Ambrin is a fearless, fifth-generation jewellery designer heralding jewellery as the boldest art form.
Ambrin’s fiercely lavish pieces reflect current socio-economic events, to bring perspective to the concept of wealth, worth and privilege. Her golden touch transforms everyday objects – from tampons to beer bottle lids, bubble gum to contact lenses – into opulent wearable treasures that artfully tell the story of our times. Ambrin says: “I love bringing things into the jewellery world that feels like they don’t belong there…I think that’s an interesting way to progress jewellery as an art form.”
Delectably inedible, her piece Gold Bar – a gold-plated Kit Kat – explores the fact that chocolate was exempt from the new sugar tax introduced in the UK in April 2018. In another piece Pretty Penny, Ambrin works directly onto a copper penny, embellishing the queen’s portrait with gold jewellery. By elevating the insignificant coin into a precious item, Ambrin challenges us to reconsider our attitude towards small change.
By reflecting on contemporary issues in challenging sculpted pieces, Ambrin brings this formerly considered craft irrefutably into the fine art sphere. The duality of Ambrin’s work as both a stand-alone sculpture and a wearable work of art gives its message extra poignancy – since as a wearer you can directly engage in the play of wealth and power that the artwork itself is undermining.
“There’s a lot of room for more contemporary jewellery in exhibitions and it’s often missing from the fine art space. Just because an object can be used as jewellery doesn’t mean it can’t also be a sculpture or considered as a piece of art […] just because it’s jewellery it shouldn’t be excluded or overlooked.”
Ambrin crafts her pieces using 100-year-old tools and knowledge inherited from her family’s jewellery business. She draws upon her extensive training from studying Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins, and many experiences since including the Galerie Marzee International Graduate Show 2016 in Nijmegen, Holland, creating a bejewelled bee for Bee in the City, and spending a year as the Jewellery Scholar at Swarovski Foundation Scholarship: gaining key industry insight at many events including the British Fashion Awards.
Ambrin is bringing her enlightened perspective to the rest of the world as she embarks on becoming a key part of the global jewellery-making community. For example, she has just completed a residency in Peru, learning from local jewellery experts how to create traditional Inca jewellery.
Watch this space as Ambrin changes the way we approach adornment and carves out a place for jewellery in the global fine art world.