James Rigler

Courtesy of Marsden Woo

The language of architectural ornament surrounds us, and ubiquity renders it near- invisible. Yet from austere Modernism to flamboyant Gothic, it can reveal much about the myths and narratives of power. What signs and symbols denote an important building or object? Who makes those judgements, and what values do they hold?

Thoughts of ruined and abandoned places, romantic landscapes and faded post-war utopias inform my recent sculptures. By exploring clashes of style and scale, Iím trying to explore the meanings hidden beneath the architectural surface.

I am delighted to be returning to Chatsworth for this newest work. In that extraordinary collection are fascinating glimpses of lost places and people. The Chinese coromandel lacquer chests in the State Drawing Room, built from the obsolete remains of a sumptuous wall panelling for the Closet Room, reminds me that such grand houses were never static: they have a long history of shedding their skins.




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