Darker Than Light
This series is based on the golden age of the Dutch Masters still-life painting. This roughly spanned the 17th century, during and after the Eighty Years War (1568-1648) for Dutch independence. During this period, artists started to explore the everyday rather than religious iconography. The use of light was extremely important; Artists often used small windows to and specific times of day too accurately portray a certain type of light.
Since studying fine art Richard, has had personal interest in this period, and in particular its dark aesthetic. In this series darkness appears to peal back and reveal each detail, slowly the viewers eye finds different elements creating a personal interpretation of each still-life.
Food was a constant focus during this period of painting. And is an interesting link to our past. In a multicultural country such as Australia, a family’s food represents a direct link to cultural heritage and place. In the 17th century there was no intensive farming, or shipment of food over large distances. Communities ate what was available close by so diet often depended on where a person lived and families often ate the animals they raised. It’s interesting to acknowledge how detached western society became from food production. Some images here are quite confronting, and quickly raise the question where did the animal come from? How was it treated ? And sometimes, did it need to be killed? When strolling down the supermarket aisle, it’s easy not to ask these awkward questions of ourselves. In recent years it has become easier to find free-range produce. But unfortunately this is often limited to farmers markets and specialist butchers. Richard personally sourced the produce in these images, insuring good provenance.
A solo exhibition at SUNSTUDIOS will take place in March 2020.