The Book of Kells
by Edward Sullivan

The ancient works found in the The Book of Kells are surrounded by thick borders which remind me of walls or borders. In some ancient manuscripts this shows the isolation of the church at that time in history. The repetitive use of right angles is prominent in the borders, and the human figures have large fixed eyes. There is an abundant use of arches and circles for embellishment around the central character which are contrasting elements to the geometric angular borders. There is also a mix of many different colors throughout each piece of art for contrast with the borders also providing contrast. Many have crosses. The swirling designs and mythical creatures are in conflict with the religious portrayal. Proximity is shown with use of the barriers that separate the sections for the central figures. These dividers are covered with similar repetitive elements grouped together which reinforces the divisiveness. Alignment is shown with strong straight lines and angles which provide boxed areas. Some of the plates used curves, but other parts of the plate were aligned along those curves. In my opinion, the strong embellishments surrounding the central figure(s) on the illustrations signify the importance of the figures pictured. The crosses add the religious relationship to the message of the text. The finial embellishments which are found on all the plates I examined also add to the importance of the art as adornments to the holiness of the saints and gospels illustrated. In addition, the tapestry design looks to be a retelling of the storyline of the manuscript . Finally, I wonder if any of these have been turned into stained glass windows, the intricacy is magnificent.