Following a year of occupying more time in our own heads than in the outside world, female founder Nigora Tokhtabayeva is among those who have transformed mental strife into positive physical contribution. Born from deep consideration of mankind’s relationship with the planet, her fine jewelry brand Tabayer is set to launch this fall. The young, Miami-based brand harnesses the power of the talisman and the symbology of protection through a contemporary lens that prioritizes ethically and environmentally conscious materials: conflict-free diamonds certified through the Kimberley process and Fairmined gold sourced from artisanal or small-scale mining operations. It’s wearable art for a new, more aware world.
On the common ground of artistic output as a product of introspection, Tokhtabayeva invited Sweden-born, London-based photographer Lina Scheynius to help visually express the brand’s message for its pre-launch campaign. Scheynius chose five words—“personal,” “intimate,” “femininity,” “otherworldly” and “magic”—to encapsulate her own past self-reflective work and guide the visual essay that she created for Tabayer. The series makes use of both color and grayscale, landscape and self-portrait and abstract and representational photographs, capturing various subjects from slices of a blood orange to her own legs holding a crystal at her ankles in locations that range from the Isle of Fårö in the Baltic Sea to London parks and greenspaces.
“It was interesting looking at my work through someone else’s eyes. I found treasures and some surprises that I could bring back to life,” says Scheynius of the project, which will be released in parts throughout the summer on Tabayer’s Instagram. The collaboration reflects the artists’ shared ability to explore objects that contain meanings beyond physical possession—a key component of Tabayer’s vision for jewelry that affords guardianship and occupies space in both the interior and exterior world.
As we move into a society slowly reopening, it will be important to do just that: to protect the helpful introspective thought we trained in our time alone and to inch closer to sharing pieces of ourselves with others again. A Tabayer jewelry piece close to one’s chest serves as a physical representation.
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