Lancing, West Sussex, United Kingdom
About Richard Whadcock
I studied on a general fine art course at Bristol Art College from 86-89. This gave me a grounding in painting and printmaking. At this point it was printmaking that was at the fore. This lead me to undertake a Masters Degree in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art from 89-91 working in intaglio and more and more in lithography. The direct nature of lithography also started to draw me back to painting as well. Printmaking involves a process which gives a working structure. To some degree this has found its way into my approach to painting from the preparation of a painting surface, hand wiping etching plates to hand wiping paintings. The parring down of anything that is insignificant to the bare essentials for the image to work. Early influences, and these influences have stayed with me until present day, are artist such as Cy Twombly, Robert Motherwell, Milton Avery to Vermeer, Turner and Rembrandt. Elements of all have been introduced into my work. With the Rembrandt's it was the backgrounds allowing the paintings to emerge from dark to light. Turners handling of atmosphere which lived in the paintings and the gestural from Twombly and Motherwell. So where do the paintings come from? Their source material is predominantly from around the South Downs. My studio is based in Lancing and it takes less then thirty minutes to be out and walking along the South Downs Way which stretches all the way from Winchester in the West to Eastbourne in the East, tracing a path just in from the south coast. It isn't that its a craggy dramatic landscape, more undulating, but it does rise to peaks such as Chanctonbury Ring, Devils Dyke and Ditchling Beacon all of which have drawn me back time after time. What makes the landscape draw me back? To me it is the way it can morph in to a different state with in minutes. As it follows the coast so closely it can be clear one minute and then capitulate to a weather front that sweeps in from the sea and rapidly change the look and feel of the landscape. Known geographical detail can be expunged by a coastal mist, smudged away by a downpour or bleached out by intense low morning or evening sun. It is these transitions from one state to another that the paintings are dealing with, small periods of time, not really a singular moment as such. They are also not meant to be of a particular place, hence the rarity with which they are titled with a geographical name. This is in some way to stop the name already defining a picture in the viewer's mind. I aim for them to evoke a place, perhaps in your memories of somewhere you have been to. To describe a feeling, atmosphere during a passage of time. The viewer is bringing something to the painting as well, the painting draws it out of you only to deliver you back through the layers of light and depth. The majority of the works start from sketches, photographs or just memories of a walk. All are just reference points to initially put something down on canvas, panel or paper. However before any of this starts the painting surface has to be right. I spent far too long trying to paint on a standard painting canvas. I now prime any surface many times to build up layers of primer that hide canvas weave and produce a substantial surface that will take hold of the marks I make but allow the free movement of paint when necessary. I think I can now trace this back to the connection with the surface that one draws on with lithography stones and plates. While some paintings start off from a traditional white surface many are now coloured;perhaps an orange, a deeper mars orange or a raw umber wash. Layers are built up of thin glazes of a usually limited palette. The primed base colours are then allowed to influence the top glazes or are completely obliterated only to be revealed again as layers are then sanded back or drawn through whilst still wet. At some point the painting process inevitably takes over and starts to generate the paintings subsequent direction. Original elements can then be re introduced to the work.
Royal College of Art, MA Printmaking 1989
BA Hons Fine Art, Bristol Polytechnic 1986
Art & Design Foundation Wolverhampton Polytechnic 1986.
Shadows Deep, Northcote Gallery, Nov 2016
Through The Mist, WychwoodArt, 9th April 2016
Terrence Higgins Trust Charity Auction March 2016
Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2015.
Joint exhibition with Koen Lybaert, Belgium, June 2015.
Cill Rialaig Arts Centre. Invited to undertake a two week residency during September 2014.
Will be exhibiting at LAPADA ART FAIR, Berkeley 2014.
2016 Northcote Gallery, London. UK
2016 Wychwood Art, Stow on the Wold, UK
2015 Northcote Gallery London
2014 Northcote Gallery London
2014 Affordable Art Fair Battersea, 2014.
2013 Northcote Gallery, London
2012 Gallery, London
2011 Northcote Gallery, London
2010 Northcote Gallery, London
2009 Northcote Gallery, London
2008 Northcote Gallery London
2007 Northcote Gallery, London
2006 Adam Gallery, London
2005 Northcote Gallery, London
2004 Adam Gallery, London
Northcote Gallery, London
2003 Gallery One, London
Vertigo Gallery, London
2002 Northcote Gallery, London
2001 White Gallery, Brighton2000
E1 Gallery, London
1998 E1 Gallery, London
1997 Zella Gallery, London,