Experimenting with Adornment: A Collection of Personal Ornamentation
December 6 – December 20, 2013
Pink Dog Creative, 342 Depot St., Asheville
Opening Reception: December 6, 6:00–8:00 p.m.*
Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public
Carley Brandau offers this statement about her exhibition, Experimenting with Adornment: A Collection of Personal Ornamentation, which marks the culmnation of her work toward a bachelor of arts degree: "There are five polyhedrons that are composed of congruent faces of regular polygons and the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. They occur repeatedly in nature, and according to numerous cultures, represent all matter in the universe. These shapes are called the Platonic Solids. As someone who has not connected with any religion, I was attracted to them for two reasons. The first of which is that working with these shapes is said to bring a person closer to nature and the spirit. The second is the fact that knowledge of their existence is shared by multiple cultures since the dawn of civilization, including the Neolithic people even 1,000 years before Plato named them in 360 BCE.
After living in North Carolina for twenty years, I traveled to Spain for three months where I completed a semester of school. I then continued to travel through nine additional countries in just under two months. A turning point occurred at La Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain when I saw an exhibit of Oskar Schlemmer's costumes from the Triadic Ballet. These strange, geometric, artificial, sculptural forms intrigued me because of their reference to the human form, the ideal transportation to the spiritual plane. I thought about the Platonic Solids and created this vision of people who obtained these shapes, which I visualize represented in stone form of the Neolithic period. I returned to the University of North Carolina Asheville, had an entirely new artistic direction and drive to build wearable sculptures that personified the Platonic solids and my transformation as an artist.
My designs for this exhibition are based on repeated architectural curvilinear forms that I experienced firsthand over the course of my travels, such as the structural tunnels of El Parque Güell by Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona, as well as through museum displays of books on the Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism. I became interested in combining the industrial aesthetic associated with these movements with forms in nature, personal observations as well as trends in fashion. While completing this body of work, I often thought about the phenomena that in order to conjure this idea in the first place, it required the act of traveling outside of this place where I have been my whole life for just a short, yet concentrated, five months.
This body of work is a direct response to my entire experience of travel. While experiencing an incredible influx of novelty, I gained a completely new appreciation for my home, became more aware in my craft and acquired a new direction as an artist. Visually, I hope that viewers feel a sense of power from the adorned. Further, once they understand the distance it took me to achieve the idea, I hope it pushes others to travel, in a society where it is truly underestimated. There is a specific richness to fusing what has always existed with what was once foreign, granting travel to be an extremely valuable tool in creative and human development."
*There will live models on night of opening (Dec 6, 6-8) with styling by Full Circle Salon. The model in the images on/connected to this webpage is UNC Asheville student Haley Garritano.