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Bougainvillea: An Exploration of Adornment
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An Exploration of Adornment

Arts, Miami

Faena Art Project Room featuring Cornelius Tulloch's - Bougainvillea: An Exploration of Adornment



Miami-based interdisciplinary artist and designer Cornelius Tulloch brings the Project Room to life with Bougainvillea: An Exploration of Adornment—a multilayered site-specific installation that explores Caribbean cultural aesthetics.

“Lately, I’ve been exploring how Jamaican dancehall and reggae music fused with African American music like R&B and hip-hop and how that fusion has shaped the culture of Miami and Jamaica, the two locations where I was raised,” explained Tulloch. “For this project, I focused on how the costumes and fashion of Caribbean dancehall, Jamaican Junkanoo, and masquerade shape identity in a way that invites the viewer to observe how their choice of clothing and adornment is an extension of who they are and reflect on the story they’re telling,” said Tulloch, adding,

“Every day, we fashion our identities even with the simplest outfit, which, in some ways, is a costume of how we present ourselves to the world.”

The award-winning artist employed various mediums including architecture, photography, and fashion design to communicate a unified storyline of a contemporary Caribbean culture. “I wanted 
to spotlight the evolution of a multifaceted Caribbean lifestyle, one beyond old folklore,” he said. 

Tulloch collaborated with artist Diana Eusebio on a series of masks that speak to everyday Caribbean culture and Nadia Wolff on textile graphics and set design in Faena Theater, where Tulloch and his team styled and produced the photographs that appear in the exhibition. “Since dancehall, masquerade and junkanoo are big enactments, it was fitting to shoot it in a performance space.” Both the masks and models allowed Tulloch to play with characters and identities to show a layering of Caribbean history that feels authentic to now.

As an architect, it was really important to Tulloch to create an exhibition design and layout that orchestrated how people moved through the space. He used cutouts and windows to frame certain pieces, as well as those journeying through the space to showcase their fashion selections. Tulloch also played with scale and spatial relationships. “I want viewers to feel like they are stepping into the environments captured in the photography.” To create a fully immersive experience, Tulloch used textiles with sublimation printing to create curtains, drapes, and wall coverings. “I want people to experience the dimension of layers so they can feel the essence 
of the storyline and engage with it in a meaningful way.”

“My goal is to show people that everyday life is art,” explained Tulloch. “I try to help people step back and witness the beauty in the objects and scenes we often casually glance over in our everyday lives.” He also hopes to make art spaces more inclusive and influence whose stories get told and treated as art.

“I want people to experience art and see themselves as part of the conversation.”

Article from Faena Journal Issue #49