Magazine article Sculpture

Roger Rigorth: Weaving Time and Place

Magazine article Sculpture

Roger Rigorth: Weaving Time and Place

Article excerpt

Roger Rigorth's sculptures integrate cultural variables with natural materials to create a sense of history and of place and time. There is a suggestion that these hybrid quasi-craft forms could have had a function. They might even have a symbolic purpose, but what, and for what culture? Such curious ambiguities, both historical and cultural, fuel Rigorth's aesthetic. He uses locally available materials that suggest craft and handwork, but his structures exist at a crossroads between the natural and the manmade.

Lillywhite (2008), created for "Sculpture by the Sea" at Bondi Beach in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, is typical of Rigorth's organic sculptural weavings. As a sculptor, Rigorth uses repetitive folk-craft actions such as weaving to mimic how living forms design procreatively.

Selected for the 2006 Kunst vor Ort, a biennial public art event organized by the Offenbach District City Council in the commune of Hainburg, Germany, Rigorth found a two-ton oak tree in the Darmstadt Ludwigshöhe forest, which he carved into a boat form and combined with two fiveton sandstone blocks. The sedimentary layers in the sandstone, taken from the Miltenberg stone quarry, tell a tale of geological time. The site, near an old coal power plant on a river that divides Klein- Krotzenburg from Groß-Krotzenburg, at a point where the Roman Limes Germanicus crossed the Main river, speaks of historical time. It was here, at the frontier, that a wall separated Germania from the Roman Empire, though all traces of this past are long gone. Inscribed with the words Dona Nobis Pacem(Grant Us Peace), Rigorth's sculpture suggests both the sublime and changing interpretation of history over time. The boat form suggests the journey of life and the nomadic soul of humanity.

Rigorth inserts a cultural heritage into both urban and natural settings through the folk-craft references of his woven works. Observatorium, created at the Out of Space Symposium in Holland, consists of a woven coconut, oak, and hay form, with an inner, basket-like structure, that perches on the ruins of a rural windmill (perhaps a suggestion of energy produced in a more ecological way). The sculpture is interactive: after climbing the stairs, viewers can enter the interior and look out from an opening at the top of the piece to see the sky and, at night, stars. …

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