Curiosity Cabinets: Where Middle Eastern and Italian Roots Meet

Born to a family of archaeologists, designers and craftsmen specializing in Middle Eastern art, Sibylle Tarazi was inevitably immersed in a stimulating historical and contemporary art milieu which clearly stands out in her art. Curiosity Cabinets is Sybelle’s debut collection.

Raised in Beirut, Paris and Rome, she graduated in Graphic design and Fine arts from the Amer- ican University of Beirut in 2002 and with a Master’s degree in Accessories design specializing in jewellery from Milan’s Domus Academy in 2007. Conscious that fulfilling a role in tune with her background could play for or against her own artistic aspirations, she spent much of her life working towards distinguishing herself and devel- oping her own unique style.

During her frequent travels to Europe, visiting ateliers, museums and galleries in search of inspiration she resolved to achieve a collection of pieces that would be dreamed of and coveted: “I knew I wanted to do something very special, very different, very exclusive, something that would create links between the past, present and future.”

Inspiration came about and was realized in “Curiosity Cabinets”. Sibylle’s debut collection that displays her talent in transforming iconic pieces originally embodying traditional crafts into jeweled objets d’art; objects which will be heritage pieces in the future. The contemporary pieces she created were designed utilizing modules of neo optical art, representing a mode of expression inspired by music through patterns within which beats a rhythm – slow and mellow. Each piece is handmade in Beirut by a selection of outstanding craftsmen, discovered and selected by Sibylle – men, who are her kindred spirits, who while preserving the traditions and techniques of their heritage, are able to implement her contemporary vision of their craft.

Befitting her collection of exquisite cabinets, Sibylle created a vivarium of stylized insects crafted from gilded iron with brass wings that add to the attraction by means of their unsightly appearance, and create an appropriate link between the cabinets and the jewelry. Indeed, it is this singular blend of life and matter that symbolizes the beauty of her work, and enables her to create such unique pieces. Pieces that are architectural in form, prompting to be touched and urging to be used by art collectors.

Her five cabinet models – each in a limited edition of five pieces, ona artist proof and one prototype – are an eclectic reflection of her life’s experiences as well as her Middle Eastern and Italian roots, and perhaps the greatest evidence of the refined sense of aesthetic that is exemplified in her work.

You might already know the name, but you’ll be more than a little surprised by Sibylle Tarazi’s debut collection “Curiosity Cabinets”, which recently opened at Beirut’s Dehab Gallery.

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