Diamonds and Dreams: The Artistry of Reena Ahluwalia

Amisha Malkani

Jun 27 2024

<div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>India, the birthplace of the world’s most illustrious gemstones such as&nbsp; the Hope Diamond, Idol’s Eye, and Koh-I-Noor, has been legendary for its gemological treasures since the fourth century. These precious gifts adorned royalty across distant shores, a tradition that endures to this day. Prominent among those continuing India’s storied love for diamonds is&nbsp; <a href="">Reena Ahluwalia</a>, a globally renowned Indo-Canadian jewelry designer and artist&nbsp; residing in Canada.</p><span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/Z6qfMm8H405.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Ahluwalia’s work garners admiration worldwide, showcased in royal tiaras, Guinness record-setting watch designs, a Belgian postal stamp and more. Her artistry seamlessly blends Indian heritage with global influences, making her a master of cross-cultural symbolism in diamonds and the pièce de resistance of this artistic fusion. Yet, Ahluwalia’s brilliance extends beyond jewelry design. She is also an accomplished painter, professor, and digital artist. The diverse repertoire enriches her unique artistic perspective, adding depth and complexity to her extraordinary work.</p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><h2><b>The Early Years</b></h2><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Reena Ahluwalia was destined to be an artist. Growing up in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, she was perpetually engaged in painting, sketching and sculpting. From an early age, Ahluwalia drew inspiration from diamonds and gemstones, which she referred to as “nature’s geological masterpieces”. This passion led her to secure a place at India’s premier design institution, the <a href="">National Institute of Fashion Technology</a> in New Delhi, where she specialized in jewelry design and graduated in 1994.&nbsp;</p><span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/GjncbXEp406.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Ahluwalia’s journey continued at Suraj Diamonds, where she traversed the country, immersing herself in diverse jewelry styles while meticulously honing her own. Her distinctive style is epitomized in her <a href="">“Courageous Spirit” Collection</a>, a necklace and earring set commissioned by Rio Tinto mining company. Unveiled in 2012, this elegant set features diamonds from Ahluwalia’s native Madhya Pradesh, symbolizing a full-circle moment in her career as she honored her roots despite having relocated abroad.&nbsp;</p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><h2><b>A Transcontinental Odyssey</b></h2><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>In 2001, Reena Ahluwalia embarked on a transformative journey to Toronto, Canada, marking an exhilarating and daunting new chapter in her life. Amidst establishing a new home, she founded her design studio, Reena Ahluwalia Design Inc., where she meticulously crafted her pieces and commissions, steadily building her reputation and exhibiting remarkable resilience as she navigated this foreign landscape. In Toronto, Ahluwalia honed her distinctive style in jewelry and fine arts, creating remarkable pieces that reflect her personal and artistic growth.</p><span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/zp9kY4WV407.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><h2><b>Ahluwalia’s Prominent Creations</b></h2><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Her artistic prowess is exemplified in a pair of paintings titled <a href="">the Royal Mysore paintings</a>, now permanently exhibited at the <a href="">C. Krishniah Chetty Museum</a> in Bangalore. These paintings, portraying the Maharaja and Maharani of Mysore with diamond-clad bodies adorned with historical jewelry pieces, captivate their unique depictions of the figures. The diamond silhouette style, rich in symbolism, represents the resilient spirit of humanity, steadfast and enduring like diamonds themselves.</p><p>As an immigrant, Ahluwalia’s struggle to adapt to a new community and simultaneously launch her own business demanded the strength she attributes to diamonds. These artworks, thus, stand as a testament to her personal journey and her evolving art practice.&nbsp;</p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Two remarkable creations unveil the profound dedication that Ahluwalia imbues into her craft, meticulously delving into research to infuse each creation with inspiration. In her own eloquent depiction, her artistic style converges upon the splendor found within diamonds, encapsulating elements of “precision, geometry, fluidity, and motion.”&nbsp;</p><span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/pastJTDK408.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>The first masterpiece emerges as a stamp commissioned by the Belgian Postal Service, symbolizing the illustrious diamond heritage of Antwerp, the city’s historical gem. Nestled within the special edition collection titled ‘<a href="">Antverpia 2010</a>’, this stamp portrays the award-winning and breathtaking 101-carat <a href="">Bel Canto necklace</a>, envisioned and made by Ahluwalia, thereby elevating her to the esteemed rank of one of the few contemporary artists to grace a national stamp with her craftsmanship.</p><span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/GTQrtX67409.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Another internationally acclaimed creation, evincing both the luminosity of the diamonds adorning it and the brilliance inherent in Ahluwalia’s is the exquisite tiara crafted as a tribute to the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. The stunning 85-carat <a href="">Royal Asscher Diamond tiara</a> draws the inspiration from Queen Elizabeth II’s venerable 1923 Strathmore tiara, seamlessly integrating floral motifs symbolic of the burgeoning love shared by the couple, while paying homage to the enduring legacy of the Royal Family.&nbsp;</p><p>These opulent manifestations not only testify to the far reaching influence of Ahluwalia’s craft but also stand as poignant reminders of the unwavering dedication and impassioned drive that propels her vocation- a commitment she ardently upholds at every juncture of her illustrious career.