Jewellery is a personal adornment, as well as an embodiment of artistic expression, which serves the function of conveying a particular belief or message. Mahtab Hanna, a British designer with Persian heritage, promotes her creations pivoting between Western and Eastern influences and creativity.
Growing up wearing her mother’s jewellery, these ‘mini masterpieces’ have become Mahtab’s sources of inspirations. She then develops her interests to knowledge by obtaining a BA in Silversmithing, Postgraduate in Drawing, MA in Goldsmithing and a PhD in Jewellery. With her deep academic background on art, design is at the forefront of her abilities. Exuding passion from the point of inception, to the drawings of conceptual designs and to the final product, each piece stands alone with a spirit that proves its ability to please not only the wearer, but also the observer.
Mahtab Hanna | Drawings
In Mahtab’s eyes, the importance of materials is only to the extent that they fulfil the design’s concept and intended message. When casting jewellery, traditional goldsmithing and the advanced cutting-edge 3D technologies are married together to move beyond the mechanical production process. It highlights the technique itself as achieving the idea of cross-pollination.
The dichotomy between artistic beauty and the topic of inspiration is the key element within the brand’s concept. Maximising the observer’s appreciation and the interaction with the jewellery pieces all at once. Mahtab aims to create a sense of individuality for the wearer:
“To feel individual, as if the creation is just for them, in line with their unique fingerprint.” – Mahtab Hanna
Politics lie upon our everyday life. Aside to our thoughts and the surrounding society, it also plays a part in jewellery design, as people, we take our affinities into account and make our own decisions. Every piece of jewellery represents a certain value. It unifies people to those beliefs and to facilitate constructive debates. For example, Mahtab’s chess set entitled ‘Pawns’ relates to the most extreme form of protest – war: a highly emotive and evocative subject throughout mankind’s history. Politics, religion, money, and lands are the significant causes of wars, and these are all represented on the stage within the work in their own way.
Different collections emanate various messages, regarding the theme of politics such as identity, gender and consciousness. Patrons of Mahtab’s jewellery proclaim and eulogise the messages; while consumers are the monopolists of thoughts who grant free flow of ideas in the society.
Mahtab Hanna | Political Jewellery
“Whether it is a totalitarian state or regime, the politics and counter politics of jewellery is akin to the official as well as unofficial representation of power and struggle.” – Mahtab Hanna
Mahtab’s latest collection is concerned with hidden political messages, infused within the jewellery. This will form part of her upcoming exhibition in London from January to March 2017.
With special thanks to Mahtab Hanna for her insightful words and artistic inspirations.