.

The ADVISORDina Nasser-Khadivi

Dina Nasser-Khadivi is an independent curator and consultant, specialising in contemporary art. Originally a 19/20th century art specialist at Christie’s, Dina began to work with Middle Eastern Contemporary art in 2006, developing an international platform for artists by organising numerous awareness-raising initiatives, including the symposium ‘An Introduction to the World of Iranian Modern and Contemporary Art’ (2010) held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the MOCA in Los Angeles.

With projects that have included curating private collections and advising institutions, Dina works globally. Exhibitions she has curated include Love Me, Love Me Not (2013) at the 55th Venice Biennale, which later travelled to the Zaha Hadid-designed Heydar Aliyev Center (2014), as well as Shirin Neshat’s exhibition The Home of My Eyes (2015) in Baku.

In addition to the catalogue of exhibitions she curated, Dina edited and produced Lalla Essaydi’s monograph ‘Crossing Boundaries, Bridging Cultures’ published by ACR (2015), Farhad Moshiri’s double volume monograph “Life is Beautiful’ published by SKIRA (2016) and collaborated the following year with the Andy Warhol Museum for Moshiri’s first retrospective in the US “Go West” (2017).

She has done public and private projects in London, Geneva, Cairo, Baku, Dubai, New York and Venice and has collaborated over the years with several renowned galleries including Barbara Gladstone, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Galerie Perrotin and The Third Line. Dina has also participated in various talks and panel discussions in locations including the Victoria Albert Museum, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Art Basel Miami among others and has provided commentary on the markets she has worked with for various international publications. She is an international consultant for Christie’s and a member of the TATE Middle Eastern and North African Acquisition Committee. She also regularly supports charity auctions and non-profit organisations such as Magic of Persia and Bidoun.

Dina Nasser-Khadivi

At the Sfeir-Semler Gallery booth, Dina wears:  Hemmerle earrings, emeralds, bronze, white gold

How do you see jewellery like a form of art, particularly in a brand such as Hemmerle?
I believe that all creative disciplines ultimately result in a form of art and jewellery is no exception.  The craftsmanship that goes into each piece especially for a Maison such as Hemmerle where design, influences and composition are all interlinked show a strong parallel to what one would search in an artwork for a collector or an institutional entity. In a similar way to haute couture, pieces by Hemmerle are collector pieces. They are timeless, and I have no doubt they will end up in museums eventually if they have not done so already.

Why did you select the Hemmerle earrings that you wore?
At first it was a choice of stone colour. As a brunette some stones look better on me than others. But once I looked into it a little further, I discovered that these particular earrings are emeralds set in copper and gold. Which, from my understanding, is quite a rare combination and choice of medium. Additionally, they have a great movement and were apparently inspired by a cathedral which I quite liked as they combined architecture with jewellery and art.

What drew you to the artwork at Sfeir-Semler Gallery?
I have been a fan of Etel Adnan for some time now. The simplicity of her canvases, her poetry, the message behind her oeuvre, especially in current times are all elements I strongly relate to. But more importantly as I am doing this interview, my mind is with Lebanon and she therefore became an even more significant choice.

The PATRONAlia Al-Senussi

Alia Al-Senussi is an active member of the contemporary art world and currently serves as Art Basel’s UK and MENA representative. She is also an advisor to the Milken Institute on Arts and Culture and to the Ministry of Culture of Saudi Arabia, and brings her breadth of experience from previous and current affiliations including: previous chair of the Tate Young Patrons (and representative to the Tate Patrons board), founding member of the Tate’s Acquisitions Committee for the Middle East and North Africa, founding member of the Board of Patrons of Art Dubai (serving an integral role in the founding of the fair), the Board of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair and the Middle East Circle of the Guggenheim. Previously, she served on the board of trustees of the Institute of Contemporary Arts London.

Alia is currently a member of the board of trustees of The Showroom (London), the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation, Global Heritage Fund UK and serves on the Tate Modern Advisory Council and the Strategic Advisory Panel of the Delfina Foundation. Alongside her professional and philanthropic work in the arts, Alia has recently been awarded her Ph.D. in Politics at SOAS (London), examining the nexus of power and cultural patronage, featuring Saudi Arabia as a case study. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in International Relations (honors) and Middle East Studies from Brown University and holds an MA in Political Science from Brown and an MSc in Law, Anthropology and Society from LSE.

