Continuing its longstanding commitment to nurturing talented and ambitious designers across the GCC, Van Cleef & Arpels, the French High Jewelry Maison, in partnership with Tashkeel, the UAE-based visual art and design organisation, announced the winner of the
‘Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Designer Prize 2019’ – Julia Ibbini.
The competition, which was announced earlier in April this year, saw many entrants across the Middle East, keen to participate and showcase their talent. Responding to the given theme of ‘Cyclical,’ Julia Ibbini’s winning sculptural vessels concept, ‘Symbio Vessels’, revolves around a special build process of both a sequential back-and-forth and an interactive collaboration between human and machines. These pieces play between contrasting yet complementary, distinct but related concepts, both in the design and feel of the final form and in the bold experimentation of the beautiful, tactile and delicate qualities of paper.
As the winner, Julia has been awarded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Paris for a one week trip to L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels, a school dedicated to accentuating the methods behind the world of jewelry creation and watchmaking. In addition, a total of AED 30,000 was awarded to her to cover the entire cost of materials and production of her design piece. The winning work will be showcased until December at the newly opened Les Salons Van Cleef & Arpels Dubai Opera boutique.
Amongst the applicants who participated, Julia emerged as the winner, beating her compatriots by a wide margin. Her final pieces showcased detail, accuracy and creativity in a very organic and imperfect model using algorithmic calculations yet built by hand. Various elements related to the design following the given theme of ‘Cyclical’, creation process and materials were also evaluated by an esteemed panel of jury members from Van Cleef & Arpels, Tashkeel and Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DiDi) who assessed the designers’ commitment and dedication to their design proposals.
Alessandro Maffi, Managing Director of Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East & India comments, “L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels is proud to take Julia Ibbini under its wing and provide the guidance essential for young designers and innovators like her to become successful professionals in the field of jewelry arts. With the positive partnership with Tashkeel, we strived to instil an intellectual and emotional understanding of jewellery and encourage young talent from the Middle East to scale greater heights.”
Lisa Ball-Lechgar, Deputy Director of Tashkeel, said: “Tashkeel is proud to partner in The Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Designer Prize, an outstanding initiative that has significantly contributed to the growth of the design sector across the region since its launch in 2013. Previous winners have gone on to enjoy successful careers at the forefront of design practice. We are delighted with the outcome of the sixth edition, which reflects Tashkeel’s vision to foster innovation and creativity among emerging practitioners.”
Julia Ibbini is a Jordanian-British artist living in Abu Dhabi and voiced her happiness saying, “I’m grateful to Tashkeel and Van Cleef & Arpels for providing a platform for artists such as myself to portray our skills and showcase our creativity to a larger audience. I believe it is the flaws which come with the human hand that produce the beautiful end result.” Much of her current work is created using custom developed computer software and laser machines, resulting in highly detailed laser cut works on layered paper. Julia has been showcasing her commissioned work at many exhibitions across the region including Al Maryah Central and the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs – Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi and St. Regis Hotel in Jordan.