The Saharawi people are refugees in southwest Algeria since 1975. They are actually living in the middle of the Saharwi desert in a really harsh environment with difficult weather with no resources available. I was made aware of them through the charity Sunblast and their aim is to give a voice to the Saharwi population through the arts.
The brief at the beginning was just to design something that could actually benefit them. I knew they were already making some jewellery before and I tried to look at the craft they used to have and I started to experiment with that. The idea was to build a technique that they could make themselves within the refugee camps with the resources they have available, even through they have almost nothing.
The pieces that are in the exhibition are pieces that I have designed and developed myself but in development of the workshop that I carried out with the Saharwi women.
I was just trying to do at the same time something social and something aesthetic because I think the both of them really fit each other. That’s why I was really trying to bring them together and I think it makes sense to bring them together.
We need your help to raise £500,000 to acquire the Baroque oil painting of the Château de Juvisy, by Pierre-Denis Martin, court painter to Louis XIV in time for the opening of the Europe 1600-1800 galleries.