Mariia, Topaz Armour Ring
2.4ct emerald cut Topaz, 8mm faceted
925 sterling silver or 18ct gold vermeil
Flowers foraged by Olga Morozova in Popudrenko Park, Kyiv, Ukraine
LOVELETTER TO KYIV
20% of sales will go to Future of Ukraine, a foundation that Phoebe Walsh set up with Ukrainian artist Olga Morozova to help support talented young artists in Kyiv by providing essential art supplies and materials to further their skills.
Many students who remained in Kyiv during the war have been unable to escape the realities of frequent air raids, violence and disruptions. Olga has been teaching in the shelters, and has noticed how powerful this time can be to create art, build their own realities and nurture skills. With Olgas' teaching, and access to tools through this foundation, we can invest in the talented younger generations in Ukraine. "I think this will help the gifted youth. Many students cannot buy the necessary materials (paints, canvases, ect.) and they really want the support. After all, they stayed in Kyiv, often working in extreme conditions, but they never ceased to enjoy life and hope." Olga Morozova.
Dreamlike in aesthetic, the designs reveal texture left behind from the war flowers which were burnt into the metal surface. The flowers were picked from the new frontlines in Kyiv and eternalised in recycled precious metals. Provoked by the atrocities happening afar, Phoebe set about creating a new body of work with botanicals collected from the new conflict zones to bring the war into conversation. In March 2022,The project began in March when a brave Kyivan artist Olga Morozova agreed to go searching for flowers as her city fell ablaze. The pressed botanicals, were picked by Morozova in the first spring as frost thawed and bombing raids tormented Kyiv. The collection is a symbol of hope and flourishing in a time of great upheaval; a reminder that while life may be fragile, it is resilient.
“This piece celebrate some of my favourite things: showing the fragility and at the same time strength of Ukraine and its people through flowers. Since I met Phoebe in autumn 2022 she has won my heart with her empathy, her big heart and her genuine interest in my home, Ukraine.” Mariia Kashchenko is founder of the Art Unit art space.
This design has been inspired by the bright being, Mariia, who weaves together emerging artists, their work and narratives, and connects them to wider audiences. If flowers are like people, this beautiful medley would be Mariia. Complete with a topaz traditionally mined in Ukraine, full of lightness and optimism; the Sky Blue Topaz.
Taking her inspiration from the natural world, Phoebe Walsh is a London-based jeweller using ancient casting techniques to transform foraged botanicals into fine gold and silver pieces. Her designs celebrate the humility and imperfection of nature, whilst also drawing together cross-cultural tropes from the worlds of myth, folklore and ancient history. With one collection designed each year, Phoebe uses her creations to highlight a cause close to her heart and give back to specific communities.
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