“Within my art practice I examine ways in which climate and current cultural awareness influence how we regard landscape phenomena”.
Catherine Richardson experiments with natural processes using paint, inks, pond water and metals; building a library of textures by freezing, thawing, evaporating, heating and burning. Using these textures the artist compiles mixed medium ‘paintings’ on panel or paper. Richardson then uses digital techniques to organize a collage of scanned textures, creating imagery that expresses landforms experienced.
Catherine Richardson in NE Iceland, June 2018
The upper mantle of the earth’s crust is the prevalent agent in Richardson’s work. The landscape and landforms are a constant topic revealing a humble position in her connection to a greater force. Her work becomes the cartography of inquiry into geomorphology, landforms and history.
Her paintings juxtapose abstract rock formations and extreme vistas with textures derived from mixing materials and observing natural phenomena. Effects in her work are often gleaned from hiking rural vistas of California, England, France, Peru and Iceland. Walking becomes her tacit learning tool for comprehending terrain.
More recently her residency in 2017 at Laugarvatn, Iceland and exploration of the North Island in 2018 extended her practice into other areas of land appreciation such as historic use, mining, volcanic and glacier activity.
Richardson works in varying scale; detailed drawing to large gestures that might convey planetary curvature. Allowing concoctions of mediums to build textural surfaces on paper and/or panels suggests topographical and underground terrain. Using elements from the environment; rainwater, earth, pond-scum, plant material, she pursues surface effects using natural process as a guide.
Viewing the works, one can detect ice patterns, wood grain, evaporation lines, maps, decay and scraping.
“I am fascinated by human’s desire to explore, extract, appreciate and steward the beauty of nature on the one hand or destruct though greed and covetousness of earth’s reserves. I am interested in the navigation between our cultural engine and the resources that maintain it.
As I work I think of peoples displaced, an overarching longing that is suffered as populations move around the planet; as land is destroyed through war, climatic catastrophes or stolen for extraction of resources. Alongside awe and wonder at the stunning beauty of the macro-micro world we live amongst, these thoughts are expressed through mark making with paint, drawing, and mixed medium”.
65.4.N & 70.96W, 56 x 56cm
Ancient Active, 56 x 56cm
Floeberg, 56 x 56cm
Shelf Crack, 56 x 56cm (First prize wiiner at ‘Visions Of Science’ 2018, The Bath Arts Edge Gallery, University of Bath, England).
[The first 4 images are Digital prints from scans of collages I constructed from ice and ink experiments conducted in a walk-in freezer. They are each in editions of 100, some are sold. The artwork is printed on opaque white film for enhanced light. Larger copies are available.]
Caspian, acrylic, enamel, cement on wood panel, 127 x 157cm
Wet and Slipping, acrylic, enamel, marble dust on wood panel, 127 x 157cm
Arctic Glitz, acrylic, enamel, marble dust on wood panel, 132 x 122cm
Flow Chart, acrylic, enamel, marble dust on wood panel, 122 x 132cm
Archimedes’s Corridor, acrylic on wood panel, 51 x 56cm
Edge Sensation, acrylic and marble dust on wood panel, 25 x 20cm
Northern Noise, acrylic, crayon, marble dust on wood panel, 76 x 51cm