Culture Weekly

Celebrating Bahrain

May 12 - May 18, 2021
Gulf Weekly Celebrating Bahrain
Gulf Weekly Celebrating Bahrain
Gulf Weekly Celebrating Bahrain
Gulf Weekly Celebrating Bahrain
Gulf Weekly Celebrating Bahrain

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Two designers have shared their love for the kingdom’s culture and heritage by crafting unique jewellery and creating a film featuring three prominent Bahraini female creatives.

Virginie Dreyer and Nathaly Jung’s The Land of Destiny is a jewellery collection hand-crafted in 18k rose gold and inspired by the minimalist ancient script Cuneiform.

Virginie is a jewellery designer at tinyOM while Nathaly is an artist and founder of the home decor brand Yalla Habibi.

“We have been friends for many years and share artistic ventures,” said Virginie.

“We both call Bahrain home and during our visit to the Bahrain National Museum, we came across a minimalist ancient script called Cuneiform. It was the widely used writing system from the ancient Middle East, dating back to 3,400BC.

“The Cuneiform script from the early Dilmun period had a beautiful modern feel and inspired us to pursue further research into its meanings.

“We found that while it was mainly used for trade, there was also a plethora of pictograms with charming meanings.

“Deciding that it was yet another way to pay tribute to the rich cultural heritage of Bahrain, we put together our favourite Cuneiform pictograms in a small poem and turned it into a pendant on a square gold plate.

“The pleasing result led us to develop the Land of Destiny collection.”

The jewellery, handcrafted in Bahrain, includes delicate necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings featuring the pictograms ‘Destiny’ and ‘Joy’ and a bigger pendant featuring the Cuneiform poem.

Meanwhile, as the collection took shape, the women became interested in understanding how heritage influences and inspires others.

They decided to have a series of informal talks with three inspirational Bahraini women. The result was a series of photos, conversations and short films featuring Reem Al Khalifa, Ghada Khunji and Dalal Al Najem – all wearing accessories from the line.

“I hope The Land of Destiny film series could give a little inspiration,” added Virginie.

“Heritage is a person’s unique, inherited sense of family identity: the values, traditions, culture and artefacts handed down by previous generations.

“Having these wonderful, creative and empowered Bahraini women talking about heritage and how it influences and connects to their work is interesting.

“It’s also a celebration of Bahrain.”

Reem is the founder of Green Bar Inc, a Bahraini apothecary crafting botanical skin care products with native medicinal plants.

“Her passion is to bring awareness to the healing potential of plants in this geographical area, connecting people to the land and bringing awareness to the environment,” explained Virginie.

“Ghada is an award-winning documentary photographer and in recent years shifted her lens from the peripheral to explore her deepest contemplations on cultural identity and the perspective of women.

“Dalal is a filmmaker and visual artist. She took part in the Ta’a Alshabab film festival of Bahrain and casted in the opening night film, which she co-directed.”

The soundtrack used in the series was created by Noor Faisal, known across the kingdom and the region as Kayan. She is one of the most prominent female electronic artists and her music is a customised sound journey – a mix of raw and natural sounds such as sea waves and group chants characterising a traditional pearl diver’s life and modern beats, pads and synths.

Virginie added: “I loved seeing these empowered women wearing my jewellery pieces and talking about their past, their heritage, culture, traditions and their work.”

For details, follow  @tinyomjewelleryon Instagram or visit the  tinyOm vimeo channel to watch the film.

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