“In Their Element” with Satta Matturi: A Journey Through Art, History, and Culture
We’re taking you on a special journey as we “warm-up” for NYC Jewelry Week 2023, by revisiting past programs and individuals who have left an indelible mark on the jewelry world. In line with our theme, ICON(ography), we will explore the iconic figures and moments that have shaped the industry.
In our second flashback, we have the pleasure of witnessing an insightful conversation between two luminaries in the jewelry industry: Melanie Grant and Satta Matturi of Matturi Fine Jewelry. We invite you to delve into the heart of their discussion and explore the Matturi’s jewelry creations inspired by art, history, and culture.
A Serendipitous Encounter
Before we dive into the substance of their conversation, let’s rewind to the moment when these two creative minds first crossed paths. Melanie Grant and Satta Matturi’s journey together began over a delightful lunch at The Ivy in Covent Garden in 2018. Satta’s burgeoning reputation in the world of jewelry had piqued the interest of Melanie’s team, leading to a serendipitous encounter that would spark a profound collaboration.
This meeting marked the inception of a beautiful friendship built upon a shared passion for crafting jewelry with stories that resonate. It was the first step in a journey that would lead to the exploration of Nubia’s cultural treasures and the creation of remarkable jewelry collections.
Nubia: A Cultural Oasis
Satta Matturi’s jewelry is a celebration of the rich history of Nubia, an ancient kingdom that once thrived in the southern regions of Egypt and parts of modern-day Sudan. During their enlightening discussion, Satta emphasized Nubia’s pivotal role in bridging Egypt with sub-Saharan Africa through trade. This exchange of goods, including precious materials like gold, left an indelible mark on both regions, shaping their cultures and economies.
Yet, the connection between Nubia and Egypt extended far beyond trade. It permeated every facet of life, from shared religious beliefs to cultural practices. Nubian and Egyptian cultures intertwined harmoniously, giving rise to a vibrant tapestry of traditions, art, and jewelry. Satta’s work is an embodiment of her passion for this often-overlooked history, and her creations draw inspiration from the storied past of Nubia.
Unveiling “Whispers of Meröe”
The highlight of the conversation was the unveiling of Satta Matturi’s latest jewelry collection, “Whispers of Meröe.” This collection is the culmination of years of meticulous research and artistic exploration, paying homage to the ancient kingdom of Kush, also known as Nubia. Satta’s collection takes us on a journey through the geography, culture, and heritage of this remarkable region.
The geography of Nubia, nestled between Egypt and the vast expanse of sub-Saharan Africa, plays a prominent role in the collection. It serves as a reminder of Nubia’s historical importance as a trading bridge between these regions, facilitating the flow of exotic treasures such as ivory, ebony, and gold.
But “Whispers of Meröe” goes beyond geography; it delves deep into the cultural and historical fabric of Nubia. It explores the intricate details of Nubian culture and its interactions with Egypt, from the adoption of Egyptian gods to the exchange of artistic styles. Each piece in the collection tells the story of powerful Nubian queens, the fusion of cultures, and the enduring legacy of Nubia.
A Glimpse into the Past
As Melanie and Satta continued their conversation, they embarked on a historical journey through the annals of Nubian history. They explored how this once-trading partner eventually challenged Egypt’s rule, leading to the rise of powerful Nubian kingdoms. This transformation marked the emergence of iconic figures like Pi, who initiated the 25th dynasty of pharaohs. This period was characterized by strong female leaders and remarkable jewelry collections that continue to inspire Satta’s creative process.
Satta’s approach to design is deeply rooted in these historical narratives. She sought to break away from the traditional Egyptian-inspired jewelry designs and create something distinct. She created an homage to the strong rulers and unique heritage of Nubia.
A Colorful Palette of Gemstones
In the world of jewelry, color is a language of its own. Satta’s designs are no exception. Her color palette is a carefully curated selection of gemstones that complement and enhance the narrative of each piece.
The mood board for “Whispers of Meröe” serves as a visual representation of this palette. While it includes the traditional colors associated with Egyptian and Art Deco jewelry, Satta’s vision extends beyond the conventional. She seeks to surprise and delight by incorporating less-expected gemstones like blue topaz and aquamarine.
Satta’s choice of gemstones isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about creating a sensory experience. Each stone has its unique charm, and it adds depth and character to her designs. It’s a reminder that jewelry is not merely an adornment but a means of expressing stories and emotions through color and form.
Preserving Whispers of an Ancient Civilization
The “In Their Element” talk at NYC Jewelry Week 2021 was a fascinating journey through the world of Nubian-inspired jewelry. Satta Matturi’s commitment to preserving the cultural and historical significance of Nubia shines through in her “Whispers of Meröe” collection. Each piece is a testament to the power of art and storytelling. It reminds us that jewelry can be a bridge connecting us to the past.
As you explore the “Whispers of Meröe” collection, remember the rich history and culture that inspired these stunning creations. In Satta Matturi’s hands, jewelry becomes more than adornment. It becomes a vessel for preserving the whispers of an ancient civilization.
Stay tuned for more exciting insights and stories from our past as we continue to celebrate the jewelry world! In the meantime, watch the full interview on our YouTube Channel.