Fashion & Beauty / Culture Talks

Charming Collages Pairing Vintage Family Photos & Jewellery

Jewellery designer Hadar Nornberg collaborated with Katerina Jebb to combine archive photographs of her bohemian parents with her pieces themselves

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Artwork by Katerina Jebb © Hadar Nornberg

Contemporary art is a powerful force in the work of jewellery designer Hadar Nornberg, so it seems logical that, when tasked with creating a series of images depicting her simple but dynamic designs, she turn to Katerina Jebb. Paris-based Jebb has made a name for herself with an unorthodox approach to image-making, and whether she’s creating deeply textural photographs with a handheld scanner or creating a painstakingly detailed inventory of the belongings of French painter Balthus, her multi-disciplinary approach never fails to hit the right note.

To catalogue this collection of designs from seasons past, Nornberg presents a series of images crafted in collaboration with Jebb to combine archive photographs of Nornberg’s parents – a deeply stylish pair whose lifestyle in Lausanne, Switzerland in the 1960s and 70s seemed to resonate with bohemian spirit – with the designs themselves. All run through a scanner, of course. We caught up with the designer to find out more.

On collaborating with Katerina Jebb to create her lookbook…
“I have been following Katerina’s work for a long time and always found it distinct, enthralling and even subversive. Her work blends beautifully historical elements with contemporary vision. It is sharp and singular, and that appealed to me, since I have been wanting to communicate my work differently. We met a few times, discussed influences and when I showed her images of my mother taken by father in the late 60s and 70s, it all fell into place. This collaboration gathers a few of the signature pieces from my past collections to create one cohesive story.”

On trawling through her photo archives to find this source material…
“My father had a deep passion for taking photos. He would capture an endless amount of images of my mother and our family as well. He would then arrange those photos meticulously in albums. And so from a young age, I would go through them and analyse his angles, sense of form and order. My mother, as his main subject, came through as she is – angelic and elegant, with great presence. There is this pure sense of love and adoration that comes through these images. It touched me profoundly and influenced my aesthetic over the years. My line, in many ways, is a cantilever of what I have witnessed around me.”

On her parents’ story…
“My parents met in their twenties, fell in love, and moved to Lausanne, Switzerland. My father studied finance and my mother continued her classical music studies. She was a pianist. They lived through a very exciting period of time – the late 1960s and 70s – in Europe; new movements in art, music and fashion. Social norms were being rewritten and my parents immersed themselves in the growing bohemian revolution. My mother was quite minimal in her sense of style, she would transform simple into dynamic but in a subtle manner. The jewellery she liked came from the period of Art Deco and the 40s.”

On the influence of contemporary art on her work…
“I am very much drawn to contemporary art, and there are quite a few artists that inspire me. Many of them came from movements in the 60s, the post-war period. I love Donald Judd for his critical style, for example. He questioned and reacted to events that happened around him with texts and actual forms. He demonstrated a new way of approaching shape, colour and space. [Sculptor] Michael Heizer is another – he works with the infinite fluidity of forms and volumes. I am fascinated by the complexity and scale of his work – in it, the void and its negativity has a positive value.

“Luciano Fabro from the Arte Povera used unconventional and conventional materials and emphasised a personal and poetic view on that period of time. He paid sharp attention to craftsmanship, and had an intuitive approach to materials and form… I [also] admire the quality of Agnes Martin’s paintings and the way the light seems to be stored inside them.”

Hadar Nornberg’s new collection is available now at Dover Street Market.

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