May 22, 2013

Kellie Riggs

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Kellie Riggs

My work is not ornament, it is about ornament. It is informed by the past, fueled by an interest in contemporizing our visual history. My curiosity in what came before me closely relates to the inherent fundamentals of adornment as a concept; I explore the human body’s direct relationship to architecture, as time has honored the idea that the human body deserves parallel exaltation. Using borrowed principles from the likes of Michelangelo and Borromini and their decorative yet structural articulation of interior environments, I aim to exploit the body as a site and surface able to be similarly defined.



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Identifiable derivations of visual vocabularies, fundaments, and dynamic functions encompass my neckpieces that explore an ambiguity of scale using proportion and balance, contraction and release. The physicality of each piece is also essential to the visual presence when seen on the body and the structural presence when felt worn. The substantial connotations of bronze and porcelain enhance the physical experience while demanding a specificity of approach to handling, adorning and safekeeping.


This series, ARCHITETTONICO, should ultimately highlight the intention to reframe how the body is perceived while questioning the aesthetic rationale behind body adornment. By valuing the minimal, reductive and sophistic qualities found in specific architectural spaces, I want to emphasize the elasticity, structure and strength of the body and body articulation. In the end, my work rationalizes itself by unifying object and body as one. Site and surface are synthesized, as the object exists because of the site, and the site can only be defined by object. This unification however, is met with perceptual limitations. How does one communicate an intended environment if one does not get to handle the piece personally? In this case, photography is intended to function as an assist. The tangible object alone is not the complete work; without the body, only fallen fragments would be found. Yet as fragments detached from their site, the pieces reflect a past they wish to respect and can also be viewed as artifacts. How are they to be put back?

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