How do you see jewellery like a form of art, particularly in a brand such as Hemmerle?
Hemmerle is a family and they have welcomed so many of our urban modern families into their lives that it represents, to me, so much of the story of my life. Christian and Yasmin have evolved this incredible heritage brand into something that is the world I aspire for us all—this global cosmopolitan world that can fuse ancient culture with contemporary wisdom in material and in ethos.

Why did you select the Hemmerle jewellery that you wore?
Power bangles are my signature—the first thing that I imagined wearing! These bangles are stunning symbols of confidence, but at the same time represent the fragility of our world—the coral adorning my ears and my wrists links me to nature and grounds me while at the same time allowing a sense of beauty. 

What drew you to the artwork(s) you chose at The Third Line?
Hassan Hajjaj is an extraordinary human—his work is infused with community and with a profound sense of place.  He is African, he is North African, he is an Arab, he is a Londoner.  He represents so much of what I see in the world, and his work is exactly that.  His objects and portraits are representations of his practice, as an artist and person.  I have seen his work at The Third Line over so many years, in their space in Dubai and at the world’s most prestigious art fairs, and most recently at MEP in Paris where we celebrated a major moment in Hassan’s life – a retrospective there.  I believe in supporting artists and their galleries, and in this case, they have both been true friends to me and a part of some of the most important moments of my life—and now I loved that I could drape myself over a Hassan Hajjaj at The Third Line’s booth decked out in Hemmerle.

The CURATORDana Farouki

Dana Farouki

At the Pace Gallery booth, Dana wears: Hemmerle earrings, ancient Egyptian Eyes of Horus (2500 – 2200 BC). sapphires, turquoise, silver, white gold

A curator and collector, Dana has spent the last decade working in art, with a focus on the Arab world. She studied the history of art at Brown and the Courtauld before working at MoMA and The Guggenheim. She is on the board of Bidoun Projects, MoMA PS1, Creative Time and Art Dubai. These days you’ll find her working on the launch of her own company, Bilbareed.com, a start-up that offers bilingual e-vites, announcements and greeting cards.

Bilbareed facilitates the design and delivery of electronic invitations and greeting cards designed by the region’s most creative talent. Users can customise designs in arabic, english or both to create their own invitations, greeting cards and stationery, send them out and track delivery information. The platform allows us to recognise our unique celebrations, from Eid to Mubarakas and more by featuring designs for occasions specific to our culture. Bilbareed is the natural evolution for hosts around this part of the world, famous for gracious and generous Arab hospitality.

How do you see jewellery as a form of art, particularly in a brand such as Hemmerle?
I think that there is no question that each piece of jewellery that Hemmerle designs is a work of art.  The design, the fabrication and the stone selection make these pieces truly exceptional.  The earrings, rings and bracelets are unique.  One of my very favourite qualities about Hemmerle is the often unexpected use of materials and pairings.  Their signature settings of precious stones in more industrial metals is pure perfection.

Why did you select the Hemmerle earrings that you wore?
I selected the earrings for the shoot because they incorporated these ancient eye artefacts in a quintessential Hemmerle setting.  I often remark that you can spot a Hemmerle piece from all the way across the room because their aesthetic is so refined and specific.  I loved how this piece celebrates an epic past in a most contemporary manner.  The unexpected colour combinations  in this piece are refreshing and delightful.

What drew you to the artwork(s) you chose at Pace Gallery?
I am a big fan of the fabulous Moroccan artist Yto Barrada.  I just love the series of Conversation Chairs. Yto is an incredible artist that works in so many different disciplines.  Though she was trained in film and is famed for The Cinemateque Tangier, she makes wonderful sculptures.  This series of wicker chairs, ideal for the ultimate conversation, are totally brilliant. Yto has an incredible aesthetic that I’m very much drawn to, but her rigorous practice is always rooted in investigations of cultural phenomena and historical narratives. 

Photographed by Maryam Eisler


From Harper's Bazaar Art's winter 2019 issue