The Book of Kells by Annie

Even works of art are imbued with a character all their own, no matter what intent they were made with. My concept arose from my interest in the Book of Kells. I have never had a great interest in illuminated manuscripts, but the first time I saw pages from this book, I was moved to tears. This doll is “Kells,” the spirit of the work of art itself. He does not symbolize the religion for which the book was created. He is the art itself. Age has worn away most of his hair and left him blind, though he has been lovingly preserved. Viking raids stole his jeweled cloak and original crown nearly a thousand years ago, but what remains of him is no less ornate. The ink from the text has entered his veins, turning them black where the pages touch him. His corset is made from gold and leather, his skirts and sleeves made of silk and printed with the text. As the original artists left in flaws in order to preserve artistic continuity, the flaws I made in painting him remain. All designs on the doll were free-handed and inspired by the book.

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Copyright © 2011 Marina Bychkova.