Move: Turning Points

By Jo Phillips

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This year’s Middle East Emergent Artist winner has been announced as Vikram Divecha, by luxury house Van Cleef & Arpels, Tashkeel and Design Days Dubai.

The prize is aimed at developing the recognition of emergent artists in the Middle East, whilst this year’s theme “Turning Point” encouraged entrants to submit original works in progress, so as to focus on the defining moment during the creative process. Divecha’s winning piece, ‘Degenerative Disarrangement’ is a process installation composed of pavement bricks uprooted from a public site and relocated to the courtyard of House 33 in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood (former Bastakiya). The work reflects a loss of original context and is described by the artist as a comparison to the altering and struggling found in society today.

The turning point within ‘Degenerative Disarrangement’ was a conversation about how masons work within time constraints, which ensured disarrangement in the course of development. He then borrowed this process from the streets and utilised construction materials and industrial production methods to create his installation.

Divecha’s artwork will be displayed at the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibition within Design Days Dubai, the world’s most diverse design fair that showcases local, regional, and international collectible modern and contemporary design pieces.

The prize awards Divecha with a trip to Paris to attend courses at L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels, founded in 2012 with the objective of unveiling the very secretive worlds of jewellery and watchmaking, and sharing the ‘savoir-faire’ of the maison. One of the most precious assets of the Maison; for Divecha will be only one of a privileged few to enter the universe of Van Cleef & Arpels workshops where the Mains d’Or™ resides, the master craftsmen who help to give form to the Maison’s most sophisticated High Jewellery creations.

One of the loveliest examples yet from the Maison is this season’s Butterfly inspired range – in particular the Lady Arpels Papillon Extraordinaire –  a part of nature which is constantly evolving and eternally renewed.  Constantly moving.  Butterflies embody lightness, elegance, and femininity: their reinterpretation into jewellery calls for the unique savoir-faire of the Maison; combining knowledge, craftmanship, skill and attention to detail.

Drawing of butterfly clips, 1938 and 1923, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
Drawing of butterfly clips, 1938 and 1923, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives

This elegant timepiece is a true distillation of savoir-faire, elegantly combining hard stone marquetry for the sections in lapis lazuli, sculpture on gold and mother-of-pearl for the background and the outline of the butterfly, plique-à-jour enamelling for the wings and diamond setting.

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