Industrial architect, artist and designer: there is seemingly nothing that creative polyglot Ron Arad cannot do. This time he is being celebrated for his innovative jewellery designs with a collaborative exhibition at the Louisa Guinness Gallery in Mayfair, London. Ron Arad Rocks! presents the Israeli designer’s captivating collections of boundary-pushing pieces, each boasting a unique twist, notorious of Arad’s playful style.
Inspiring the name of the exhibition, Arad’s latest collection, Rocks, features a series of jewels constructed from jagged slabs of silicone. These carefully crafted pieces are embedded with patterned silk, adding an intriguing element of optical illusion.
The necklaces appear to be made from heavy-weight and potentially dangerous shards of glass, when in fact they are made from feather-light and soft-to-touch silicone. The earrings from the Rocks collection are made from single pieces of crafted silicone on 18kt gold studs, while the necklaces feature a variety of unique silicone pieces threaded onto a sliding shamballa knot.
Arad’s first foray into the world of jewellery was back in 2003 when he conceived his Hot Ingo earrings. He has reworked this collection and unveiled the earrings in black, red and white. Arad’s spiralling polyamide balls can sit on its metal rod in an expanded form, showcasing the fluid lines, or condensed down into a solid spherical shape creating an asymmetric pair.
This collection is inspired by flexible 3D printing designs, a concept which the designer notably explored in his 2000 collection Not Made By Hand Not Made In China.
Celebrating serpentine chic, Arad’s compelling Naja series of pendants is inspired by the Naja cobra. Each piece has the unique twist of doubling up as a magnifying pendant creating a piece that is “not only beautiful and wearable, but an ingenious solution to the middle age drama of short-sightedness”, says gallery owner Louisa Guinness. The first instalment in Arad’s Naja series, the articulated Naja, explored the Naja Cobra in its coiled form, and had the ability to imitate the cobra’s natural response to predator threat, by raising itself and flattening its hood to appear larger.
Arad later developed the Naja into two different forms, “Perfectly coiled”, a hand-made pendant made with machine-driven accuracy, and “Free Hand”, an organic coil curated by replicating Arad’s free-hand coil sketch drawn with his weapon of choice, the pencil.
“Like Arad’s practice, each Naja transcends easy categorisation, functioning effectively and simultaneously as an evoked monocle, jewel and small sculpture.” Louisa Guinness Gallery.
Commenting on the way the wearer should feel when adorning his designs, the talented artist claims;