European Ceramic Context 2014

Ancestor I, 2013

James Rigler

Artist Statement: 

“The eye does not see things but the images of things that mean other things: pincers point out the tooth-drawer’s house; a tankard, the tavern; halberds, the barracks; scales, the grocer’s. Statues and shields depict lions, dolphins, towers, stars: a sign that something – who knows what? – has as its sign a lion or a dolphin or a tower or a star.” Italo Calvino, “Invisible Cities”

Architecture is a game of signs; we can read a society through its built environment and the different languages of architectural form and decoration we find there. History, wealth, belief, hierarchy; all these things are present in the brick, stone and glass of our cities. By examining these hidden messages we can question the values and power structures that they represent.

Ancestor I, 2013
Ancestor II, 2013
Born: 
Wellington, New Zealand
Education: 

MA Ceramics & Glass, Royal College of Art, UK
BA Hons. 3D Crafts, University of Brighton, UK

Public collections: 

Victoria & Albert Museum, UK
Crafts Council Collection, UK

Image info: 

Ancestor II, 2013
Press-moulded glazed earthenware, vinyl, steel, oak.
80 x 70 x 55 cm

Installation in Chatsworth, Derbyshire, UK

Ancestor I, 2013
Press-moulded glazed earthenware, vinyl, steel, oak.
80 x 70 x 55 cm

A pair of architectural forms, responding to the idea of the ancestral home, where inherited wealth and inherited genes are both represented in architectural form. Photographed in Chatsworth, one of Britain’s finest mansions, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.