Richard Stride

Artist Statement

My practice is driven by a curiosity of the built environment and the tensions I observe within it. It seeks to question the role of geometry and structure in the contemporary human experience, particularly in regard to our conception of simplicity and complexity, and order and disorder. Through my work, I investigate the lingering tendency, commonly associated with modernism, for geometric reduction and seriality within the built environment, and how this parallels or interacts with our mental landscape. I aim to re-examine the nature of such structures, and explore complex alternatives.

To engage with this sphere of concerns, my work primarily involves the construction of scenarios or assemblages from a range of appropriated objects and structures. With forms and functions relating to standardization, linearity, containment, categorization or systematization these objects and structures are predominantly indicative of simplicity and order. Through inventive and often playful experimentation with both generative and degenerative processes, my work highlights the propensity for complexity and disorder to emerge within the built environment. This approach more broadly involves exploring of the potential in everyday objects for metaphysical meaning and abstraction. I ultimately aim to provide an opportunity for considering the pursuit of order in the built environment via visual simplicity, and the role of geometry or structure in this pursuit.

At present, I largely employ object-based modes of installation and sculpture, as well as drawing, to tackle this line of enquiry. Installation and sculpture involve a material engagement with structures and objects from the contemporary built environment, through which I can directly explore the processes that impact on them and the contingency of our interaction with them. The drawing element of my practice involves appropriating architectural or diagrammatic techniques. Such methods of drawing are utilized in the rationalization and planning of the built environment, functioning as a kind of intermediary between our mental and physical spaces. In adopting these techniques I aim to examine this role and the slippages between the abstract and material.

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