Cornell’s most famous for his enchanting boxed assemblages. As a magpie who loves all kinds of bric a brac I have always been fascinated by Cornell’s intriguing boxes. Reminiscent of receiving a present or uncovering an old box in a thrift shop or attic, it’s exciting to encompass his assemblages of what were once beautiful and precious objects and photographs. Cornell brought unwanted items back to life within a constructivecontext by capturing a magical sense of nostalgia and creating a story which he then presented within a simple box.
I have used Cornell's work as inspiration for many projects since discovering it in an old art book whilst at school. I was beyond excited when I discovered that the brilliant writer Jonathan Safran Froer was also inspired by his work and to such an extent that he produced an anthology about it. 'A Convergence of Birds' is a collection of work by a variety of writers that includeRick Moody, Joyce Carol Oates, Siri Hstvedt, Robert Pinsky, Lydia Davis, plus others, each inspired by one of Cornell’s boxes.
Cornell was a magician in that he could make something out of nothing, and something quite special at that. In his introduction, Froer sums up the magic of Cornell's work perfectly, "A gift of a gift of a gift."
This collection totally blew me away. Now that the sun’s started to make an appearance here in London I have started hatching plans for day trips to the countryside and fully intend making the most of my National Trust membership by visiting beautiful old stately houses and gardens this summer.
What does any of this have to do with Dolce and Gabanna? Well, this stunning collection just screams regal heritage. The cherubs, roses, tapestry, tiaras and gold buttons evoke images of grand stately homes and English country gardens. D&G presented good old fashioned decadence and opulence in the form of Rubens paintings, luxurious gold gilting and ott tapestries. This indulgence and the references to the past really made this collection stand out after seeing a lot of minimalism on catwalks over the past few seasons.