Zealandia - Head designer and founder Jenny Byrne named her company Zealandia after the ancient submerged continental fragment that surrounds her homeland of New Zealand - and once you see her pieces, it’s easy to understand why. Jenny is inspired by the remote of time and place, and combining with it her “love of the natural materials found on the beaches and rivers of the world, and a fascination with spiritual and mythological art”, she creates truly unique pieces out of fossilized mammoth or walrus ivory, shells, amber, abalone, and even ancient creatures such as trilobites, ammonites, and orthoceras!
Zealandia’s pieces combine these fossilized fragments with elements such as silver and gold to create truly wearable natural history. And because no two fossils are the same, each finished piece is a one-of-a-kind statement. For example, Jenny tells us that the vibrantly colored paua shell (abalone) she uses “varies in color from pink and gold to green and blue”, and that the fossilized ivory tusks some of her pieces contain “span the neutral tones from creamy white to honey, reddish brown to black”.
Jenny’s take on designing jewelry is one that the lover of the old, the precious, and the rare will surely take resonance with. She says that “the idea of using ivory as old as the petroglyphs and cultures that inspire me is very exciting as I like my designs to tell stories that honor the wisdom ancient people developed to explain and understand the forces surrounding them. I see early expressions of writing, art and ritual as having an innate power, and incorporate this into my designs as silent incantations or mantra." La Galleria is honored to play host to Zealandia’s sui generis pieces of history!