My reliquary sculptures are based on religious reliquaries. As churches
became larger, religious objects were enclosed in larger forms to make
them visible to the congregation. A reliquary is a relic of a saint (
or Christ ) enclosed in, typically, a portrait bust of that person. Because
of this enclosure ( often total ), the act of faith is transferred from
the relic to the reliquary.
The concept of a reliquary has been modified by reference to the African
concept of levels of knowledge. The concept of levels of knowledge states
simply that the meaning of an object is not immediately apparent but is
revealed as one becomes initiated into the society. This concept is applied
in hiding the figure and facing the enclosure away from the viewer. Thus
the viewer is not initially aware of the presence of the figure, but must
seek it out. There is also an inversion, in that the representation is
actually contained within the "relic" or non-representational object.