the tornado and the quiet place
August 21 – September 17, 2017
There is incredible force and beauty in a tornado. It’s image is immediately recognizable and can have an emotional impact on the human psyche.
I see such an image as a metaphor for the inner turmoil associated with the full range of human emotions including joy, pain, confusion, guilt, ecstasy, grief, sadness, creativity and love.
Conversely, The Quiet Place can be seen as ‘the calm before the storm’ or the aftermath that leaves one in awe. It is the antidote to the mania: a place of stillness, peace and introspection.
At times we feel that the world is in turmoil, but everyone has their way of turning it off. Your Tornado and your Quiet Place are whatever you imagine them to be.
Richard makes his home in Almonte, Ontario. He studied Fine Art at St. Lawrence College (Kingston) and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (BFA, 1987). At NSCAD, he discovered an affinity for working with clay and an appreciation for ceramics history. He worked in the arts, and as a teacher and administrator with the Nunavut Arctic College (Iqaluit) before returning to full-time studio practice in 2004. Influenced by Nova Scotia red earthenware potters, he earnestly produced highly decorated sgraffitio slipware. Within functional forms he played with voluminous shapes, manipulating the clay and decorating with organic imagery, pattern and colour.
In 2011, Richard began to explore ideas beyond functionality. This work takes a closer look at the volume of form and the contrasts created by stacking thrown forms. One avenue of surface decoration uses terra sigillata and slips to emphasize shape, to play with visual illusion through the use of geometric lines and patterns. Human qualities began to emerge in these vertical forms, feeding another theme with surface imagery to symbolically represent some of the systems at work within living bodies; the notion that these systems - abstract, concealed or invisible to the eye - are part of the energies of nature, the growth and death of all living things, the process of change, adaptation and re-emergence.
Today, Richard maintains a part-time studio practice while being the full-time owner/manager of General Fine Craft.