2014 Winner: Charles Richardson
My practice is driven by the ambitious task, perhaps mistakenly, of understanding what it means to exist and exist with others. I find that working in multiple mediums: performance, video, animation, writing and installation, allows me in some way to do this – additionally I avoid fetishizing a single medium. As a personal predisposition I only genuinely respond to experiences that are in relation to my understanding of the contemporary world and my place within it.
I explore such themes as autobiography, male identity, popular culture and historicity: patterns that weave themselves into the contemporary. It is the incompatibilities in this weave that especially fascinate me. However, I do not wish to objectify my subjective experience, rather I prefer to create work that stands on its own two feet producing autonomous and seductive experiences.
Contingency plays a vital role throughout my practice; yet, I am also very conscious of how things come together step by step. In general my practice is contradictive, prone to taking unexpected turns, but I consider this part of a healthy practice.
One example of an unexpected turn is my last work “Rehearsal” which evolved very rapidly from a process of associative investigation and that veers most distinctively from my previous moving image works. “Rehearsal” seems to have married all of my experimentation over the last 7 years and it is a direction that I found particularly useful in perpetuating my confusion! Simply put, my work is all about investigation and encounter; about juxtaposing absurdity and gravity, but what's more, it is about unashamedly producing “art”, art that is strong, courageous, fragile and clumsy, art that affects us and leaves us confused and interested enough to walk away thinking -that is my intention.