</p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><h2><b>Mentorship</b></h2><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Global prominence has cast a dazzling spotlight on Reena Ahluwalia, elevating her to a respected designer in the jewelry world. This recognition has enabled her to mentor aspiring designers and artists at <a href="">George Brown</a> College in Toronto, where she serves as a professor and a member of the Jewelry Program Advisory Committee. Here, she helps students cultivate their unique styles and technical skills.&nbsp;</p><span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/Nr9eNTFP412.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span>As a valued member of the college community, Ahluwalia was the guest of honor at George Brown’s 2017 commencement ceremony. She delivered the keynote address, rich with advice on staying inspired in one’s industry. “Even with the realization of your unbounded mind and your inner compass guiding you, the journey ahead will feel daunting at times. It is [the] passion that drives perseverance. This is the passion that lets you take risks, this is the passion that lets you face challenges. This is the passion that lets you adapt to change. This is the passion that lets you work long hours because it feels good.”&nbsp; Watch the complete address here: <a href="">YouTube</a> <span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/FnsaHEQ3413.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Ahluwalia’s ardor for her craft compels her to impart wisdom to the next generation, guiding her students to discover profound meaning and pride in their work. This passion also propels her to perpetually redefine the boundaries of her field and elevate her distinctive style.&nbsp;</p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><h2><b>Championing Innovation</b></h2><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Just as India, since ancient times, has nurtured the artistry and expansion of the jewelry industry, Ahluwalia propels the boundaries of contemporary jewelry design and artistry, garnering accolades and shattering records with her exquisite creations.&nbsp;</p><span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/Ran4wSqg417.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>One of her masterpieces, the ‘Canoe’ Canadian Diamond necklace, captured the prestigious Rio Tinto’s Global Design Competition 2011-12. Inspired by the enchanting winter panoramas of Canada, where crystalline lakes captivate with their pristine allure, this stunning piece transcends convention. Ahluwalia’s audacious departure from traditional diamond cuts is here, as she employs a unique carat cut, rendering the diamonds akin to ice blocks adrift in fluid currents.&nbsp;</p><span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/3QyacbPx416.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Her innovative craftsmanship not only earned her praise but also landed her a <a href=";id=15">Guinness World Record for The Most Diamonds Set on A Watch.</a> The Mudan Watch, a collaborative effort with Aaron Shum, boasts an astonishing 15,858 diamonds totaling 50,01 carats. Fashioned in the likeness of the peony flower, revered as the ‘King of Flowers’ in Chinese culture, this timepiece is distinguished not only by its opulent design but also by the exquisite hand-painted diamond motif adorning the watch face- a testament to Ahluwalia’s artistic finesse, and elevating the luxurious quality of the piece.&nbsp;</p><span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/PZMj3e5D418.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Venturing further into the realm of visual arts, Ahluwalia successfully embraced the growing world of NFTs, with her works showcased prominently, including a feature at <a href="">NFT NYC</a> 2024. During this exhibition, her <a href="">Koh-I-Noor NFT</a> painting graced the iconic screens of Times Square, a testament to her innovative spirit and artistic vision.</p><p>Navigating seamlessly between the realms of jewelry and fine arts, Ahluwalia continues to exalt the allure of diamonds, ever at the forefront of her creative endeavors.&nbsp;</p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><h2><b>A Visionary Future Rooted in Tradition</b></h2><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>With an unwavering dedication to innovation and a global acclaim that illuminates her path, Reena Ahluwalia stands as a beacon in the realm of diamonds. As audiences anticipate her forthcoming creative endeavors and celebrates her past accomplishments, her profound insights into the jewelry and diamond industries continue to captivate and inspire. Ahluwalia’s vision transcends mere craftsmanship; she champions sustainability and innovation in her field, resonating with the enduring allure of diamonds while advocating for the evolution of her craft.&nbsp;</p><span></div><a href='null'><div><img height='400px' width='auto;' class='img_dynaPost' src='/BlitzMobiImages/consumers/company551995499/mediafiles/Kwa7Bg8I420.tmp'/></div></a><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Her esteemed stature not only pays homage to the cherished tradition of diamond gifting as a symbol of multicultural relations but also heralds a bright future brimming with creative vigor. In the eloquent words of Reena Ahluwalia herself, “Like diamonds and gemstones – we are diverse, we come in all colors, we are brilliant, resilient, and full of potential…”</p><p>Thus, Reena Ahluwalia’s multifaceted brilliance and steadfast commitment to innovation ensure her enduring influence and promise within the distinguished realms of jewelry design and diamond appreciation.&nbsp;</p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><h2><b>Further Reading</b></h2><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p><a href=""></a></p><p>Instagram - <a href="">@reenaahluwalia</a></p><p>X - <a href="">@reenaahluwalia</a></p><p>Youtube - <a href="">@ReenaAhluwalia</a></p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><h2><b>Press</b></h2><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p><a href=""></a></p><p><a href=""></a></p><p><a href=""></a></p><p><a href=""></a></p><p><a href=""></a></p><span></div>

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