This jewellery collection is a replication of late artist Anjum Singh’s final show, I'm Still Here
Here's the story behind how Anjum and her friend Aaradhana Jhunjhunwala decided to create this collection together...
Does life imitate art, or is it the other way around? Maybe both are true, but in the case of late artist Anjum Singh’s last solo show, it was the latter. In 2014, the celebrated artist was diagnosed with cancer and during the course of her treatment a few years later, she found herself thinking about the plight of children with the same disease, especially the ones who could not afford medical care. It was then that she decided that she would do what little she could to help. She contacted her long-time friend, Kolkata-based Aaradhna Jhunjhunwala, and the duo set up A2O2, a platform to raise funds for children with cancer.
Now, a little over four months after Anjum’s passing, A2O2 is all set to host its first showcase. Artwork from Anjum’s poignantly titled final show, I’m Still Here, which was held at The Talwar Gallery, Delhi in 2019 has been turned into jewellery and will be available for purchase on the A2O2 website. “That was a powerful show. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it,” says Aaradhana, a product designer who is also involved in collaborative projects with craft clusters across India.
In I’m Still Here, Anjum offered viewers a peek into her life post her diagnosis, one that was partly defined by hospital visits, scans, blood charts and medical records. “All of us, her friends and family, had all been on this journey with her and to me, it felt like her show was so true to life. So it was not about death, but about celebrating life,” explains Aaradhna, who has created 40 sculptural pieces of jewellery.
Comprising mainly bracelets and brooches, the collection is made from pure silver and boasts gold and rhodium plating. Semi-precious stones add to the textural richness of each piece. “Anjum was alive when we were creating this collection and so her legacy lives on. We’d discuss, at every stage, how a particular piece was coming along and sometimes, it took six to seven attempts to get it exactly right.” Each creation is unique and blurs the line between art and jewellery. Her work, Stain (watercolour and graphite on paper), has been turned into Star Shining, a brooch crafted from silver and a single ruby. Some of the other interesting pieces include Hand Over Heart, a heart-shaped silver bracelet that is a replication of her work called High Voltage Keep Away (water-colour pencil on paper) and The White Hill, a brooch made from silver and red beads, a re-creation of Still Against White (oil on canvas).
The collection will go on sale on the A2O2 website on April 13, and all proceeds will go towards CanKids, an NGO working with children suffering from cancer. “Anjum and I wanted to do a collection every year and we had plans to collaborate with different artists and designers. She is not around anymore but I hope to work towards making it a reality,” says Aaradhana, signing off.
Rs.50,000 upwards. From April 13 on a2o2.in.