Travel Buildings (if you want it) etc


Tobias Richardson
Wooden construction, found objects and gallery plinths
Installation view, Wesleyan Church – George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Darwin

In 1977 I spent a year living in a small village in England. My memories from this time are like photographs, spatially pronounced single framed images: a run of ramparts along a castle wall, a raised draw bridge, a small speckled oval egg, still warm, stolen from a nesting bird and cracked open to expose a dying fledging. These are memories expressed by shape and space.

The need for an exhibition to have a succinct, well-defined meaning does not apply here. The associations are broad and somewhat elusive. I have created sculpture from multiple positions. Materials, construction and imagery articulate memory, identity, fear, death, religion and art. The imagery has its genesis in medieval architectural forms of construction and fortification, presented in symbolic formalised versions, an aesthetic I feel akin with. Ultimately the work is highly personal and enigmatic.

The use of wood as the prime material is sympathetic both to my skills as a sculptor and as one of the materials inherent to medieval architecture. The wood is from a timber yard, suspended in a tertiary state having already been dressed but neutral. It is from this position that I like to approach materials rather than from a raw or primary state.

Each piece is constructed around a classic gallery plinth. An empty plinth is the ironic logical sequence when we follow the trajectory of deconstructing the structures that define Western Art. A blank plinth is so rich and classic, an ark for art.

Tobias Richardson, Darwin 2007