In a gleaming cluster of 12 anthropomorphic pendants, designer Poonam Soni shapes another first in her three-decade career in gems and jewellery. Inspired by George Orwell’s Animal Farm, her latest collection, Animal Farm Revived, comes alive in glittering conversation pieces crafted in silver with mixed metals, fine enamel work and semi-precious stones.
“Orwell’s novel is based on bondage, inequality, suppression, revolt—veins that are in keeping with our challenging times today,” she explains. “I wanted to create a farm of beauty, equality, hope and happiness. This brought the idea of animals enjoying luxuries, hobbies and happiness to my mind,” she explains. Therefore, unlike the greedy, unhappy and revolting creatures from the novel, Soni’s creatures are a happy lot, liberated from submission and giving a strong message of hope and equality. Each quirky animal is dressed flamboyantly as a human in tuxedos, hats, buckled belts, designer backpacks and depicted living a life of freedom, recreation and leisure. So, Napoleon, the pig, pedals away in his enamelled shorts on his tricycle, a far cry from the book’s dictatorial character. The rabbit in glistening boots takes to golf, the cat is portrayed flaunting a chic hat.
“To make the pieces unique we used textures in colours, stones, enamel washes, carved pipes, European crystals, precious rubies, leather cords and cloth bows of the vibrant mood of each piece,” she explains. Each pendant breathes luxury in its 3D flexible complexion. The soft touch is evident in the range of free-moving body parts—even the wheel of the tricycle can move, the shopping bag offers latitude, and the cat’s hat on the head can be mobilised.
“The details adorning the animals had to be very real in a minuscule space like the LVMH backpack, the iPhone, vintage hat or the Derby shoes,” Soni explains.Incidentally, there’s another first about this collection—it sees her coming together with her artist daughter, Kriti Soni, who created the illustrations for the jewellery pieces.
Shilpi Madan for Sunday Standard