Culture and the build world around us play a strong role in how we identify as human beings and individuals. Environmental and architectural influences have impacted how we express ourselves as subcultures, groups and again, as individuals. I stress the individual identity because as a designer of jewellery I find it fascinating to note how we as humans, adorn ourselves with the desire to say something about who we are.
Imagining what would become of any of the pieces I sought to design, always began with me journeying through cultural references I had grown up influenced by. The West African connectivity to jewellery adornment stems back many generations, and our connection to wearing gold is said to almost be in the blood. One key example is the inventive and poignant goldwork and royal regalia of Ghana’s Akan people. Part of our West African identity is strongly rooted in how we adorn ourselves as this represents key factors in our culture, from societal hierarchy to the beauty and deep-rooted historical connection found in ceremonial regalia.
London will undoubtedly always have part of my heart as this is the city I grew up in and the place in which architectural influences birthed my intrigue of the build world around me. Ancient Greco-Roman architecture hums through the streets of London, displaying beautiful buildings influenced by the work of the great Andrea Palladio. ‘Palladianism’ ignited my fascination with symmetry and columns. It was when visiting Rome many years ago, standing outside the Pantheon, that I was met with an energetic overwhelming sensation. It was undoubtedly influenced by the architectural magnitude laid before me.
It was that poignant place where ‘The Pilastro Collection’ was imagined and jewellery adornment reimagined.
As the brands' collections evolve and multiply, I seek to reimagine how we wear jewellery as art pieces, influenced by the build environment we have been blessed to live in and amongst.