The British Academy of Jewellery collaborated in 2020 with top London-based jewellery brand Alighieri on a design competition for BAJ’s students. The competition’s brief challenged students to design jewellery pieces inspired by the opening lines of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem, The Divine Comedy:
“In the middle of the journey of life,
I found myself in a dark wood,
Where the right path was unknown”.
Ultimately, the quality of submissions was so high that it was impossible to choose just one design, Alighieri said. Four students have therefore been selected as the competition’s winners: Dorottya Feher, Emma Withington, Linnea Thuning and Petra Otenšlégrová.
With judging being carried out by a panel led by Alighieri founder Rosh Mahtani, students on the Jewellery Design and Manufacturing course at BAJ were encouraged to interpret the brief as creatively as possible. Designs could reflect the difficult and surreal political, health and environmental challenges currently facing the world, or another more personal experience that students have had in their lives, such as an important turning point or an opportunity for rebirth.