Jewellery by anthropologist and designer Ana Srdic is bold and unique, reflecting her personality. The underlying principle of her design is one that involves the preservation of cultures that enrich us all.
What always interested me is the human aspect of aesthetics. Not just the form, but its cultural meaning. The importance of art for the evolution of human civilisation.
My background in anthropology fuelled my curiosity of what we can learn from human cultural diversity, from the journeys we took. Being in awe with human creativity, I try to channel the learnings from these precious cultures through the aesthetics of my jewellery.
Preservation can be expressed through usage of specific forms and colours of a particular culture, techniques applied, or materials and artefacts incorporated into my jewellery. Often it is just an inspiration triggered by meeting people and understanding the patterns of their culture.
Among other things, I use old styles and techniques (such as silver and gold hammering from Thailand), beautiful jade from Myanmar, very old trading beads from Africa and shells of Naga people from Northern India and Myanmar. Living in Johannesburg – in the Rainbow Nation, South Africa – gives me endless opportunities to explore as both an anthropologist and as a jewellery designer.”
I am working closely with Ndebele people in South Africa, helping to preserve their unique culture and to share that with the world. They are very well known for their artistic talent expressed in their bead work, wall paintings, aprons and jewellery, using geometric patterns and bold colours.