Now, she has come up with a retrospective picture jewellery collection called Marabu. “This is a collection of handmade jewellery that is inspired by the sights, sounds, colours, materials, and practices of the Tamil culture. I have looked at language, music, dance, Tamil poets, and people who have influenced the language. The year 2020 has brought a big cultural revival – many took to learning about facets of their culture and developed an interest in music, arts and crafts. That said, I feel there should be a tangible memento of this cultural revival. There is a need to preserve the cultural revival that happened in 2020 due to lockdown in a positive way. Jewellery would be an appropriate medium to make a cultural memento. This is the idea behind the entire collection,” says Divya, an assistant professor who teaches design.
Digital prints and illustrations of the folk forms such as karagattam, therukuthu, poikkal kudirai, games such as paramapadam have come together with those of Mahakavi Bharathiyar and Thiruvalluvar in this picture jewellery collection. “The vattelluthu script and its subsequent variations of Tamil scripts also find a place in Marabu. The jewellery is eclectic and is made up of resin pendants and beads of glass, metal, fabric, and agate crystals. In 2017, I made a collection called Patinam as an ode to Chennai. It looked at the city through the eyes of those who travel and settle here including that of European colonisers. Marabu is an extension of Patinam collection. Marabu attempts to move past the colonial gaze and capture those aspects of life that are a part of the lives of people living in the city and that of Tamils around the world,” she explains. Divya makes the jewellery under her brand Sayuri.