James Rigler was Ceramics Resident and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum from October 2013 – March 2014

Rigley on his V&A Residency

James Rigley noticed that the V&A’s architecture is in itself an assortment of artwork. He stated that it is made of a variety of structures in assorted styles from different materials, with all additions from over the previous century and a half. It was originally constructed in the piecemeal style, and is made up of textured layers of private, public, and secret spaces. The V&A has a very rich history, and continues evolving to this day (in 2013, construction on the extension of the Exhibition Road began), and contains within its walls many years of history and stories of the artists and people who have visited or displayed their work in these halls.

While a resident at the V&A, Rigler’s focus was on the structure of the museum site’s the history, which is why he sought to explore previously hidden spaces which the audience is not usually privy to. Through this exploration, new ceramic sculptures were developed to portray the results of his investigations.

Rigley On Architecture

James Rigley has said that he believes that “not all buildings are created equal”, as it is their facades which we attribute the values of the people who construct and reside in them. He assimilates the ‘hierarchy’ of people, as is demonstrated in their architecture, with the placement of an object in a museum which one would expect to find in their pantry – indicating that their perceived value of an object is determined in the eye of its owner.

Rigley On Clay

James Rigley enjoys the ceramic medium because he feels that clay is a “democratic material.” While it is the make-up of both kitchenware and palatial architecture, it can become anything in the hands of its sculptor.