Thanks to an invitation by Julie de Libran at Sonia Rykiel, Maggie Cardelús made her first leather NeckPiece and discovered the beauty and remarkable complexity of leather-craft. This contact with leather led to a residency in South Africa, where she studied with an East London leather master. She continued to study and hone her skills -her French savoir-faire - with masters in Paris, where she has her studio. With patience and work, Cardelús developed her own forms, delving into the largely unexplored territory of shaping leather into knotted, three-dimensional forms: a skill she had explored in over two decades of creating cut and folded photo-based artworks.
The study and development of this new broadening of her practice called upon her experience as architect, artist and designer, leading to the Origine NeckPieces, the Tongue NeckPieces, and to a new fish leather project now in progress: the O.2 NeckPieces.
For this work, art, fashion, and design entwine, stretching and challenging the possibilities and limits of these distinct worlds.
The 49-piece Origine Collection includes 7 unique variations of 7 models.
The Origine NeckPieces are expressive creations that adapt and evolve with the adjustment and movement of its tassels, links, and entwined leather.
No straight lines, no ends, no right or wrong. Expanding and contracting as front switches to back and up to down. Like life’s ebb and flow - nothing is definitive.
As amulets they suggest a matrix of brain, womb, navel, organs, bones, talismans, spells, meditations, relics, laws, recipes, omens, formulae…
Cardelús crafts each NeckPiece in her Paris studio using carefully sourced, premiere overstock leather, that she cuts, finishes, and intricately knots around bronze elements cast in Rome from her waxes. Every piece is an obsessive labor of love.
To house each piece, she makes a handsome vegetable-tan leather case, which like the bronze elements, will acquire a patina over time that adds to its beauty.
I made this three-piece collection for Galleria Kaufmann Repetto’s 20th anniversary exhibition in 2020.
For this new project, leather tongues stick playfully out of the Tongue NeckPieces and adorn their features with a touch of sensual mischief. Using symmetrical, intertwining layers of folded and worked leather, they also elicit —and pay homage to—the ceremonial exactness and layered sculptural allure of Japanese, knotted obis and ancient warrior garments.